Casa Romantica Poetry Reading Series

Our Vision
Event Calendar
Reading Workshops & Seminars
Location / Contact
Special Thanks To
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004
January 28   Stephanie Brown and Colette LaBouff Atkinson
February 25   Rae Armantrout and Michelle Latiolais
March 25   Bob Cowser, Jr. and Marilyn Nelson
May 1   Fifth Annual Benefit with Carol Muske-Dukes and John Hoskinson
May 27   Tony Barnstone and Kate Durbin
June 7   Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease
June 24   Marlys West and Kathy Fagan
July 29   Allison Benis White and Patty Seyburn
August 26   Michelle Huneven and Holiday Reinhorn
September 30   Robert Pinsky / Favorite Poem Project
October 28   Alicia Ostriker and Lynne Thompson
November 18   Aaron Belz and Patricia Hampl
December 9   UCI MFA Fiction Students
January 27, 2010   Farewell Reading

January 28, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Stephanie Brown and Colette LaBouff Atkinson

Stephanie Brown was born in 1961 in Pasadena, California and grew up in Newport Beach. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Iowa, and Boston University. She is the author of Allegory of the Supermarket (University of Georgia Press, 1998) and Domestic Interior (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008). She received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry in 2001. Among other publications, she has published over forty poems in American Poetry Review since 1988, appeared on the March/April 2005 and July/August 1996 issue covers, and won the magazine's Jessica Nobel-Maxwell Award in 1994. Her poems were selected for four editions of the The Best American Poetry (Scribner’s). Her poetry and essays have been included in many recent anthologies such as Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present (Scribner’s, 2003) and The Grand Permission: Essays on Poetry and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003). She has made her living as a public librarian since 1989 and is currently a Senior Branch Manager for the Orange County Public Library system. She has taught creative writing at the University of California, Irvine and at the University of Redlands. She is married and the mother of two sons, and lives in San Clemente.

Colette Labouff Atkinson's prose has appeared in the following: Orange Coast Magazine, Seneca Review, River Teeth, Santa Monica Review, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Babble, and elsewhere. She is the author of Mean, a collection of prose poems (University of Chicago Press). She has recently taught in the literary journalism program at UC Irvine and last spring taught poetry workshops at Pitzer College. She is Associate Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation at UC Irvine, and she lives in Southern California.

Back to Top

February 25, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Rae Armantrout and Michele Latiolais

Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, in 1947, and grew up in San Diego. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied with Denise Levertov, and a master's degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She has published eleven books of poetry, including: Versed, (Wesleyan, 2009), Next Life, (Wesleyan, 2007), selected by the New York Times as one of the most notable books of 2007; Up to Speed (2004), a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Poetry; Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001), also a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award; The Pretext (2001); Made To Seem (1995); and The Invention of Hunger (1979). Armantrout's poetry has been widely anthologized, appearing in Language Poetries, (New Directions), In The American Tree, (National Poetry Foundation), Postmodern American Poetry (Norton), Poems for the Millennium, Vol. 2 (University of California), American Women Poets of the 21st Century (Wesleyan), and several editions of Best American Poetry. She is also the author of a prose memoir, True, which was published by Atelos in 1998. She has taught writing for almost twenty years at the University of California, San Diego.

Michelle Latiolais is a Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine. She is the author of the novel Even Now, which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published this last spring by Bellevue Literary Press. She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles and Woof! Writers on Dogs. Her stories and essays have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review and the Santa Monica Review. She has work in up-coming issues of the Iowa Review and the Northwest Review.

Back to Top

March 25, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Bob Cowser, Jr. and Marilyn Nelson
Bob Cowser, Jr.'s first book, Dream Season, published in 2004 by the Atlantic Monthly Press, was a New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice" and "Paperback Row" selection and was listed among the Chronicle of Higher Education's best-ever college sports books. It garnered further praise in Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and on NPR's "Only a Game." His second book, Scorekeeping, a collection of coming-of-age essays, was published in October 2006 by the University of South Carolina Press. He is at work on a third book about the 1979 murder of one of his grade school classmates and the execution of her killer in 2000, the first execution in Tennessee in 40 years. He graduated summa cum laude from Loyola-New Orleans in 1992 with majors in English and Print Journalism, then earned a Master's in English at Marquette University in 1994 and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Nebraska in 1998. An Academy of American Poets prizewinner and Pushcart Prize nominee, Cowser's work has appeared widely in American literary magazines, including the Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, American Literary Review, Sycamore Review, Brevity, Sonora Review and Creative Nonfiction. He is Associate Professor of English at St. Lawrence University, where he teaches courses in nonfiction writing and later American literature, and an adjunct member of the faculty of Ashland University's Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts program. He also serves as associate editor of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. Cowser lives on the Grasse River in Canton, NY with his wife, Candace, and their sons Jackson and Mason.

