Home >> The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series - Spring 2020
living writers series

The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series, conjointly with the Department of English and Comparative Literature, invite you to the following events that are free and open to the public:

Mimi Lok

Mimi Lok

The Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading
Wednesday, February 19th at 7 p.m. in Love Library, Room 430

Each semester, thanks to an endowment created by her family and friends, the Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading honors the memory of SDSU alumna, Laurie Matsueda Okuma. Award-winning author and Executive Director and Editor of Voice of Witness, Mimi Lok, will read from her debut short fiction collection, Last of Her Name, as part of the Laurie Okuma Memorial Series. Lok is the recipient of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Award for Fiction, a finalist for the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize for nonfiction.

Talk me through it. Words unlock, wooed from their moorings; leave the finite, the solid. Dreams: black streets without temperature and my fingertips pressed against the sky, tracing circles, looking for evidence of travelers.

--"Wedding Night" (From, Last of Her Name)

Margaret McMullan

Margaret McMullan

Wednesday, February 26th at 7 p.m. in Love Library, Room 430

Award-winning author and NEA Creative Writing Fellow, Margaret McMullan, will share excerpts from her recent memoir, Where the Angels Lived: One Family's Story of Exile, Loss, and Return, which Joyce Carol Oates lauds as "A powerful testament to familial mourning...both searing and uplifting." McMullan is the author of nine books including the young adult novel, Sources of Light, and the anthology, Every Father's Daughter. She received a Fulbright professorship in Hungary to research her memoir.

We have turned our clocks seven hours ahead. History has already taken place. What has happened has happened. Early in the morning the sun will rise orange and pink, mist coming up all around the ancient walls that surround this city. The family secrets I hope to uncover promise to be exotic, maybe even pleasantly global, for, as I learned in the South, dead relatives are much easier to handle than the living.

--From, Where the Angels Lived

Hari Alluri

Hari Alluri

Wednesday, March 11th at 7 p.m. in Love Library, Room 430

SDSU MFA Program Alumnus, Hari Alluri, will read from his poetry collection, the Flayed City. Alluri is an award-winning poet, educator, and teaching artist. He holds fellowships from Las Dos Brujas and VONA/Voices. He is a founding editor at Locked Horn Press, where he has co-edited two anthologies, Gendered and Written: Forums on Poetics and Read America(s): An Anthology.

What is a man
in a time of drought?
Is a hunter
a man with arms to sky?
I, a cup, which is a man,
I beg.
I beg, give water
to my prey.

--"To Question, To Seduce" (From, the Flayed City)

Lance Olsen

Lance Olsen

Wednesday, March 18th at 7 p.m. in Love Library, Room 430

Acclaimed author, Lance Olsen, will share selections from his most recent novel, My Red Heaven, which author Carole Maso describes as "Alluring, heartbreaking, and haunted." Olsen has written more than twenty books. His short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies. He has received the Guggenheim Prize, Berlin Prize, Pushcart Prize, and NEA Fellowships.

There is no need to compose any more poems, it strikes one of the passengers aboard that flight as he squints down at Berlin blanketing below.

Forests and lakes dwindle into canals and railroad tracks fissuring among factory smokestacks, warehouses, red-roofed housing blocks, the bunched commotion of Potsdamerplatz through silver haze.

There is no need to compose any more poems, it strikes him, because everything has already become a poem.

He sets a square of chocolate-covered marzipan on his tongue to reward himself for the insight. Flinches as the sugar tinfoils his molars. This is how as much as a kilo of the stuff disappears into him every day. Chocolate tastes, he wants to say, casting for a metaphor, like love.

--"chocolate: the heat of our thoughts" (From, My Red Heaven)

Susana Nied

Susanna Nied

Wednesday, April 8th at 7 p.m. in Love Library, Room 430

Writer and translator, Susanna Nied will discuss the art of translation and read her award-winning translations of Denmark's poet/essayist Inger Christensen. Nied studied for a year in Denmark before completing a B.A. and an M.A. in English/Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. Her translations of Inger Christensen, published by New Directions, have earned the PEN/American-Scandinavian Translation Prize, the Academy of American Poets Howard Morton Landon Translation Award, and Poetry magazine's John Frederick Nims Memorial Translation Prize.

see a morningpale star
gleams above like a brain
that is almost used up and burned up
too diffuse to recall
a man's and a woman's
union in their wingless flight
in a sweet-scented meadow
a summerwarm bed

--Inger Christensen, From alphabet (translated by Susanna Nied)

MFA Graduate Student Reading

MFA Graduate Student Reading

Wednesday, April 22nd at 7 p.m. in Scripps Cottage

Celebrate the impending graduation of MFA Program candidates in Creative Writing and hear from their culminating works in both poetry and prose.

Harold Jaffe

Harold Jaffe

Wednesday, April 29th at 7 p.m. in Love Library, Room 430

Prolific author and SDSU Professor, Harold Jaffe, will share selections from his most recent book, Porn-anti-Porn, which is a brilliantly nuanced interrogation of current culture's schizophrenic manipulation of the human body. Jaffe is the author of nearly thirty books of fiction, non-fiction, and "docufiction." His work has been translated widely and he has been interviewed in the US and abroad. He is the editor-in-chief of Fiction International.

Bruno Bettelheim recounts the story of a young Jewess, formerly a gifted dancer, imprisoned in Auschwitz.

Stripped naked, with her head shaved, in a queue with other Jewish girls and women stripped, shaved, en-route to the gas, the Gestapo officer addresses her.

"I am informed that you were a dancer. Dance for me."

Without hesitation she commences to dance deliberately, seductively, gliding toward the mesmerized Nazi officer.

Removing the luger from his holster she shoots him dead.

--"Dance" From, Porn-anti-Porn