Press Releases

CalArts Hosts &NOW 2015—A Festival of New Writing

Literary festival on CalArts campus in Valencia, California celebrates work that explodes the boundaries of visual art, music, filmmaking, and performance: March 25-28, 2015

UPDATE: Panelist Claudia Rankine wins 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award 

Valencia, CA, February 26—  &Now is a biennial literary festival known for bringing new and unique forms of writing to a global audience. It stands as a leading voice for innovative writing—generating an intense and lively space for panels, readings and performances, and uniting writers from different discourses, genres, geographies and traditions. The theme of &NOW 2015 is BLAST RADIUS: Writing and the Other Arts

&Now BLAST RADIUS is hosted by the MFA Creative Writing Program in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). The festival takes place from March 25-28 on CalArts campus in Valencia, California. It opens on Wednesday, March 25 with the “Rules of the Cosmos” at 8 pm, an interactive reading organized by the Red Rover series. The reading is preceded by a reception from 6-8 to welcome participants and audience.

“Our scheduled panels, events and performances offer up a remarkable insight into the relationship between writing and other art forms, as well as the links between experimental writing and social justice, as exemplified in the work of our keynote speaker M. NourbeSe Philip,” noted Janet Sarbanes, Program Chair of CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program.  Philip is well known for her critically acclaimed poem cycle Zong!, which transforms public records to expose and reflect on an18th Century slave ship massacre.

In keeping with the spirit and educational mission of CalArts, the festival celebrates writing that explodes the boundaries of visual art, music, filmmaking, and performance to create entirely new artistic forms. The three-and-a-half day festival features over 65 performances, readings, panels and installations. &Now BLAST RADIUS will also host a book fair devoted to innovative publishing, group readings from selected national small presses, and an offering of site-responsive performances throughout the CalArts campus.

Blast Radius Featured Events:

Thursday morning: “(Re)Figuring Voice: A Talk, a Screening, a Performance and Two Readings.” featuring National Book Award recipient Claudia Rankine, Christina Miletti, Miranda Mellis, Christine Hume and Laura Elrick. “(Re)Figuring Voice” explores various dimensions of “voice” in writing: “disembodied, ventriloquized, multiple, natural, denatured, captive, reproduced, silenced, uncontrollable, queer, nonsynchronous, post-wounded, vulnerable, racialized, post-racialized, exploitative and authoritative.”

Thursday evening: “Mongrel Poetiks,” an investigation of hybridity, bodily and poetic,  with Laura Glenum, Eunsong Kim, Lucas de Lima, Jennifer Tamayo and Ronaldo Wilson.

Friday evening: “Collaboration for the Duration,” a panel and performance exploring the dynamics of collaboration, featuring 3 sets of long-time literary and artistic collaborators: Carla Harryman, Rachel Levitsky, Judd Morrissey, Jon Raskin and Jennifer Scappettone.

Saturday evening: keynote address by M. NourbeSe Philip.

To see the complete schedule or register for the conference, please visit

Each &Now festival promises a vital and dynamic re-thinking of writing as it is known and understood today. &Now Festivals have been hosted by a succession of universities including the University of Notre Dame (2004), Lake Forest College (2006), Chapman University (2007), the University at Buffalo (2009), UC San Diego (2011), Université de la Sorbonne, Paris (2012), and most recently, the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Full registration for all three-and-a-half days of the conference may be purchased for $100. A day rate of $35 is also available.