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Creative Writing Program Hosts Readings to Open New Residency

The Red Earth MFA creative writing program at Oklahoma City University is hosting reading events to introduce its next residency beginning in January.

The program’s visiting writers will present a reading at the Paramount Screening Room on Film Row at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 4, and the faculty will present a literary reading at Urban Roots restaurant at 7 p.m. Jan. 6. Both readings are free to the public and books will be available for purchase and signing.

 The Red Earth MFA’s visiting writers are Laura Moriarty and Joy Harjo.

Moriarty was awarded the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy. She wrote four novels — “The Center of Everything” (2003), “The Rest of Her Life” (2007), “While I'm Falling” (2009) and “The Chaperone” (2012), an Oprah Fall Reading choice. Moriarty received her master's degree from the University of Kansas and returned there to become a professor of creative writing. Read more about her books on her website at

Harjowas born in Tulsa and is an internationally known poet, performer, writer and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. Her seven books of poetry include “How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems,” “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” and “She Had Some Horses,” all published by W.W. Norton. Her poetry has garnered many awards including the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, 1998 Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Harjo's most recent book, a memoir titled “Crazy Brave,” received a 2013 American Book Award and the 2013 PEN Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction.

The Paramount is located at 701 W. Sheridan.

Nationally-recognized authors participating in the faculty reading will be Allison Amend, author of “A Nearly Perfect Copy”; Lou Berney, author of “Whiplash River”; Kerry Cohen, author of “Seeing Ezra: A Mother's Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal”; Quraysh Ali Lansana, author of “mystic turf”; Kat Meads, author of “For You, Madam Lenin”; and Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, author of “Work Is Love Made Visible.”

The writers will be available after the reading for discussions and book signing. Urban Roots is located at 322 N.E. Second St. in the Deep Deuce district.

The Red Earth MFA is a low-residency creative writing program designed for those who want to earn an advanced degree while maintaining their home life and career. More information about the Red Earth MFA faculty and their publications is available on the program’s website at