Living Writers Series Spring 2024

Thursdays, 5:20 to 6:50 PM

Humanities 1 Lecture Hall 

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. 


Imaginaries)Un(bound: Race, Justice, Writing: The Living Writers Series and the Center for Racial Justice present poets, theorists, fiction and hybrid artists working at the nexus of creative-critical practice in the struggle for justice with the imperative of imaginatively undoing the academic and disciplinary strictures that bind critical scholarship.


April 11

micha cardenás, Associate Professor, Critical Race & Ethnic Studies and Performance, Play & Design, UCSC  

micha cárdenas, PhD, is an artist and Associate Professor of Critical Race & Ethnic Studies and Performance, Play & Design, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she directs the Critical Realities Studio. Her book Poetic Operations, Duke University Press (2022), proposes algorithmic analysis to develop a trans of color poetics. Poetic Operations was the co-winner of the Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize in 2022 from the National Women’s Studies Association. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. She is a first generation Colombian American. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries and biennials including the Thessaloniki Biennial in Greece,  Arnolfini Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City, the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, the Zero1 Biennial and the California Biennial.  cárdenas is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. She posts updates on Mastodon at


April 18

Jennifer Tseng, Assistant Professor, Literature and Creative Writing, UCSC 

Jennifer Tseng’s forthcoming book, Thanks for Letting Us Know You Are Alive, poems made with her late father’s English letters, won the Juniper Prize for Poetry and will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in spring 2024. She teaches literature and creative writing at University of California, Santa Cruz.


May 2

Joseph Han, Assistant Professor, English and Creative Writing, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Joseph Han is the author of Nuclear Family, named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a best book of the year by NPR and Time Magazine. He was selected as a 2022 National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35’ honoree and received a Kundiman fellowship in fiction. His novel won the 2023 Asian/Pacific American Literature Award Adult Fiction Honor and the 2024 Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. He is an editor for the West region of Joyland Magazine and an Affiliate Faculty in Fiction at the Antioch University Los Angeles low-residency MFA program. 

This event will also be livestreamed at this link:


May 9

Kendall Grady, PhD Candidate, Literature Creative-Critical Concentration, UCSC; Nathan Osorio, PhD Candidate, Literature Creative-Critical Concentration and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, UCSC

Kendall Grady is an educator/scholar/poet at UC Santa Cruz, where they write toward a media poetics of love and the couplet form. Grady is the Winter 2023 winner of Action, Spectacle’s Editor’s Choice Award and a finalist for Witness Magazine’s 2024 Literary Awards. Grady has also been the third place winner of the Palette Poetry Sappho Prize; a finalist for the Grist ProForma Contest; and a finalist the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook prize. Their creative/critical practice has been supported by the Leopardi Writing Conference, the Baltic Writing Residency, and the LARB Publishing Workshop. Grady falls in and out of love between the mountains and the sea with the heartland in their gut.

Nathan Xavier Osorio’s debut full-length poetry collection, Querida, was selected by Shara McCallum as the winner of the 2024 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press. He is the author of The Last Town Before the Mojave, selected by Oliver De la Paz for the Poetry Society of America’s 2021 Chapbook Fellowship. His poetry, translations, and essays have also appeared in BOMB, The Offing, Boston Review, Public Books, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. His writing and teaching has been supported by fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, The Kenyon Review, and Poetry Foundation. He is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative/Critical Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


May 16

Undergraduate Student Reading 


May 30

This event has been relocated to the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Karen Tei Yamashita, Literature and Creative Writing, and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, Emeritus; Angie Sijun Lou, PhD Candidate,  Literature Creative-Critical Concentration, UCSC

Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of seven books (including I Hotel, finalist for the National Book Award, and most recently Sansei and Sensibility), all published by Coffee House Press. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and a United States Artists’ Ford Foundation Fellowship, she is professor emerita of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Angie Sjiun Lou is a Kundiman Fellow and a Ph.D. Candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at UC Santa Cruz.

This event will also be livestreamed at this link: