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Acclaimed Short Story Writer George Saunders to be Writer-In-Residence at CalArts

Acclaimed Short Story Writer George Saunders to be Writer-In-Residence at CalArts
George Saunders, CalArts 2016 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence. Photo: Caitlin Saunders

Saunders will read from his work at CalArts on February 25 at 7 pm and REDCAT on February 26 at 8:30 pm. 

“An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.”—Thomas Pynchon

Valencia, CA, January 21—George Saunders, one of foremost innovators of the contemporary American short story, has been selected as California Institute of the Arts (CalArts2016 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence.  

During Saunders’ two day residency, he will work with students in CalArts’ MFA Creative Writing Program. The public component of Saunders’ residency includes readings by the author at CalArts on February 25 at 7 pm and REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in downtown Los Angeles on February 26 at 8:30 pm.  See calendar listing below for more information.

The recipient of a 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” Saunders is the author of four unorthodox and daring short story collections: CivilWarLand in Bad DeclinePastoraliaIn Persuasion Nation and, most recently, Tenth of December—a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Folio Prize. 

“We've been hoping to lure George Saunders out to our program for some time now, as his sensibility and accomplishments speak so well to our MFA program's ethos,” said Maggie Nelson, director of CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program. “His work is experimental, trenchant, dark, philosophical, satirical, and kaleidoscopic. He is most acclaimed for his short fiction, but he is also renowned as an essayist and writer of children's books; he's also a beloved teacher at Syracuse. A Lannan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, Saunders was also named one of Time magazine’s ”Top 100 Influential People of the year“ in 2013—an impressive feat for a writer of intellectually serious, often far-out fiction.”

Established in 2013, the Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence Program was named in memory of Creative Writing Program MFA student Katie Jacobson and was created by the generous support of her parents Leslie Jacobson and Jeanine Caltagirone. The residency is designed to bring a prestigious writer to CalArts for public readings, classroom visits, and one-to-one meetings with students. The program launched with the residency of short fiction writer and translator Lydia Davis. Critic and novelist Samuel R. Delany was CalArts 2014 Writer-in-Residence.  Click here to learn more about the residency program.

More about George Saunders
The New Yorker, On Tenth of December: An Interview With George Saunders
The New York Times, Choose Your Own Adventure: A Conversation with Jennifer Egan and George Saunders
Blueflower Arts, bio, excerpts and video
Audio: Longform Podcast #75: George Saunders
Video: The Atlantic, George Saunders Explains How to Tell a Good Story

Calendar Editors Please Note:

George Saunders, CalArts’ 2016 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence, will read from this work at CalArts and REDCAT


Thursday, February 25 at 7pm

Langley Hall on CalArts campus, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355-2340
Click here for directions 



Friday, February 26 at 8:30 pm

631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Click here for directions

General: $10, Members: $5
Reserve tickets at or call 213 237-2800

CalArts School of Critical Studies brings together internationally recognized writers, poets, scholars and thinkers working in both new and traditional forms across a wide variety of disciplines, extending from narrative fiction, performance and multimedia to cultural criticism and political theory. The school offers two graduate programs: the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program and the Master of Arts Aesthetics and Politics Program. In both programs, the expertise of Institute faculty is complemented with an extensive series of readings, lectures, workshops and longer-term residencies by a diverse range of visiting writers, theorists and artists.