Core Full-Time Faculty
Youmna Chlala is a writer and an artist and the Founding Editor of Eleven Eleven Journal of Literature and Art. She is the author of the poetry manuscript, The Paper Camera, recipient of the 2009 Joseph Henry Jackson Award. Chlala’s prose and poetry has appeared widely including Guernica, Bespoke, CURA, XCP: Journal of Cross Cultural Poetics, MIT Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and in the book Nation, Gender, and Belonging: Arab and Arab American Feminist Perspectives. She has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Camera Austria, MOCAD, and San Jose Museum of Art and participated in the Performa Biennial and roaming Tehran Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include the CultuurCentrum, Belgium and Art In General, New York. Chlala has been awarded residencies and fellowships from the Henie Onstad Art Centre Norway, Headlands Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, CAMAC: Center for Art and Technology, Fine Arts Work Center Provincetown, Triangle Arts Fund, European Cultural Foundation and Goethe-Institut Cairo. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the California College of the Arts.
Laura Elrick is the author of three books of poetry, including Propagation (Kenning Editions, 2012), Fatasies in Permeable Structures (Factory School, 2005) and sKincerity (Krupskaya, 2003). Her psychogeographically-inspired research and performance works include the oppositional cartography Blocks Away, exhibited at The Skybridge Art and Sound Space in 2010, and the video-poem Stalk, commissioned by the Positions Colloquium in Vancouver in 2008 and exhibited in the Social-Environmental Aesthetics Series at Exit Art (New York, 2009) and the Rustbelt Sightsound Collision at the SPACES gallery (Cincinnati, 2013). A sound work, 5 Audio Pieces for Doubled Voice was commissioned by New Langton Arts for the Performance Writing Series in San Francisco in 2005. Her work also appears in several anthologies, including Viz. Inter-Arts Intervention: A Trans-Genre Anthology (forthcoming), Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing, and Eco Language Reader, and has been translated into Spanish, French, Italian and Norwegian.
James Hannaham is a writer and visual artist. He wrote the novel Delicious Foods (Little, Brown 2015), a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program and the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2015, as well as God Says No (McSweeney’s 2009), which was honored by the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Awards. He has published short stories in One Story, Fence, Story Quarterly, and BOMB. He was a contributor to the Village Voice from 1992–2014, and his criticism, essays, and profiles have appeared in Spin, Details, Us, Out, Buzzfeed, The New York Times Magazine. He received a 2015 Pushcart Prize for a piece that appeared in Gigantic. He co-founded the performance group Elevator Repair Service and worked with them from 1992–2002. He has exhibited text-based visual art at The James Cohan Gallery, 490 Atlantic Gallery, Kimberley-Klark, and The Center for Emerging Visual Artists.
Christian Hawkey designed and coordinates the MFA in Writing. He has written two full-length poetry collections (The Book of Funnels, Wave Books, 2005 and Citizen Of, Wave, 2007), four chapbooks, and the cross-genre book Ventrakl (2010, Ugly Duckling Presse). A new book, Sonne from Ort, a collaborative bi-lingual erasure made with the German poet Uljana Wolf, appeared in 2013 (kookbooks verlag, Berlin). In 2006 he received a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award. In 2008 he was a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellow. He translates contemporary German poetry, as well as the late short prose of the Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger, and his own work has been translated into over a dozen languages. He is an officer of the Office of Recuperative Strategies.
Samantha Hunt’s novel about Nikola Tesla, The Invention of Everything Else was a finalist for the Orange Prize and winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. Her first novel, The Seas, won a National Book Foundation award for writers under thirty-five. Hunt’s work has been published in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, Tin House, A Public Space, Cabinet, Blind Spot, The London Times, and in a number of other fine publications. Her books have been translated into ten languages. She has performed with Jim Jarmusch and Luc Sante at All Tomorrow’s Parties, at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum, and REDCAT, with the National Theater of the United States of America (NTUSA) at PS122, in the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series, at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival and as part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Her work has been performed on WBEZ’s This American Life and on WNYC’s Selected Shorts program. A novel titled Mr. Splitfoot and a collection of short fictions titled Beast and Other Stories, are forthcoming. samanthahunt.net
Rachel Levitsky is the author of a novel, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013), two books of poetry, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003) NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009) and a number of chapbooks including Renoemos (Delete, 2010). She is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist avant-garde hub for interventions in writing, reading, engaged discourse, and activism. In 2010 with Christian Hawkey, she started The Office of Recuperative Strategies, a mobile research unit variously located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Boulder, Brooklyn, Cambridge, NYC, and Leipzig. She lives in Brooklyn.
