Whittier College Writers Festival

April 14-16, 2015



Louie Pérez and David Hidalgo,
Cynthia Hogue, Marjorie Perloff,
Brian Turner, Geoffrey Brock


All Writers Festival Events Are Open To The Community!


Photo by University of Arizona Poetry Center

Photo by Lawrence Schwarzwald


Tuesday, April 14th - See Locations Below
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Whittier Faculty Readings
(Wardman Library)
Tony Barnstone, Jennifer Holmes, Tess Taylor,
Kate Durbin, Scott Creley, Michelle Chihara
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Panel: Working from Source Texts: Digital Poetics and Uncreative Writing
(Wardman Library)

How creative writers manipulate the historical text in the digital age (cento, whiteout, cut-up, "writing through," found and readymade texts, patchwork, experimental translation, etc.)  Is such writing "uncreative" or creative in a different way?  How?

Participants: Marjorie Perloff, Kate Durbin, Tony Barnstone, Michelle Chihara

Moderator: Mark Marino


7:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Keynote 1: Cynthia Hogue Reading
(Robinson Theater-Shannon Center)


7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Keynote 2: Marjorie Perloff Lecture:
“Conceptual Poetry and the Question of Emotion”

(Robinson Theater-Shannon Center)


8:30 - 8:45 p.m.

Hogue and Perloff Q&A
(Robinson Theater-Shannon Center)


Wednesday, April 15th - Shannon Center
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Craft Talk with Louie Pérez (from Los Lobos)

7:30 p.m.  Music of the Wolves:
An Evening with Louie Pérez and David Hidalgo

Thursday, April 16th - See Locations Below
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

 Panel: The Ethics of Documentary Poetics
(Wardman Library)

What responsibilities do you take on when you wear someone else's skin, let their voice ventriloquize through you?  Do we have the right to tell someone else's story for them? 

Participants: Cynthia Hogue, Geoffrey Brock, Tony Barnstone, Tess Taylor

Moderator: Natalia Zappia

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Panel: Acts of God: Writing about Catastrophe
(Wardman Library)

How do you write about the big subjects: war, holocaust, environmental disaster, the atom bomb, and disastrous weather events?  What responsibilities does the writer take on when acting as historian, or the historian take on when writing for others?   

Participants: Brian Turner, Tony Barnstone, Scott Creley

Moderator: Laura McEnaney


7:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Keynote 3: Brian Turner Reading 
(Robinson Theater-Shannon Center)


7:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Keynote 4: Geoffrey Brock Reading
(Robinson Theater-Shannon Center)


8:00 - 8:15 p.m.

Turner and Brock Q&A
(Robinson Theater-Shannon Center)


Cynthia Hogue has published eight collections of poetry, including When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina (interview-poems and photographs) and Or Consequence, both in 2010, and Revenance (Red Hen Press 2014), listed as one of the 2014 “Standout” books by the Academy of American Poets.  In 2012, she published the co-translated Fortino Sámano (The overflowing of the poem), by poet Virginie Lalucq and philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, which won the 2013 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets.  She is a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and directs the MFA program in English at Arizona State University, where she holds the Marshall Chair in Poetry.


Before her retirement, Marjorie Perloff was Sadie D. Patek Professor of Humanities at Stanford University. She is also Florence Scott Professor Emerita of English at the University of Southern California. She teaches courses and writes on twentieth—and now twenty-first—century poetry and poetics, both Anglo-American and from a Comparatist perspective, as well as on intermedia and the visual arts.  Her first three books dealt with individual poets—Yeats, Robert Lowell, and Frank O’Hara; she then published The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (1981), a book that has gone through a number of editions, and led to her extensive exploration of avant-garde art movements in The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture (1986, new edition, 1994), and subsequent books (13 in all), the most recent of which is Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century (2011), which appeared in Portuguese translation in 2013.  Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media (1992) has been used in classrooms studying the “new” digital poetics, and 21st Century Modernism (Blackwell 2002) is a manifesto of Modernist Survival.   Wittgenstein’s Ladder brought philosophy into the mix; it has recently been translated into Portuguese (Sao Paulo), Spanish (Mexico),  and Slovenian and will be translated in France for 2014 publication. Perloff has published a cultural memoir The Vienna Paradox (2004), which has recently appeared in German translation in Vienna and will soon be published in Brazil.    The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound, co-edited with Craig Dworkin was published by Chicago in 2009.  A collection of interviews, Poetics in a New Key was published by Chicago in the fall of 2014.  Perloff’s forthcoming book, is called ON THE MARGINS OF THE HABSBURG EMPIRE THE GREAT WAR AND THE MAKING OF AUSTRO-MODERNISM.  Much less well-known than the writers of the Weimar Republic, the post-WW1 writers of the defunct Austo-Hungarian Empire—Krauss, Joseph Roth, Robert Musil, Elias Canetti, Paul Celan-- many of them from provinces far removed from the capital, produced a distinctive Modernism of their own.