Poet Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of twelve books and three chapbooks. Her book The Homeplace won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award. The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems won the 1998 Poets' Prize and was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. Carver: A Life In Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award, a Newbery Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Fortune’s Bones was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. A Wreath For Emmett Till won the 2005 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and was a 2006 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a 2006 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a 2006 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book. The Cachoiera Tales And Other Poems won the L.E. Phillabaum Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, and a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Nelson is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut; founder and director of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small writers’ colony; and was Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006.

Back to Top


Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Fifth Annual Benefit
Carol Muske-Dukes and John Hoskinson

To benefit the Casa Romantica Reading Series

Carol Muske-Dukes has just been named the Poet Laureate of California. She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Sparrow, a National Book Award finalist published by Random House in 2003, and An Octave about Thunder and New and Selected Poems. Her three novels are Life after Death (Random House, 2001), Saving St. Germ (Penguin, 1993), Dear Digby (Viking, 1989), and most recently Channeling Mark Twain (Random House, 2008). Her collection of essays Married to the Icepick Killer, A Poet in Hollywood was published in 2002. Her collection of reviews and critical essays Women and Poetry: Truth, Autobiography, and the Shape of the Self was published by University of Michigan Press in 1997. Both non-fiction collections have been "New York Times Most Notable Books" or the current year's "Best Books". She is a regular critic for the New York Times Book Review and the LA Times Books Review. She has won a number of awards, among them The Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts, an Ingram-Merrill, the Witter Byner Award from the Library of Congress, the Castagnola award from the Poetry Society of America, and several Pushcart Prizes. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing and founding Director of the new PhD Program in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.

John Hoskinson is a singer/songwriter raised in California’s Inland Empire as the only boy amongst 6 sisters. Hoskinson trained his ear on the bright Britpop of The Beatles and Elvis Costello and the blissed-out sunshine of The Beach Boys. He's released several CDs, most recently Pancho Fantastico. His music can be heard at

Back to Top

May 27, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Tony Barnstone and Kate Durbin
Tony Barnstone is The Albert Upton Professor of English Language and Literature at Whittier College. His books of poems include The Golem of Los Angeles (Red Hen Press, 2008, winner, Benjamin Saltman Award); Sad Jazz: Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005); and Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone (University Press of Florida, 1998), in addition to the chapbook Naked Magic (Main Street Rag). He is also a distinguished translator of Chinese poetry and literary prose and an editor of literary textbooks. His books in these areas include Chinese Erotic Poetry (Everyman, 2007); The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry (Anchor, 2005); Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry (Wesleyan, 1993); Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei (UP of New England, 1991); The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters (Shambhala, 1996); and the textbooks Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Literatures of Asia, and Literatures of the Middle East (all from Prentice Hall Publishers). Among his awards are a fellowship from the NEA, a fellowship from the California Arts Council, a Pushcart Prize in Poetry, and 1st place in in the 2008 Strokestown International Poetry Prize. His new book of poems, Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, won the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry, and will be published by BKMK Press in 2009.

Kate Durbin's forthcoming collection of poetry, The Ravenous Audience, was selected by Chris Abani for the Black Goat Press imprint of Akashic Books. She has a chapbook, Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator's Boot, forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California in Riverside, and her poems have appeared in various journals, including Drunken Boat, elimae, diode, and Boxcar Poetry Review. She lives in Whittier.


Back to Top

June 7, 2009 (Sunday) at 11:00 a.m.
Free and open to the public

Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease
Five Southern California poets will read from the new anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's disease is now estimated to affect one in two person over the age of eighty and is being diagnosed in people as young as fifty. For the many people now trying to cope with a loved one suffering from this tragic disease, this collection will provide solace and valuable insight for family members as well as for those in the medical community who work with anyone afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Beyond Forgetting is a unique collection of poetry and short prose about Alzheimer's disease written by 100 contemporary writers-doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, daughters, sons, wives, and husbands-whose lives have been touched by the disease.

Richard Beban author of the poetry books, What the Heart Weighs (Red Hen Press, Los Angeles, 2004) and Young Girl Eating a Bird (Red Hen Press, Los Angeles, 2006), turned to poetry in 1993 after spending more than 30 years as a journalist, and then a television and screenwriter. Beban's poetry has appeared in more than 50 periodicals and literary Websites, and in 17 national anthologies in the US and Britain, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has been a featured reader at more than 150 venues, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Berkeley's late, lamented Cody's Books, and Shakespeare & Company in Paris, France. Beban, his wife (poet and novelist Kaaren Kitchell), and three other poets organized and ran one of Los Angeles' most successful weekly reading series, at Venice's Rose Café from 1997 to early 2000.

