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UC Merced 2024 Creative Writing Collaboratorium

Saturday, April 6, 2024 

Jennifer GivhanThis year’s Creative Writing Collaboratorium at UC Merced features poeta and novelista Jennifer Givhan, author of 3 novels and 5 poetry collections, including River Woman, River Demon and Belly to the Brutal.

The Collaboratorium will start at UC Merced with a full day of workshops taught by Central Valley-based writers, then move to the Mainzer Theater in Downtown Merced for Jennifer Givhan’s reading. All events are free and open to the public.

Workshop location: Classroom Office Building 2 (check-in: COB2 - Room 290)

The event is organized by the UC Merced Merritt Writing Program and is made possible by funding from UC Merced’s Center for the Humanities and the Office of Equity, Justice, and Inclusive Excellence.

About Our Keynote

Jennifer Givhan is a Mexican-American and Indigenous poet and novelist from the Southwestern desert. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices, she is the author of five full-length poetry collections and three novels, most recently River Woman, River Demon, chosen for Amazon’s Book Club, as a National Together We Read Library Pick, and featured on CBS Mornings. It also won a Silver Medal for the International Latino Book Award in the Rudolfo Anaya Latino-Focused Fiction category. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, POETRY, TriQuarterly, The Boston Review, The Rumpus, Salon, Ploughshares, and many others. She’s received the Southwest Book Award and Cutthroat’s Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, among many others. The 2023 Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at The University of New Mexico, Givhan lives in Albuquerque with her family.


2024 Creative Writing Collaboratorium Schedule

Saturday April 6th

Workshops: 9:30-3:30, UC Merced - View Full Descriptions of Workshops.  Registration now open!

Workshop location: Classroom Office Building 2 (check-in: COB2 - Room 290)

10 AM-11:30 AM

  • Finding Your Frequency: The Power of Connection in Podcastin with Andrew Burkum
  • Identity, Aesthetic, and Intrigue: Creating Your Signature with Summer Krafft
  • Balancing Between the Real and Surreal with Jennifer Givhan
  • Poems as Maps of Adversities and Guides to Self-Understanding with Maricela Martinez


  • Sacred Ink: Healing Trauma Through Transformative Writing with Juan Luzuriaga
  • Make, Break & Repair with Sherre Vernon
  • Storytelling and Body Presence with Tanisha McClain
  • Narrative Journalism with Ian Whitaker

2:00 PM-3:30 PM

  • The Future of Worldbuilding: Writing for Emerging Media and Technology with Christa Fraser
  • Rhymes with Revol: Rap, Poetry, and Mastering Creative Flow with Orlin Francisco Reyes “Revol”
  • The Cards We’re Dealt: A Generative Writing Workshop with Angelina Leaños 

Jennifer Givhan Reading: 7 PM, Mainzer Theater, 655 West Main, Downtown Merced - no registration required

For more information, contact Dawn Trook at

cover of Belly to the Brutal by Jennifer Givhancover of River Woman River Demon by Jennifer Givhan