Marjorie Perloff has been a frequent reviewer for periodicals from the TLS and The Washington Post to all the major scholarly journals, and she has lectured at most major universities in the U.S. and at European, Asian, and Latin American universities and festivals. In 2009, she was the Weidenfeld Professor of European Literature at Oxford University.  Perloff has held Guggenheim, NEH, and Huntington fellowships, served on the Advisory Board of the Stanford Humanities Center, and was President of the Modern Language Association in 2006.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society  and recently was named Honorary Foreign Professor at the Beijing Modern Languages University.  She received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters, from Bard College in May 2008.  In 2012, the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania honored her with a special symposium; a varied set of the individual contributions to that symposium appeared in the online journal Jacket 2


Brian Turner’s latest book, My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir has been called “Achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful” by Nick Flynn and “a humane, heartbreaking, and expertly crafted work of literature” by Tim O’Brien. My Life as a Foreign Country is published by W.W. Norton & Company in the US and Canada, and by Jonathan Cape/Random House in the UK and Ireland. His two collections of poetry: Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005; Bloodaxe Books, 2007) and Phantom Noise (Alice James Books, 2010; Bloodaxe Books in October of 2010) have also been published in Swedish by Oppenheim forlag. His poems have been published and translated in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Swedish.

His poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals. Turner was featured in the documentary film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He received a USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature, an NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, a US-Japan Friendship Commission Fellowship, the Poets’ Prize, and a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. His most recent book of poetry, Phantom Noise, was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Here and Now, and on Weekend America, among others.

Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000).

As well as an infantryman, Brian has worked as a machinist, a locksmith’s assistant, a convenience store clerk, a pickler, a maker of circuit boards, a dishwasher, an EFL teacher in South Korea, a low voltage electrician, a radio DJ, a bass guitar instructor, and more. He’s lived and traveled to Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Russia, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, UAE, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, and the U.K., among others.

He directs the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and serves as a contributing editor at The Normal School.

Brian is married to Ilyse Kusnetz (poet and author of Small Hours from Truman State University Press). They live in Orlando, Florida.


Geoffrey Brock is an American poet and translator. His second book of poems, Voices Bright Flags, was selected by Heather McHugh as the ninth winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize; it will be published by Waywiser Press in the fall of 2014. His first book, Weighing Light, received the New Criterion Poetry Prize and appeared in 2005. Poems from these collections originally appeared in journals including Poetry, The New England Review, Subtropics, Cincinnati Review, Hudson Review, and elsewhere. Many have also appeared in anthologies such as The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, Best American Poetry 2007, and Pushcart Prize XXXIV. He has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Stanford’s Wallace Stegner program, and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers.

Brock has also received several major awards as a translator, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in support of his 2012 anthology, The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, and a Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets in support of his translation of Cesare Pavese’s Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-1950. The latter went on to receive translation prizes from the MLA and the PEN Center USA and was named a “Best Book of 2003″ by The Los Angeles Times. His prose translations include Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, Roberto Calasso’s K., and Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (which received the Lewis Galantière Translation Award from the American Translators Association). He is currently translating the selected poems of Giovanni Pascoli, one of which received the John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize from Poetry magazine.

Brock was born in Atlanta, grew up in Tallahassee FL, and has lived in Italy, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Gainesville FL, Overland Park KS, Dallas, San Francisco, and Tucson. He earned a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an MFA in poetry from the University of Florida, and was a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford from 2002–2004. Since 2006 he has taught in the Arkansas Programs in Creative Writing & Translation in Fayetteville, where he lives with his wife, the novelist Padma Viswanathan, their two children, and a variable number of animals.



© Whittier College
13406 E. Philadelphia St.
Whittier, CA 90608 562.907.4200