Experience a Dynamic Literary Community.

The Contemporary Writers Series at Mills College features monthly readings and talks by renowned and emerging writers. Graduate students produce and promote the series, which brings the Mills community and San Francisco Bay Area audiences together to enjoy an intimate cultural evening. All events are free, open to the public, and for the 2020–21 academic year, held online.

Spring 2021 Literary Series

Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier
Friday, February 19, 2021 | 5:00 pm PDT | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
  • Layli Long Soldier is the author of Chromosomory and WHEREAS, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have appeared in POETRYMagazine, The New York Times, The American Poet, The American Reader, The Kenyon Review Online, BOMB, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an NACF National Artist Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Whiting Award. Long Soldier holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. She resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Melissa Valentine
Melissa Valentine
Friday, March 5, 2021 | 5:00 pm PDT | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
  • Melissa Valentine is an award-winning writer from Oakland, California, whose work explores themes of race, trauma, and healing. Her debut memoir, The Names of All the Flowers, was the 2019 winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. She is a 2020 artist fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts in Nonfiction Literature. Melissa has also been a fellow at the San Francisco Writers Grotto. Her writing has appeared in New York Magazine, Guernica, Jezebel, and Apogee, among others. She is a visiting professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
mai c. doan
mai c. doan
Friday, March 19, 2021 | 5:00 pm PDT | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
  • mai c. doan is a mixed femme poet and writer from Southern California. She has published and performed her work though the National Queer Arts Festival, Entropy Magazine, the Poetry Project, and more. She holds an MFA from Mills College, where she attended as a Community Engagement Fellow. water/tongue (Omnidawn, 2019), her first full-length book, is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award nominee, is. Find her on the internet at maicdoan.com.
Aiden Thomas
Aiden Thomas
Friday, April 2, 2021 | 5:00 pm PDT | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
  • Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in creative writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE,” and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color. In Aiden’s debut novel, Cemetery Boys, a trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave.

Fall 2020 Literary Series

Laura Mimosa Montes
Lara Mimosa Montes

Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 12:15 pm PST | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)

  • Lara Mimosa Montes is the author of THRESHOLES, a meditation on the Bronx of the 70s and 80s, gentrification, trauma, and loss. Her work has appeared in Fence, BOMB, Jacket2, and elsewhere. She is a CantoMundo fellow and has been awarded residencies from Storm King: Shandaken, Marble House Project, and Headlands Center for the Arts. In 2018, Lara was awarded a McKnight Fellowship in Poetry. Currently, she is a senior editor of Triple Canopy and lives in Minnesota.
Fowzia Karimi
Fowzia Karimi
Thursday, October 8, 2020 | 12:15 pm | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
  • Fowzia Karimi is a writer, illustrator, and alumni of the Mills MFA in Creative Writing Program. As Publishers Weekly describes, her illuminated debut novel Above Us the Milky Way “renders a family’s wartime emigration through a polyphonic mix of voices and genres along with evocative color illustrations and photographs.” Karimi also illustrated The Brick House by Micheline Aharonian Marcom and Vagrants & Uncommon Visitors by A. Kendra Greene. She is the recipient of The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and lives in Texas.
West Oakland to West Africa
West Oakland to West Africa
Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 12:15 pm PST | Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
  • This special event welcomes poets and alumni of the Mills MFA in Creative Writing Program where this international exchange first began and celebrates the new anthology Our Spirits Carry Our Voices. As the mission statement describes, “West Oakland to West Africa provides a sustained exchange to connect members of the African diaspora and Africa through creative writing. Our core values are to create a safe place for the transparent healing and growth of Black people; to deliver innovative and authentic forms of writing and to engage the medium of spoken word to shape and define the narratives of the diaspora; to allow a visceral and uncensored critique of social systems through artistic expression.”
Jordy Rosenberg
Jordy Rosenberg in Conversation with Susan Stryker, 2020–22 Barbara Lee Distinguished Professor of Women's Leadership (RSVP to receive the event link)
Thursday, November 5, 2020 | time TBA | mark your calendar
  • Jordy Rosenberg is the author of Confessions of the Fox, a love story set in the eighteenth-century London of notorious thieves and queer subcultures. This genre-bending debut tells a profound story of gender, desire, and liberation which Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, called “Astonishing and mesmerizing.” A New York Times Editors' Choice Selection, Confessions has been shortlisted for multiple awards and was named a best book of 2018 by the New Yorker, Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, LitHub, and others. Rosenberg is a Professor of Literature at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and gender and sexuality studies.

    Co-sponsored by We Are the Voices.