Mendi Lewis Obadike is an intermedia artist and scholar who works across media. She is the author of Armor and Flesh (Lotus Press), which won the Naomi Long Madgett Prize, and the forthcoming books Big House / Disclosure and Four Electric Ghosts (1913 Press). Mendi collaborates with her husband Keith Obadike. Their 2001 work Blackness for Sale has been widely cited in the press and in new media art surveys. Recent installations include Big House / Disclosure, American Cypher (currently exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem), and African Metropole. Their other conceptual media artworks have been commissioned by and exhibited at the Whitney Museum, the New Museum, Yale University, Electronic Arts Intermix, and the New York African Film Festival, among other institutions. Their albums include The Sour Thunder, an Internet Opera (Bridge Records, 2004) and Crosstalk: American Speech Music (Bridge Records, 2008). Mendi has been awarded a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship in Race and Ethnicity from Princeton University, as well as fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation for Poetry and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Mendi is a poetry editor at Fence Magazine, an artist-in residence at the Tribeca Performing Art Center, and an Assistant Professor in Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. She earned a BA in English from Spelman College and a PhD in literature from Duke University. www.obadike.com.
SHARIFA RHODES-PITTS (WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE)
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America. The first volume of a planned trilogy on African-Americans and utopia (Harlem, Haiti, and the Black Belt of the American south), it was a New York Times Notable Book of 2011, a National Book Critics Circle Finalist, and cited by BOOKFORUM as the "Best New York Book" written in the twenty years since the magazine's founding. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Chimurenga, Bidoun, A Public Space, Creative Time Reports, Harper's, Essence, and Vogue, among many others. She has received grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Whiting Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. Her 2015 book for young readers Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence a Young Artist in Harlem (commissioned by MoMA and illustrated by Christopher Myers) was named by Booklist among the year's top books about art for children. Rhodes-Pitts organizes projects through The Freedwomen's Bureau, gathering collaborators across the fields of visual art, music, theater, film, and education to produce events at venues like Harlem Stage, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The New Museum, PS 1 / MoMA, and public spaces in Harlem. Photograph by Marcus Werner.
Mirene Arsanios is the author of the short story collection, The City Outside the Sentence (Ashkal Alwan, 2015). She has contributed essays and short stories to The Brooklyn Rail, The Rumpus, The Animated Reader, and The Outpost, among others. Her writing was featured collaboratively at the Sharjah Biennial (2017) and Venice Biennial (2017), as well as in various artist books and projects. Arsanios co-founded the collective 98weeks Research Project in Beirut and is the founding editor of Makhzin, a bilingual English/Arabic magazine for innovative writing. She has previously taught art history and literature at the American University of Beirut. She holds an MA in Art Theory from Goldsmiths College and an MFA in Writing from Bard College. Arsanios currently lives in New York where she was a 2016 LMCC Workspace resident.
LaTasha Nevada Diggs
A writer, vocalist and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at the Brooklyn Musuem, Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Walker Art Center. As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and El Museo del Barrio and is the co-founder and co-editor of Coon Bidness/SO4 magazine. A native of Harlem, LaTasha is the recipient of numerous awards; of them include New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Fellowship, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, Creative Capital and the Whiting Foundation Literary Award.
E. Tracy Grinnell
E. Tracy Grinnell is the author of four books of poetry, Hell Figures (Nightboat Books, 2016) a finalist for the 2017 Firecracker Award in Poetry, portrait of a lesser subject (elis press, 2015), Some Clear Souvenir (O Books, 2006), and music or forgetting (O Books, 2001), as well as several limited edition chapbooks, including Leukadia (Trafficker Press, 2008). A selection of poems from portrait of a lesser subject appeared in Best American Experimental Writing (BAX) 2016, edited by Charles Bernstein and Tracie Morris (Wesleyan, 2017). Poetry, essay, and visual art have appeared in collections including The Day Lady Gaga Died (Dan kada je umrla Lejdi Gaga): An Anthology of NYC Poetry of the 21st Century, edited by Ana Božičević and Željko Mitić (Peti talas / The Fifth Wave, Serbia, 2011), A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-
Amin Husain’s interests focus on resistance and liberation, movement generated theory and practice. His research and teaching interests span debt and financialization, globalization and political economy, social movements and cultures of resistance, race, class and ethnicity in the media, and postcolonial theory. He is a founding member of Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.), direct action wing of Gulf Labor Coalition; a member of Gulf Labor Coalition, a self-organized group of artists, writers, architects, curators, and other cultural workers trying to ensure worker’s rights are protected when art, labor and global capital intersect; a founding member and managing editor of Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy, a printed theory and strategy magazine of the Occupy movement; a founding member of MTL, a collective that combines aesthetics, research and organizing in its practice; and founding member of NYC Solidarity with Palestine.
