[This event has been updated to include Porochista Khakpour, who is replacing Stephen Kuusisto among the guests.]

The Pacific University Masters of Fine Arts in Writing program is thrilled to announce the inaugural event in our new series The Body Chronicles, a three-day online weekend workshop for prose writers, poets, and all writers in-between, featuring Johanna Hedva, Porochista Khakpour, and Sara Nović. 

This workshop, entitled "Abilities, Disabilities, and Life with Chronic Conditions," includes craft talks and generative writing exercises with each featured writer designed to support participants in their explorations of bodies in both literal and more abstract constructs, including sociopolitical, economic, and environmental.

We will host readings with each featured writer and offer opportunities for Q&A sessions led by Pacific MFA students and alumni. The weekend will conclude with a panel discussion designed to spotlight various approaches to writing about our understandings and experiences of ability and disability and the complex natures of habitation in the human form. Live captioning will be available.

Originally conceived as new MFA programming in medical narratives, we have reimagined this as a course in chronicling, to include the notions of experimentation and witnessing. The Body Chronicles will encourage writers to push beyond generic understandings of narrative, and the MFA will foster new avenues for participation in our community among not only our students and alumni, but also members of Pacific's outstanding health professions training programs and creative writers outside our immediate sphere.

• Friday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, on Zoom
• 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time (with midday breaks)

General registration: $350 for the three-day course
Pacific University community*: $175 for the three-day course (discount will appear once you've completed the registration)
*MFA students and alumni and any other participants from within the University

Register Now!

The Body Chronicles featured writers:

Johanna Hedva (they/them/their) is a Korean American writer, artist, and musician, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives in LA and Berlin. Hedva's practice cooks magic, necromancy, and divination together with mystical states of fury and ecstasy, and political states of solidarity and disintegration. They are devoted to deviant forms of knowledge and to doom as a liberatory condition. There is always the body—its radical permeability, dependency, and consociation—but the task is how to eclipse it, how to nebulize it, and how to cope when it inevitably fails. Whether the form is novels, essays, theory, poetry, music, performance, AI, videogames, installation, sculpture, drawing, or trickery, ultimately Hedva's work is different kinds of writing because it is different kinds of language embodied: it is words on a page, screaming in a room, dragging a hand through water.

Porochista Khakpour (she/her) is an Iranian American novelist, essayist, and journalist. She is the critically acclaimed author of Sons and Other Flammable ObjectsThe Last IllusionSick: A Memoir, and most recently, Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity.

Sara Nović (she/they) is the author of the instant New York Times Bestseller True Biz, as well as the books Girl at War and America is Immigrants. She holds and MFA in fiction and literary translation from Columbia University and is an instructor of Deaf Studies and creative writing. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

The series is sponsored by the Pacific MFA in Writing Program. For more information or to request specific accessibility needs, please contact Director Scott Korb: smkorb@pacificu.edu.

Contact Us

Scott Korb (he/him/his) | Director | MFA in Writing
718-813-6428 | smkorb@pacificu.edu | Ig | scottkorb.com
Pacific University | 530 NW 12th Avenue | Portland, OR 97209