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Michael Leong and Anthony McCann Join CalArts Creative Writing Faculty for Poetry

Michael Leong and Anthony McCann Join CalArts Creative Writing Faculty for Poetry

The School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Leong and Anthony McCann as faculty in poetry. They will begin teaching in the MFA Creative Writing Program in Fall 2019.

“Each brings to this position over twenty years of community and university teaching experience, innovative scholarship, and engaged writing practices across form and genre,” said Tisa Bryant, Director of the Creative Writing Program.  “This, combined with their vision, positive spirit, and recognized impact as teachers and mentors make Anthony and Michael excellent additions to our faculty.”

Before coming to CalArts, Leong was Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Albany and was faculty in the BFA Creative Writing Program at Goddard College in Vermont.  “I’m happy to have the opportunity to join an institution that has been at the forefront of artistic innovation—that has, since its inception, been part of a ‘tradition of the new,” he commented. “I’m especially excited about its focus on interdisciplinary study and interarts practice, which aligns with my sense of being a thinker and a maker.”

Leong’s co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven is forthcoming from co•im•press, and his critical study of poetry and cultural memory will be published by the University of Iowa Press. Leong’s books of poetry include e.s.p., Cutting Time with a KnifeWho Unfolded My Origami Brain? and Words on Edge. His work was anthologized in Best American Experimental Writing 2018Click here for Leong’s poetry blog and list of publications.

McCann has taught as an adjunct faculty member at CalArts since 2007. “In the joyous and challenging work of art-making, we are also very much involved in the creation of ourselves and our worlds. That the space of the Institute allows us to investigate this on a daily basis might be the one thing—among many—that excites me the most about CalArts,” he said.

His upcoming book Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff is a nonfiction work detailing the standoff that took place at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016 between federal authorities and right-wing protestors led by Ammon Bundy. Publishers Weekly noted, “McCann’s arresting and brilliant firsthand account is required reading for anyone interested in the ideological gap between the American Left and Right.”

McCann lives in the Mojave Desert and is the author of Thing Music Your FateMoongarden, and Father of Noise. In addition to these four collections of poetry, he is one of the authors of Gentle Reader!, a book of erasures of the English Romantics, along with Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer.  Read more about McCann here.

The Creative Writing MFA at CalArts was designed to bridge the divide between 'creative' and 'critical.'  In the program, writing is understood as an art form best practiced alongside the other arts, and students benefit from having access to the CalArts community of artists as their peers and fellow travelers.