Taubman

ABOUT



“When I was a student working toward my MFA in Writing, esteemed authors visited campus. Listening to and mingling with these individuals had a huge impact on my creative outlook. To gain inspiration in such a way is empowering. It gives me great pleasure to offer this opportunity to the UCSB community.”

-Diana Raab



Diana Raab is the award-winning author of nine books, including the 2014 poetry collection Lust. She recognizes the transformative power of writing for both the writer and the reader. Thanks to the generous support of Diana and Simon Raab, the UC Santa Barbara community has the opportunity to engage with some of today’s most dynamic authors. Through The Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Series, creative writers, humanities scholars, journalists, and filmmakers explore the craft of writing with UCSB students in an intimate classroom setting. While in residence, the writers also deliver a public lecture or reading for the Santa Barbara community.

The Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Series is based at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC), one of the most active and innovative humanities centers in the country. The IHC organizes lectures, seminars and conferences and sponsors an annual series on an issue of social consequence. It also supports interdisciplinary research groups, hosts artist residencies and offers a variety of humanities courses, including a writing workshop for student veterans and military dependents. The Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Series is copresented by the UCSB Writing Program. Serving more than 7,000 students each year, the Program’s courses focus on study of and practice with writing in academic, professional, and civic contexts. Recognized nationally for its innovative theoretical and practical approach, the Writing Program was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

The 2017-2018 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence was internationally renowned poet Yusef Komunyakaa. Komunyakaa gave a public reading at the UCSB MultiCultural Center Theater on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (1994), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Komunyakaa’s other works include Warhorses (2008); Taboo: The Wishbone Trilogy, Part 1 (2006); Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999 (2001); Talking Dirty to the Gods (2000); and Thieves of Paradise (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent collections of poetry include The Chameleon Couch (2011), Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2013), and Emperor of Water Clocks (2015). He is the author of Gilgamesh: A Verse Play (2006), and, in collaboration with composer T.J. Anderson, the opera libretto Slip Knot . In 2011 Komunyakaa was awarded the Wallace Stevens Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other honors and awards, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently he serves as Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program.

The 2015-16 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence was best-selling memoirist, poet and essayist Mary Karr. Karr gave a public reading at UCSB on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM in UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion. Karr’s most recent publication, The Art of Memoir, features excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experiences. The Art of Memoir breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir and expands our concepts of memory and identity, illuminating the cathartic power of reflecting on the past. Karr is the author of the memoirs The Liars’ Club, Cherry and Lit, and the poetry collections Sinners Welcome, Viper Rum, The Devil’s Tour and Abacus.

The 2014-15 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence was Booker International Prize winner Lydia Davis. Davis is a fiction writer, essayist and translator of literature. Her short story collections include Can’t and Won’t (2014) and Varieties of Disturbance (2007). Davis’ translations include Proust’s Swann’s Way and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Davis gave a public reading at UCSB on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

The inaugural Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Series was novelist and memoirist Gary Shteyngart. Shteyngart gave a public reading on Thursday, April 10 at 8:00 PM at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. This event was copresented by UCSB Arts and Lectures. Shteyngart is the author of Little Failure: A Memoir, and the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. Shteyngart’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, GQ and The New York Times Magazine.

Past Events

2016 - 2017

The 2017 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence: Yusef Komunyakaa

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 / 7:00 PM
MultiCultural Center Theater
FREE

This year’s Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence is internationally renowned poet Yusef Komunyakaa. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (1994), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Komunyakaa’s other works include Warhorses (2008); Taboo: The Wishbone Trilogy, Part 1 (2006); Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999 (2001); Talking Dirty to the Gods (2000); and Thieves of Paradise (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent collections of poetry include The Chameleon Couch (2011), Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2013), and Emperor of Water Clocks (2015). He is the author of Gilgamesh: A Verse Play (2006), and, in collaboration with composer T.J. Anderson, the opera libretto Slip Knot.

In 2011 Komunyakaa was awarded the Wallace Stevens Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other honors and awards, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently he serves as Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program.

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Komunyakaa served in the Vietnam War as a correspondent; he was managing editor of the Southern Cross during the war, for which he received a Bronze Star. He earned a BA from the University of Colorado Springs on the GI Bill, an MA from Colorado State University, and an MFA from the University of California-Irvine.

Books will be available for signing after the talk.

Sponsored by the Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Program, created to bring distinguished practitioners of the craft of writing to the UCSB community. Co-presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Writing Program.

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2015 - 2016

Reading: The 2016 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence: Mary Karr

Mary Karr (The Liars’ Club, The Art of Memoir)
Wednesday, February 10 / 7:00 PM
UCSB Corwin Pavilion
FREE

This year’s Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence is best-selling memoirist, poet and essayist Mary Karr. Her most recent publication, The Art of Memoir, features excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experiences. The Art of Memoir breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir and expands our concepts of memory and identity, illuminating the cathartic power of reflecting on the past.

Karr is the author of the memoirs The Liars’ Club, Cherry and Lit, and the poetry collections Sinners Welcome, Viper Rum, The Devil’s Tour and Abacus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and Parnassus. She is the recipient of prizes from PEN and Best American Poetry, and she has won Pushcart Prizes both for poetry and for essays. Her grants and fellowships include the Whiting Writer’s Award and a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship, as well as grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. Karr is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University.

Courtesy of Chaucer’s Books, copies of Karr’s books will be available for purchase and signing.

Sponsored by the Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Program, created to bring distinguished practitioners of the craft of writing to the UCSB community. Co-presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Writing Program.

Click here to listen to a recording of Mary Karr’s talk for the IHC series The Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Series

Read more about Mary Karr’s visit in the UCSB Current here.

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2014 - 2015

reading: The 2015 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence

Lydia Davis (translator of Swann’s Way and author of Can’t and Won’t)
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 / 7:00 PM
UCSB Corwin Pavilion
FREE

This year’s Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence will be Booker International Prize winner Lydia Davis.  Davis will read from her latest collection of stories, Can’t and Won’t, which appeared last spring.  She will also read new work and talk about the writing process, including how her work as translator affects her own writing.  A fiction writer, essayist and translator of literature, Davis’ short story collections include Varieties of Disturbance (2007) and Break It Down (1986). Her translations include Proust’s Swann’s Way and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Courtesy of Chaucer’s Books, copies of Davis’ books will be available for purchase and signing.

Sponsored by the Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Program, created to bring distinguished practitioners of the craft of writing to the UCSB community. Co-presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Writing Program.

• Read More

2013 - 2014

talk: An Evening with Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart (author, Super Sad True Love Story, Little Failure)
Thursday, April 10 / 8:00 PM
Campbell Hall, UCSB
FREE

UC Santa Barbara is pleased to welcome Gary Shteyngart as the inaugural Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence.  He will read selections from latest book, Little Failure: A Memoir, which was published in January 2014.  Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. He is the author of the novels Super Sad True Love Story, which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and was selected as one of the best books of the year by more than forty news journals and magazines around the world; Absurdistan, which was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Time magazine; and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction.  His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications and has been translated into twenty-six languages.

Courtesy of Chaucer’s Books, copies of Shteyngart’s books will be available for purchase and signing.

Sponsored by the Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Program, created to bring distinguished practitioners of the craft of writing to the UCSB community. Co-presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Writing Program, and UCSB Arts and Lectures.

• Read More

 
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