English and Creative Writing Department presents the 2022 Efroymson Creative Writing Reading Series

Cooper Lee, Dawnie Walton, Samuel AceLeft to Right: Cooper Lee, Dawnie Walton, Samuel Ace
The series attracts prestigious, award-winning fiction writers, poets, and nonfiction writers, and this year will feature guest speakers Cooper Lee, Samuel Ace, and Dawnie Walton.

The Efroymson Creative Writing Reading Series is returning to Columbia College Chicago this Spring semester, as one of the city’s most dynamic, aesthetically diverse events of its kind. Hosted by the college’s English and Creative Writing Department, the series attracts prestigious, award-winning fiction writers, poets, and nonfiction writers who perform, engage, and educate on a myriad of topics and traditions.

Columbia’s unique connection to the vibrant cultural and educational district in the South Loop sets the stage for some of the most fascinating, inspiring, and influential conversations on the literary arts, according to CM Burroughs, Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia. Previously, the Creative Writing Reading Series has welcomed more than 50 guest speakers since its inception, and features the work of students, alumni, and faculty.

The first event of the series kicks off on February 17 with Cooper Lee Bombardier. Bombardier is a queer, trans American writer and visual artist, known for his memoir-in-essays, Pass With Care – a finalist for the 2021 Firecracker Award in Nonfiction. His Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology, The Remedy-Essays on Queer Health Issues, and the Lambda-nominated anthology, Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, won a 2018 American Library Associations Stonewall Book Award. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of Kings College, Halifax.

On March 9, the series will continue with trans and genderqueer poet and sound artist Samuel Ace, author of Our Weather O­ur Sea (Black Radish Books, 2019) and Meet Me There: Normal Sex & Home in three days. Don’t wash. (Belladonna* Germinal Texts, 2019). His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in or is forthcoming from Poetry, Aufgabe, Fence, The Atlas Review, Black Clock, Mandorla, Versal, The Collagist, Posit, Vinyl, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, Troubling the Line: Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, Best American Experimental Poetry, and many other publications. He is the recipient of the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund Award in Poetry and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award, as well as a Lambda Literary Award and National Poetry Series finalist. Ace teaches poetry and creative writing at Mount Holyoke College and divides his time between western Massachusetts and Tucson, Arizona.

The final event of the Spring series will feature writer, editor, and author of the novel The Final Revival of Opal & Nev (2021), Dawnie Walton. Her work explores identity, place, and the influence of pop culture. Formerly an editor at Essence and Entertainment Weekly, she has received fellowships in fiction writing from MacDowell and Tin House, and an MFA from the Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has been published in Bon Appetit, the Oxford American, Lithub, and Black Ballad. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband. You can attend Walton’s event on campus in the Ferguson Theater, located at 600 S. Michigan.

This year the Efroymson Fund for Excellence in Creative Writing supports The Efroymson Reading Series, Allium and The Efroymson Editorial Assistantship, which provides a hands-on learning experience with Allium for graduate students. Visit the Efroymson Family Fund website to learn more about their initiatives.

All three events, which will be presented virtually, are free and open to the public. For more information about attending and past guests, visit our website.