Lorene Delany-Ullman is a native Californian, and received her M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine. She formerly worked as a technical writer for both a major aircraft company and a marketing research firm. She has been published most recently in Perihelion, Versal, Upstreet, Harpur Palate and has work forthcoming in Iguana Review and MO: Writings from the River. She was the managing editor for Faultline, Volume 12, UC Irvine's literary journal. She currently teaches composition and poetry at UC Irvine. She is also one of the founding members of the Casa Romantica Reading Series in San Clemente, California.

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of two books and two chapbooks of poetry, the most recent being Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize, which was published in Summer, 2008. Her poems, as well as the occasional short story and personal essay have appeared in numerous print and online journals. Recent poem credits include Natural Bridge, The American Poetry Journal, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Calyx, The Hiram Poetry Review, The Pedestal and The Cimarron Review, as well as a number of anthologies including Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California, edited by Christopher Buckley and Gary Young (Greenhouse Review Press/Alcatraz Editions, 2008). Judy Kronenfeld is also the author of a critical study: KING LEAR and the Naked Truth (Duke U.P., 1998). She has taught for 25 years in the Department of Creative Writing, at the University of California, Riverside.

Melanie Martin earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where she was also awarded a scholarship to spend her final semester in Galway, Ireland. Her poems have been published in magazines such as Southeastern Review, River Oak Review and Crab Orchard Review. She is currently working on writing a novel and resides in Long Beach, California, where she teaches English at Long Beach City College and Orange Coast College.

Candace Pearson is preoccupied with the issues of memory, accountability and the natural world. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been published in Ploughshares, Crab Orchard Review, Rattle, Cider Press Review, PoemMemoirStory, Kalliope, 5AM and other fine journals. Her full-length manuscript was a finalist for the 2008 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. She lives in the Los Angeles hills.

Back to Top

June 24 , 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Marlys West and Kathy Fagan

Marlys West is an award-winning poet and writer living in Los Angeles.
She was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, an NEA grant
recipient in poetry, and received her M.F.A. from the Michener Center
for Writers. The University of Akron Press published her book of
poems, “Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr,” in 1999. She is currently
working on a new collection of poems and finishing her first novel.

Kathy Fagan is the author of the National Poetry Series selection The Raft (Dutton, 1985), the Vassar Miller Prize winner Moving & St Rage (University of North Texas, 1999), and The Charm (Zoo, 2002). Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Slate, Field, Ploughshares, and The Missouri Review, among other literary magazines, and is anthologized in Under 35 (Doubleday, 1989), Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia, 2001), American Diaspora (Iowa, 2001), The Breath of Parted Lips: Poems from the Robert Frost Place (CavanKerry, 2001), and, most recently, Poet’s Choice (Harcourt, 2006), edited by Edward Hirsch. Fagan is the recipient of fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohioana, and the Ohio Arts Council. Formerly the Director of Creative Writing at The Ohio State University, she is currently Professor of English and Editor of The Journal.

Back to Top

July 29, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Allison Benis White and Patty Seyburn
Allison Benis White’s poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, and Pleiades, among other journals. Her awards include the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the Bernice Slote Award from Prairie Schooner, and a Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Her full-length collection, Self-Portrait with Crayon, was selected as the winner of the 2008 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Competition. She is currently at work on a second manuscript, “Small Porcelain Head,” which received the 2008 James D. Phelan Award for a work-in-progress from The San Francisco Foundation.

Patty Seyburn's third book of poems, Hilarity, won the Green Rose Prize given by New Issues Press (Western Michigan University) and will be published in 2009. She has published two books of poems: Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998) which won the 1997 Marianne Moore Poetry Prize and the American Library Association's Notable Book Award for 2000. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Paris Review, New England Review, Field, Slate, Crazyhorse, Cutbank, Quarterly West, Bellingham Review, Connecticut Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast and Western Humanities Review. Seyburn grew up in Detroit, earned a BS and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University, an MFA in Poetry from University of California, Irvine, and a Ph.D. in Poetry and Literature from the University of Houston. She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach and co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry, based in Los Angeles. She lives with her husband, Eric Little, and their two children, Sydney (7) and Will (5).

