Visiting Poet Next Up in Ofstad Series


Poet Arisa White will give a reading of her work at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Baldwin Hall Little Theatre.

As part of the Clayton B. Ofstad Readings Series, White’s presentation is sponsored by the Department of English and Linguistics. It is free and open to the public.

White is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of the poetry chapbooks “Disposition for Shininess,” “Post Pardon” and “Black Pearl.” Her debut full-length collection, “Hurrah’s Nest,” was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards and 82nd California Book Awards, was and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Her second collection, “A Penny Saved,” was inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell. Her newest collection is “You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened.”

White was awarded a 2013-14 Cultural Funding grant from the City of Oakland to create the libretto and score for “Post Pardon: The Opera,” and received, in that same year, an Investing in Artists grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation to fund the dear Gerald project, which takes a personal and collective look at absent fathers.
Selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List, White is a member of the PlayGround writers’ pool. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, she has also received residencies, fellowships or scholarships from Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2005, 2014 and 2016, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording “Word” with the Jessica Jones Quartet.

A native New Yorker, living in Oakland, Calif., White serves on the board of directors for Nomadic Press. She is a faculty advisor in the low-residency BFA creative writing program at Goddard College and was a visiting scholar at San Francisco State University’s The Poetry Center, where she developed a digital special collections on black women poets in The Poetry Center Archives. For the Spring 2017 semester, the graduate creative writing program at Saint Mary’s College of California welcomed White as the distinguished visiting poet in residence.