Living Writers Series Winter 2018

Performing Women: Race, Art, and Space

Performing Women: Race, Art and Space features four contemporary writers/artists whose writing and art moves between multiple modes: poetry, prose, visual and textile arts, photography, film, dance, and improvisation to address questions of gender, sexuality, and race.  This series will explore the intersections of literature, writing and performance, and the ways that themes of nation, exile, trauma, and joy move through individual, collective and individual artistic practices.

January 25: Jennifer Tamayo

February 1: Karen Tei Yamashita 

February 15: Duriel E. Harris

Februrary 22: Cecilia Vicuña*

Revised Event: In Lieu of Cecilia Vicuña's absence, Literature Creative-Critical PhD students, Gabriella Ramirez-Chavez, and José Antonio Villaran will curate some of Cecilia Vicuña's work, showing video/sound footage, and providing comments, revolving around their own engagements with her art and poetry. 

March 15: UCSC Creative Writing Program, Undergraduate Student Reading

Humanities Lecture Hall, 206
Thursdays, 5:20-6:50 PM
All Readings are Free and Open to the Public 
Contact: Ronaldo Wilson (

This event is co-sponsored by the Porter College George Hitchcock Poetry Endowment,  American Indian Resource Center, El Centro, Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, Laurie Sain Creative Writing Endowment, the Chicano Latino Research Center, Cowell College, Bay Tree Bookstore, the Siegfried B. and Elisabeth M. Puknat Literary Series Endowment, the Literature Department, and the Creative Writing Program. 


  • Jennifer Tamayo

    Jennif(f)er Tamayo is a queer, migrant, formerly undocumented latinx poet, essayist, and
    performer. JT is the daughter of Nancy, Flora, Leonor, Sol, and Ana. Her collections include
    [Red Missed Aches] (Switchback, 2011) selected by Cathy Park Hong for the Gatewood Prize
    (2010), Poems are the Only Real Bodies (Bloof Books 2013), DORA/ANA/GUATAVIT@
    (RSH 2016) and YOU DA ONE (2017 reprint Noemi Books & Letras Latinas's Akrilica Series).
    She has held fellowships from the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics and
    CantoMundo. Currently, JT lives and works on Ohlone and Patwin lands and is a PhD student in
    the department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley; her research
    considers resistant, decolonial practices of voic(ing). You can find their writing and art at

  • Karen Tei Yamashita

    Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Brazil-Maru, Tropic
    of Orange, Circle K Cycles, I HotelAnime Wong:  Fictions of Performance, and
    forthcoming, Letters to Memory, all published by Coffee House Press.  I Hotel was selected as a
    finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the California Book Award, the American
    Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award, and the Association for
    Asian American Studies Book Award.  She received a US Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship
    and is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


  • Duriel E. Harris

    Poet, performer, and sound artist, Duriel E. Harris is author of No Dictionary of a Living
    Tongue, Drag and Amnesiac and coauthor of the poetry video Speleology. Current undertakings
    include “Blood Labyrinth” and the solo performance project Thingification. Harris is an
    associate professor of English in the graduate creative writing program at Illinois State
    University and the Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.

  • Cecilia Vicuña

    Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist. Her work addresses pressing concerns of
    the modern world including ecological destruction, human rights and cultural homogenization.
    Born and raised in Santiago de Chile, she has been in exile since the early 1970s, after the
    military coup against elected president Salvador Allende. Vicuña's work began in the mid 60s in
    Chile, as a way of "hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard";. Her art has been exhibited at
    The Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de
    Santiago; The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London; The Whitechapel Art Gallery in
    London; The Berkeley Art Museum; The Whitney Museum of American Art; and MoMA, The
    Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was included in Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel,
    Germany, 2017. Her itinerant exhibition Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, opened at the
    Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans in March 2017 and will travel to various museums in
    the U.S during 2018. Vicuña has published twenty-five art and poetry books, including About to
    Happen, 2017, Read Thread, The Story of the Red Thread, 2017, and Kuntur Ko, 2015. She co-
    edited The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, 500 years of Latin American Poetry, 2009,
    and edited ÜL: Four Mapuche Poets, in l997. Spit Temple, The Selected Performances of Cecilia
    Vicuña, 2012, was runner-up to the 2013 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Her Selected
    Poetry is forthcoming from Kelsey Street Press, 2018. She divides her time between Chile and
    New York.