Alum JH Phrydas’ New Book

Kerouac School Alumnus, JH Phrydas’s book Levitations was recently published.

Navigating the subtle ways language (con)forms the body, Levitations spans childhood, community, and love to explore how we might break free from the cultural demands of normalcy. Imagined as “a preface for the work to come,” Levitations unfolds like a sketchbook of emergent architectures, valuing queer hope in a time of vertically integrated and insidiously embodied imperialist rule.

In a recent interview with Entropy, Phrydas had this to say about the process of writing his book:

“I don’t feel like I wrote the book; rather, the book built itself from layers of thought, emotion, and anger up in those woods. Each sentence became a color, composed and itemized, and then, during the final months of writing, I would drag my eyes and pen across the entirety of the manuscript—every day from start to finish—as if editing with a comb. If something caught, a strange texture felt against the eyes, the pen, I would slide it away until it stuck somewhere else. Levitations became a sort of Gerhard Richter abstract painting in prose:”

Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Painting) 2005 30cm x 44 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 894-16 Oil on Alu Dibond
Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Painting) 2005 30cm x 44 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 894-16 Oil on Alu Dibond

Levitations is available for purchase through Timeless, Infinite Light and through Small Press Distribution.

Kerouac School Hosts Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow Hoa Nguyen

Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow Hoa Nguyen


Naropa University is excited to host a lecture and reading by Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow Hoa Nguyen on Monday, February 8, 2016. This event will take place at 7:30 in the Performance Art Center (PAC) on the Arapahoe Campus, 2130 Arapahoe Boulder, CO.  Reception following in the Sycamore Conference Room.

Nguyen’s poetry is grounded and astonishing, simple and full of soft sound, and intensely wretched all at once. ​”I think I like poems that are a lot like living, tender and banal.” She has published four full-length books of poetry, including As Long As Trees LastRed Juice, Poems 1998-2008 and, also from Wave Books, Violet Energy Ingots (forthcoming in Fall 2016).

In 2002, Nguyen taught a class at Naropa’s Summer Writing Program called Lost Languages—“an attempt to write toward some never-had tongue. I sometimes think that is why I write poetry. Trying to conjure something barely available, seeking to retrieve it.” Born in Saigon, Nguyen feels a deep connection to the Vietnamese language, and feels it when she hears it as deeply as music, as history.

Nguyen currently teaches poetics at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, where she lives. She also teaches in Miami University’s low residency MFA program and in the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College. She can be found on the web at

For more information about this event, contact Charmain Schuh at or call 303-245-4637.

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities.  Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Matt Peterson at or 303-546-3549.

Coming in April!

Professor J’Lyn Chapman’s book Beastlife will be published by Calamari Archive, Ink. in April 2016. You can read more about Calamari Archive here.

Professor J’Lyn Chapman


On January 25, 2016 – Part 1 of 4
Nalanda Events Center/Nalanda Campus
7:00 p.m./Free/Reception following


Naropa University & Jack Kerouac School for Disembodied Poetics are proud to host writers Liz McGehee (University of Colorado), KT Heins (Colorado State University), Rachel Martin (Naropa University) and a writer soon to be announced (Denver University) at the first reading for this year’s 4×4 Reading Series! This celebration of the local literary community will take place in the Nalanda Events Center on Monday, January 25th at 7:00 p.m. at the Nalanda Campus at 6287 Arapahoe, Boulder, CO 80301.

Liz McGehee is a third year MFA in poetry at CU Boulder, where she teaches creative writing. Her work has been featured in New Delta Review, Cloud Rodeo, The Volta, and elsewhere, and has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize as well as Sundress Press- Best of the Net Anthology. She is also the managing editor of Subito Press and a reader for Timber Journal. Liz McGehee is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, where she lived until Hurricane Katrina. This event and location primarily inform her work.

KT Heins studied journalism, graphic design, and film at the University of Missouri before beginning the MFA Program at Colorado State University, where she has both learned and taught. Her work has been featured in Squawk Back and Rivet Journal. If she isn’t being distracted by cat videos on YouTube, you can find her searching for a pen.

Rachel Parker Martin is a second year MFA student in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. A transplant from Florida, the only thing she loves more than literature and poetry is the sea. She received her Bachelors in English from the Florida State University, studied modern Spanish language and literature at the University of Costa Rica in San José, and has been published in the University of Oklahoma’s literary magazine, the Cameron Review.

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities.  Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Matt Peterson at or 303-546-3549.

SWP Guest Faculty Named one of 2015 National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35”

Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, an alum and Guest Faculty of the Summer Writing Program, was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” You can read more in The Obsever and at the National Book Foundation site.

Here’s a Q&A with all the 2015 Honorees:

Kerouac School Professor Reading in Tokyo Next Week

Michelle Naka Pierce, Professor of Creative Writing & Poetics at Naropa University, will be reading at Cafe Lavanderia in Tokyo, Japan on January 21st. Learn more here.

Eight Monkeys in the Box

Kerouac School Alum Contributes to Season 2 of Transparent

Season 2 of Amazon’s hit series Transparent was recently released – just in time for us to binge watch it over our holiday break. The story revolves around a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that the person they knew as their father (Jeffrey Tambor) is transgender.

Merissa Nathan Gerson, graduate of the MFA in Writing and Poetics at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, served as a consultant for the show – teaching the writers room about inter-generational trauma. Season 2 delves deeply into this topic, which Merissa studied during her time at Naropa.

Since graduating, Merissa has also had work published in various outlets including The Atlantic, Tablet Magazine and Playboy. She also teaches workshops at community centers, rabbi schools and synagogues across the city of Los Angeles about sex and Judaism.

Learn more about her work at