Events, Prizes, and Resources
Graduate Program Events
The Creative Writing Reading Series brings nationally acclaimed authors to campus, with readings taking place in the Peter Shields Library. Recent poets, novelists, and creative nonfiction guests to our program have included Rae Armantrout, Karen Brennan, Chiyuma Elliott, Louise Gluck, Garth Greenwell, Fanny Howe, Donika Kelly, Nayomi Munaweera, Tommy Orange, Micah Perks, Diane Seuss, Danez Smith, and Mai Der Vang. Find out about last year’s series here.
Fig + Axle, a student-run reading series, is the heart of program community. At monthly Fig + Axle evenings, students read their work-in-progress at venues such as the Avid Reader Bookstore, the UC Davis Graduate Art Studio, and our beautiful Wyatt Deck, in the leafy green heart of the UC Davis Arboretum.
Stories on Stage is a local collective that brings the page to life. Stories on Stage pairs writers with seasoned actors who read their work in the beautiful Pence Gallery in downtown Davis. Stories on Stage also features work from MFA students who place in its annual UC Davis Fiction Contest.
The end of the year Graduate Exhibition at the Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum is an opportunity for MFA students to “show” their work in wildly creative fashions that push beyond simply reading at a podium. The Graduate Exhibition, undertaken in conjunction with students in all fields of art, from music to design, brings the entire arts community at Davis together.
Resources for Writers At Davis and Beyond
There’s a lot for writers in Davis to explore outside the Creative Writing Program. The University boasts a thriving arts community with an abundance of resources. The Manetti Shrem Museum of Art offers provocative and engaging exhibitions. The Mondavi Center for Performing Arts brings world-class performers and writers to campus for concerts and talks. Every year, the Art Studio Program’s Visiting Artists Series brings painters, sculptors, photographers, and mixed-media practitioners as well. Sacramento and San Francisco boast world-class arts communities. The Writing by Writers Conference in Tomales Bay every year offers workshops by the best contemporary writers; many students at UC Davis attend that conference.
Collaboration in the Arts
We love interdisciplinary work at UC Davis. In recent years, our writers have collaborated with artists in the Art Studio MFA (in the workshop setting and outside of it) and composers from the Music department (under the auspices of Professor Kurt Rhode). They’ve shown these projects publicly at the Shrem Museum and elsewhere. We’re always looking for new ways to encourage these partnerships.