PNCA's Low Residency Creative Writing January 2024 Residency Talks, Workshops, Readings, and Performances

December 11, 2023

PNCA's Low Residency Creative Writing January 2024 Residency Talks, Workshop, Readings, and Performances include new faculty Jennifer S Cheng, Megan Milks, Lara Mimosa Montes, and Emilly Prado and Guest Artist Gabrielle Civil. 

Descriptions of Conversations, Classes, and Workshops

PNCA’s Low Residency Creative Writing Program

January Residency, 2024

All times are PST

All Events are Free and open to the Public. Email Jay Ponteri for Zoom links. ( 

Faculty Co-Conversations (Room 413, 511 Building)

Wednesday, January 3 : 9 am PST

Voices Carry

Jay Ponteri-Alejandro de Acosta

Thursday, January 4 : 9 am PST

Making and Remaking the Manuscript: Revision and Autonomy

Megan Milks-Emilly Prado

Friday, January 5 : 9 am PST

Ugly Feelings, Strange Sensations: disorientation and estrangement as daily practice

Jess Arndt-Lara Mimosa Montes

Saturday, January : 9 am PST

Writing Letters to Ghosts

Jennifer S. Cheng


Tuesday, January 2 : 6 pm PST  511 Building Room 413

Alejandro de Acosta, Jennifer S Cheng, Vi Khi Nao

Wednesday, January 3 : 6 pm PST at 511 Building Room 413

Jay Ponteri, Adie B. Steckel, & Sara Sutter

Thursday, January 4 : 6 pm PST at Nationale Gallery

Jess Arndt, Megan Milks, Lara Mimosa Montes, Emilly Prado


Monday, January 8, 6-8 pm PST at 511 Building, Lemelson Innovation Studio

Black Weirdo School (Pop--Up Critique)

Performance by Gabrielle Civil

In need of an ART BOOST with a jolt of Black Feminism? Join Gabrielle Civil in Black Weirdo School (Pop Up Critique)! There you will witness, experiment, study, and play with other artists/creatives/weirdos. Make sure to bring a LIVING OBJECT with you—something representing your creative practice, something you can bear to have appreciated, something suitable for the classroom! Part workshop, part ritual, part improvisation, this show will activate instant art education and recharge your CREATIVE ENERGY.

Faculty / Guest Artist Bios

Alejandro de Acosta is a teacher, writer, and translator, still in no particular order. His most recent teaching includes private tutoring in literature and philosophy. His most recent writing includes a manuscript of poems and a novel, finally. His most recent translations include poems by Macedonio Fernández, Alberto Laiseca, and Paulo de Jolly. Alejandro lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Jess Arndt is a transgenre writer seeking protuberant forms. Their debut story collection Large Animals (Catapult/Cipher) was shortlisted for the California Book Prize and their writing has recently surfaced in Conjunctions, Granta, LARB, Fence, BOMB, and in performance collaborations with The Knife. They are a co-founder of the prose experiment, New Herring Press, and when not teaching at University of Idaho, Moscow, live off-grid on an island in Washington State. 


Slobber and Drool 

Jennifer S. Cheng’s work includes poetry, lyric essay, and image-text forms, exploring immigrant home-building, shadow poetics, and the interior wilderness. Her hybrid book MOON: LETTERS, MAPS, POEMS (2018) was selected by Bhanu Kapil for the Tarpaulin Sky Award and named a Publishers Weekly “Best Book of 2018.” She is also the author of HOUSE A, selected by Claudia Rankine for the Omnidawn Poetry Prize, and INVOCATION: AN ESSAY, an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press. A former National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has received awards and fellowships from Brown University, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, the U.S. Fulbright program, Kundiman, Bread Loaf, MacDowell, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she lives in San Francisco. 

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, poet, and writer, originally from Detroit, MI. Her recent performances include  Black Weirdo School (Pop Up Critique) (2023), the déjà vu—live (2022) and Jupiter (2021). Her performance memoirs include Swallow the Fish (2017), Experiments in Joy (2019), (ghost gestures) (2021), and the déjà vu (2022). Her writing also appears in New Daughters of Africa, Teaching Black, Kitchen Table Translation and A Mouth Holds Many Things: A De-Canon Hybrid Lit Collection. A 2023 Franconia Performance Fellow, she earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. The aim of her work is to open up space.

Q&A with Gabrielle Civil

Gabrielle Civil and Steffani Jemison in Conversation: On Navigating Multiplicity

Megan Milks is the author of Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body (Feminist Press, 2021), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Fiction, and Slug and Other Stories (Feminist Press, 2021), a revised second edition of their award-winning collection Kill Marguerite. Their personal history of early online music fandom, Tori Amos Bootleg Webring, was published in 2021 as part of Instar Books’ Remember the Internet series. With Marisa Crawford, they co-edited the anthology We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (Chicago Review Press, 2021); with KJ Cerankowski, they co-edited the academic volume Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives (Routledge, 2014; second edition forthcoming 2024). Their essays and criticism have been published in The New York Times, 4Columns, Bookforum, and many other venues. They live in Brooklyn and teach writing at The New School. 