Back to Top

August 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Michelle Huneven and Holiday Reinhorn
Michelle Huneven received an M.F.A. at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her first novel, Round Rock (Knopf 1997), was a New York Times notable book and a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction Award. Her second novel, Jamesland (Knopf 2003) was also a New York Times notable book, a finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and a winner of the Southern California Bookseller’s Award for Fiction. Her third novel, Blame, will be published in September 2009 by FSG. She has received a GE Younger Writers Award and a Whiting Award. Until recently, she worked as an award-winning restaurant critic and food writer for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly and many other publications. She presently teaches creative writing at UCLA and lives with her husband in the town where she was born, Altadena, California.

Holiday Reinhorn is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, Other Voices, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Northwest Review, and elsewhere. She has received a Tobias Wolf Award for Fiction and a Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship. Her first book Big Cats, a short story collection, was published by Free Press in 2005.

Back to Top

September 30, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Robert Pinsky and the Favorite Poem Project
Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997. Pinsky believes that poetry is a vocal art, an art meant to be read aloud. Our local Favorite Poem Project will feature a broad range of community members reading or reciting their favorite poems at the Casa Romantica. To be a reader at this event, please view our Submittal Instructions (PDF).

Robert Pinsky’s
first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such visible dynamism, and such national enthusiasm in response, that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. Throughout his career, Pinsky has been dedicated to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world.

As Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky became a public ambassador for poetry, founding the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of Americans — of varying backgrounds, all ages, and from every state — shared their favorite poems. Pinsky believed that, contrary to stereotype, poetry had a vigorous presence in the American cultural landscape. The project sought to document that presence, giving voice to the American audience for poetry. The anthology Americans’ Favorite Poems, which include letters from project participants, is in its eighteenth printing. The new anthology, An Invitation to Poetry, comes with a DVD featuring twenty-seven of the FPP video segments, as seen on PBS.

Elegant and tough, vividly imaginative, Pinsky’s poems have earned praise for their wild musical energy and ambitious range. His book Gulf Music (2007) is his seventh volume of poetry. His The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. In May 2006 his chapbook entitled First Things to Hand was published. His most recent book is Gulf Music.

Pinsky’s books about poetry include Poetry and the World, nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, The Sounds of Poetry, and more recently, Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry. Pinsky contends that, though intimate, poetry addresses cultural needs by communicating a shared set of social meanings, a paradox that becomes part of his effort to demonstrate the complexity of American poetry.

Robert Pinsky’s landmark, best-selling translation of The Inferno of Dante received the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation. He is also co-translator of The Separate Notebooks, poems by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz. Pinsky’s prose book, The Life of David, is a lively retelling and examination of the David stories, narrating a wealth of legend as well as scripture.

The poetry editor for the online magazine Slate, for seven years Pinsky appeared regularly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He writes the weekly “Poet’s Choice” column for the Washington Post. He was elected in 1999 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Pinsky’s poems appear in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review, and frequently in The Best American Poetry anthologies. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. Robert Pinsky is also the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 2006 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Literary Arts. He is one of the few members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on “The Simpsons.”

© 2008 Steven Barclay Agency, All Rights Reserved

Back to Top

October 28, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Alicia Ostriker and Lynne Thompson

Alicia Ostriker is a major American poet and critic. Twice nominated for a National Book Award, she is author of eleven volumes of poetry, most recently No Heaven (2005). As a critic Ostriker is the author of two pathbreaking volumes on women’s poetry, Writing Like a Woman and Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America. Her most recent critical book is Dancing at the Devil’s Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics and the Erotic. She has also published three books on the Bible, Feminist Revision and the Bible, the controversial The Nakedness of the Fathers; Biblical Visions and Revisions, a combination of prose and poetry that re-imagines the Bible from the perspective of a contemporary Jewish woman, and most recently, For the Love of God: the Bible as an Open Book. Ostriker’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Antaeus, The Nation, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Atlantic, MS, Tikkun, and many other journals, and have been widely anthologized. Her poetry and essays have been translated into French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew and Arabic. She has lectured and given performances of her work throughout the USA, as well as in Europe, Australia, Israel, Japan and China. Ostriker has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of Am erica, the San Francisco State Poetry Center, the Judah Magnes Museum, the New Jersey Arts Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She lives in Princeton, NJ with her husband. Ostriker is Professor Emerita of Rutgers University and is a faculty member of the New England College Low-Residency Poetry MFA Program. Ostriker has taught in the Princeton University Creative Writing Program and in Toni Morrison’s Atelier Program. She has taught midrash writing workshops in the USA, Israel, England and Australia.

