MFA Writing Program Visiting Artist Series: Miranda Mellis
CalArts, Butler Building 4
CRITICAL STUDIES: Miranda Mellis was born and raised in San Francisco, and earned a BA from Naropa University and an MFA from Brown University. She is the author of The Spokes (Solid Objects, 2012), None of This Is Real (Sidebrow Press, 2011) and Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs). Her first novel, The Revisionist, has been translated into Italian by Leonardo Luccone (Nutrimenti, 2008) and Croatian by Zoran Rosko (Quorum, 2009). The Revisionist was a finalist for The Believer 2007 Book Award.
Mellis has received The John Hawkes Prize in Fiction, The Michael Harper Praxis Prize, and an NEH Independent Research Grant. Her writing has appeared in various journals & magazines including Conjunctions, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Believer, Cabinet and Fence. Her writing also appears in several anthologies including Conversations at The War Time Cafe and California Video: Artists and Histories. Currently she is working on a story with images in collaboration with artist Megan Vossler called The Quarry, due out from Trafficker in 2013. She is a coeditor at The Encyclopedia Project and teaches at The Evergreen State College. In response to the question, “What is experimental writing,” Mellis said, Writing – even taking inventories which is how writing started – involves oscillations: losing and finding, locating and dislocating, delay and arrival, sleeping and waking, tracking and losing track. Experimental writers think of language as a medium and therefore do not ignore the fact that language, even univocal and transactional language (maybe even especially so) is imbricated with political life and systems: not neutral, after all, its what laws, mortgages, curses, roles, and rites of institution are made of.