Lara Mimosa Montes is a writer, editor, and teaching artist whose practices span the fields of alternative publishing and experimental writing. She is the author of THRESHOLES (Coffee House Press, 2020) and The Somnambulist (Horse Less Press, 2016). Her writing has appeared in BOMB, Futurepoem, Fence, The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art, and elsewhere. In 2018, she was awarded a CantoMundo Fellowship as well as a McKnight Fellowship in Poetry. She teaches in XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement Master’s program at NYU, and divides her time between Minneapolis and New York. Her writing practice gravitates toward processes and phenomena that exhibit change or transformation as their defining features.

VI KHI NAO is the author of many books and is known for her work spanning poetry, fiction, play, film, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Her forthcoming novel, The Italian Letters, is scheduled for publication by Melville House in 2024. In the same year, she will release a co-authored manuscript titled, The Six Tones of Water with Sun Yung Shin, through Ricochet. Recognized as a former Black Mountain Institute fellow, Vi Khi Nao received the Jim Duggins, PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize in 2022.

Vi Khi Nao's Twitter

Vi Khi Nao's Instagram

Vi Khi Nao's Facebook

Jay Ponteri directed the creative writing program at Marylhurst University from 2008-2018 and is now the program head of PNCA’s Low-Residency Creative Writing program. His book of creative nonfiction Someone Told Me has just been published by Widow+Orphan House. He’s also the author of Darkmouth Inside Me (Future Tense Books, 2014) and Wedlocked (Hawthorne Books, 2013), which received an Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Two of Ponteri’s essays, “Listen to this” and “On Navel Gazing” have earned “Notable Mentions” in Best American Essay Anthologies. His work has also appeared in many literary journals: Dismantle, Gaze, Ghost Proposal, Eye-Rhyme, Seattle Review, Forklift, Ohio, Knee-Jerk, Cimarron Review, Tin House, Clackamas Literary Review, While teaching at Marylhurst, Ponteri was twice awarded the Excellence in Teaching & Service Award. In 2007, Ponteri founded Show:Tell, The Workshop for Teen Artist and Writers, now part of summer programming at Portland's Independent Publishing Resource Center ( on whose Resource Council he serves. He teaches memoir classes at Literary Arts. He lives in Portland.

Emilly Prado is an award-winning author and journalist, educator, and DJ living in Portland, Oregon. Her debut essay collection, Funeral for Flaca, was a winner of a 2022 Pacific Northwest Book Award and a 2021 bronze winner of the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in Essays, amongst other honors. Her multimedia journalism and essays have appeared in 30+ publications including NPR, Marie Claire, and Eater. She has earned fellowships in nonfiction from the 2023 Sewanee Writers Conference, journalism from the 2018 Emerging Journalists, Community Stories fellowship (awarded in partnership with Oregon Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Pulitzer Prizes), and a Blackburn Fellowship from Randolph College where she received her MFA. Emilly has worked with students of all ages in settings such as public high schools, universities, MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, and literary organizations including Tin House, Lighthouse, Corporeal Writing, Literary Arts, and the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a Tin House and Las Dos Brujas alum, and a co-founder of BIPOC arts non-profit Portland in Color and Latiné DJ collective Noche Libre.

Adie Steckel is a writer, editor, and community archivist based in Portland, Oregon. They co-edit the nonprofit press and literary record label Fonograf Editions and work for an HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ health and social services agency, Cascade AIDS Project. For Fonograf, they curate and edit The Woodberry Sessions, a series of archival poetry LPs produced in collaboration with Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room, including John Ashbery Live at Sanders Theatre, 1976, and Audre Lorde at Fassett Studio, 1970. At Cascade AIDS Project, they serve on the committee managing the region's largest HIV/AIDS archive, held at the Oregon Historical Society. Their writing appears at Annulet: A Journal of Poetics, Full Stop, Old Pal Mag, Tagvverk, Variable West, and elsewhere.

Sara Jannette Sutter is a writer, educator, student, and psychonaut based in Portland, OR.  Sara holds a BA in philosophy, an MFA in Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, and is now in their second year at California Institute of Integral Studies, where they are focusing on somatic and psychedelic-assisted therapy. Sara teaches literature and creative writing at University of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Craft, Willamette University, and virtually at Harrisburg Area Community College. While Sara’s most recent writings have been toward fulfilling academic requirements, published works appear in Fence, the Seattle Review, Nailed Magazine, and others, along with her chapbooks, O to Be a Dragon (Finishing Line Press 2016) and Sirenomelia (Poor Claudia 2013). Sara is slowly at work on a new hybrid project that explores the generative and spiritual qualities of trauma.