Anna Moschovakis is a poet, translator, and longtime member of the collectively run publishing project Ugly Duckling Presse. With UDP she has edited, designed and produced books, chapbooks, and ephemeral publications of work written in English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, and Russian; she also founded and edits UDP’s Dossier series for investigative texts engaging theory, politics, and form. She is the author of numerous chapbooks and three full-length books of poetry—I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone (Turtle Point Press, 2006), You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (Coffee House Press, 2011), winner of the James Laughlin award from the Academy of American Poets, and They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This—as well as a novel, The Rejection of the Progress of Love, which will be published in 2018. Her recent translations include Bresson on Bresson, Marcelle Sauvageot's feminist memoir/novella Commentary (Com
A pioneering multilingual writer, poet and translator, Amir Parsa was born in Tehran, attended French International schools, Princeton and Columbia, and currently lives in New York. His work—written directly in English, French, Farsi, Spanish, and various hybrids—constitutes a radical polyphonic enterprise that puts into question national, cultural and aesthetic attachments while fashioning new genres, forms, discursive endeavors and species of artifacts. These works include Kobolierrot, Feu L’encre/Fable, Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition, Erre, and L’opéra minora, a 440-page multilingual work that is in the MoMA Library Artists’ Books collection and in the Rare Books Collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. He is also interested in innovation and transformative engagements in institutions—more specifically museums and higher education settings—and has launched work in avant-garde museum practices, developed experimental curriculum design and pedagogy and created clandestine social actions and interventions.
Distinguished Visiting Faculty
Sarah Riggs is a writer and artist, born in New York where she is now based, after having spent over a decade in Paris. Before directing Six Lives: A Cinepoem, she produced The Tangier 8 at the Cinémathèque de Tanger in Morocco, which was screened at the Berlin Film Festival and the Tate Modern Museum among other international venues. She is the author of five books of poetry in English: Waterwork (Chax, 2007), Chain of Minuscule Decisions in the Form of a Feeling (Reality Street, 2007), 60 Textos (Ugly Duckling, 2010), Autobiography of Envelopes (Burning Deck, 2012), and Pomme & Granite (1913 Press, 2015) which won a 1913 poetry prize. She is the author of the book of essays Word Sightings: Poetry and Visual Media in Stevens, Bishop, & O’Hara (Routledge, 2002), and has translated and co-translated six books of contemporary French poetry into English, including most recently Oscarine Bosquet’s Present Participle (La Presse). She is the director of the international arts organization Tamaas (www.tamaas.org) which has ongoing projects in performance, translation, and artistic collaboration in Morocco and France. She is also a member of bilingual poetry association Double Change (www.doublechange.org). Sarah Riggs is currently teaching at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn after years of teaching at the NYU and Columbia programs in Paris, and before that at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she got her Ph.D. in literature. Inspired by filming the dance of Stéphane Bouquet, choreographed by Mathilde Monnier for the Essaouira section of Six Lives, she is doing a residency on a Casablanca rooftop mixing film, dance, and poetry with La Source du Lion in 2015.
Todd Shalom works with text, sound and image to re-contextualize the body in space using vocabulary of the everyday. He is the founder and director of non-profit arts organization, Elastic City. In this role, Todd leads his own participatory walks, collaborates with artists to lead joint walks, and works with artists in a variety of disciplines to adapt their expertise to the participatory walk format. He often collaborates with performance artist/director Niegel Smith. Together, they conceive and stage interactive performances in public and private environments. Todd’s work has been presented by organizations such as Abrons Art Center, Creative Time, ISSUE Project Room, The Kitchen, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum, P.S.122, and Printed Matter. He is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts and also holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University.