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Graduate Writing Program Faculty

Core Full-Time Faculty

Youmna Chlala

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

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.

Aracelis Girmay – Assistant Chair Of Writing And MFA Advisor

Aracelis Girmay is the author of three books of poems: the black maria (BOA, 2016); Teeth (Curbstone Press, 2007), winner of a GLCA New Writers Award; and Kingdom Animalia (BOA, 2011), the winner of the Isabella Gardner Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She is also the author/illustrator of the collage-based picture book changing, changing. For her work, Girmay was nominated for a Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2018. For the last several years, Girmay was on the faculty of Hampshire College’s School for Interdisciplinary Arts and before that taught community writing workshops with young people in New York and California. She has received grants, training, and fellowships in support of her work from the NEA, the Whiting Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Community~Word Project, among other programs. She is the editor of How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton and is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund.

James Hannaham – Leave Spring 2021

James Hannaham is a writer and visual artist. His novel Delicious Foods (Little, Brown 2015) won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. His criticism, essays, and profiles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Spin, Out, Buzzfeed, 4Columns, and Travel+Leisure. 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 Open Source Gallery, 490 Atlantic, Kimberley-Klark, and The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and won Best in Show at Main Street Arts’ Biblio SpectaculumPilot Impostor, a multigenre book inspired by the work of Fernando Pessoa, will be released in 2021, followed by Re-Entry, or What Happened to Carlotta, a novel, in 2022.

Christian Hawkey

Christian Hawkey 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 and a member of the WeTransist collective.

Rachel Levitsky

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 Obadike

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 / DisclosureAmerican 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.

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

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 TimesThe 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.

Part-Time Faculty

Mirene Arsanios

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 RailThe RumpusThe 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.

Claire Donato

Claire Donato‘s writing—at once ambient, investigative, and cathartic—collates forms and materials. She is the author of Burial (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2013), a not-novel novel; The Second Body (Poor Claudia, 2016; Tarpaulin Sky Press, reissue forthcoming 2019), a collection of poems; and To Hell, with Boundaries (Tarpaulin Sky, forthcoming), a cross-genre collection. Other writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, Territory, DIAGRAM, Bennington Review, BOMB, Fanzine, and The Elephants. Recent performances include Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; The Poetry Project, New York; Lévy Gorvy, New York; Poetic Research Bureau, Los Angeles; The Empty Bottle, Chicago; SPACE Gallery, Portland, Maine; and Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts; awards and honors include Hemera Contemplative Fellowship, Rutgers University Digital Studies Center Fellowship, Millay Colony for the Arts Fellowship, and Peter Kaplan Fellowship. Recent courses taught at Pratt include Poetry and Psychoanalysis, The Poetics of Love, The Poetics of Rage, and Transdisciplinary Poetics. In addition to teaching the Writing Program, Claire independently curates (most recently for Brown University’s Interrupt V Festival and at Babycastles Gallery), serves as a Mentor for the PEN Prison Writing Project, and practices Zen meditation. She lives with one cat and ~50 houseplants in a psychic’s building in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

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-machine-gun Feminism, edited by Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young (Chain Links, 2011), and No Gender: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards, edited by Julian Talamantez Brolaski, E. Tracy Grinnell, and erica kaufman (Litmus Press / Belladonna*, 2008). Grinnell’s poetry has been translated into French, Serbian, and Portuguese. She is the founding editor and director of Litmus Press, a small, nonprofit publishing organization dedicated to innovative, cross-genre writing, plays and collaborations in English and in translation from around the world. Litmus Press also manages and distributes O Books and The Post-Apollo Press in its efforts to preserve and extend the legacy of feminist and progressive politics and aesthetic innovation established by these vital predecessors. She founded and edited the annual journal Aufgabe from 2001-2014, now available for free download via Jacket2’s Reissues. An Adjunct Associate Professor in the MFA Program, Grinnell established and administers the annual Leslie Scalapino Lecture in Innovative Poetics and is the faculty adviser for Pratt MFA’s The Felt, an annual print collection presenting work by MFA students and faculty, and an online journal: The Felt, presenting new writing from around the world. Both the print and online editions are edited and produced by current students and alumni. She received her MFA from Brown University in 2001 and has since taught poetry workshops in the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University and at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.

Anna Moschovakis

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 (Commentaire, co-translated with Christine Schwartz Hartley) and Egyptian-French political novelist Albert Cossery’s The Jokers (La violence et la dérision). She was the Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry at U.C. Berkeley in 2016, and in 2015 she co-founded Bushel Collective, a mixed-use space for art, agriculture and action in Delhi, NY. 

Amir Parsa

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 KobolierrotFeu L’encre/FableDrive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque TraditionErre, 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.