Lynne Thompson won the 2007 Perugia Press Book Prize for her first full-length collection of poems, Beg No Pardon. Beg No Pardon was also awarded the 2008 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. A frequent reader, both locally and nationally, Thompson is also the author of two chapbooks: We Arrive By Accumulation and Through A Window and her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Essence, Margie, Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review, and Blue Arc West, An Anthology of California Poets. She is employed as the Director of Employee & Labor Relations at UCLA.

Back to Top

November 18, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Aaron Belz and Patricia Hampl
Originally from Missouri, Aaron Belz now lives about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. He’s been writing poetry since he was a boarding school student in Long Island and East Anglia, then attending college in north Georgia. He has a master’s in Creative Writing from NYU and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Saint Louis University and is now a Calvinist who loves “The Johns”—Donne and Ashbery. So if there’s a sense of displacement in his writing, it was predestined to be there. His poems have appeared in Fence, Fine Madness, LIT, Eleven Eleven, Black Clock, and many other journals. His first book, The Bird Hoverer, was published in 2007 by BlazeVOX; his second, Lovely, Raspberry, is forthcoming from Persea Books.

Patricia Hampl’s most recent book is The Florist’s Daughter, winner of numerous “best” and “year end” awards, including the New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year” and the 2008 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime, published in 2006 and now in paperback, was also one of the Times Notable Books; a portion was chosen for The Best Spiritual Writing 2005. Patricia Hampl first won recognition for A Romantic Education, her memoir about her Czech heritage, awarded a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. She is the author as well of two collections of poetry, Woman before an Aquarium, and Resort and Other Poems. And she has published Spillville, a meditation on Antonin Dvorak's 1893 summer in Iowa, with engravings by Steven Sorman. Virgin Time, about her Catholic upbringing and an inquiry into contemplative life, is available in a recent paperback. I Could Tell You Stories, her collection of essays on memory and imagination, was a finalist in 2000 for the National Book Critics Circle Awards in General Nonfiction. Four of her books have been named "Notable Books" of the year by The New York Times Book Review. Hampl’s fiction, poems, reviews, essays and travel pieces have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Bush Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (twice, in poetry and prose), Ingram Merrill Foundation, and Djerassi Foundation. In 1990 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Ms. Hampl is Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished Professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she teaches fall semesters in the MFA program of the English Department. She is also a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program.

Back to Top

December 9 , 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
UCI MFA Fiction Students
The UCI MFA program in creative writing has been turning out talented writers for over 40 years, including Alice Sebold, Michael Chabon, Yusef Komunyakaa, Glen David Gold, David Benioff, Aimee Bender, and many others. This event is an opportunity to hear some of the work from the current crop of UCI graduate students in fiction.

Alberto Gullaba Jr. was born in Honokaa, Hawaii and holds a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. As a member of Teach for America, he taught third and fifth grade in Miami, Florida. He now lives in Long Beach.

Kristen Leigh Schwarz grew up in Newhall, California and received her BA from USC, where she was honored to work under Aimee Bender and Percival Everett. She is currently writing her first novel.

Benjamin T. Miller was born in Lexington, Kentucky and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is earning his M.F.A. in Fiction at the University of California, Irvine. He lives in Irvine, California and is at work on a novel.

Greg November is a transplanted Californian, for now. Originally from Philadelphia, Greg grew up in New York and Connecticut. He is currently at work on a collection of short stories, titled Pangaea. His fiction has appeared in Orange Coast Review and in Philly Fiction, a collection of short stories about Philadelphia, a volume which he also co-edited.

Janice Obuchowski grew up in northern Vermont and attended Cornell University and the University of Virginia. She's in her third-year at UC Irvine's MFA program in fiction and is currently at work on her first novel.

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Ryan Ridge is an MFA candidate at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches composition and creative writing. Recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in 5_Trope, DIAGRAM, elimae, Salt Hill, Smokelong Quartlery, Upstairs at Duroc, Yankee Pot Roast, and elsewhere. He is currently the fiction editor at Faultline: Journal of Arts and Literature.

Back to Top

January 27 , 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Farewell Reading
Come join us as we celebrate the sixth and final year of the Casa Romantica Reading Series. The reading will consist of each of the committee members and co-founders of the series sharing some of their favorite poems. If you've ever enjoyed a reading here at the Casa, or if you've never been, we welcome you to join us at the final reading of this excellent writers' series.

Colette LaBouff Atkinson
Stephanie Brown
Chris Davidson
Lorene Delany-Ullman
Michelle Greenwood
Michelle Mitchell-Foust
Vernon Ng
Elisa Pulido
Patty Seyburn

Back to Top