CSULA Department of English | Events

At 6:30pm on Thursday, September 27, poet and editor Nii Ayikwei Parkes will host readings from and a discussion of x-24: unclassified. Readings by three writers will explore and reaffirm the place of poetic metaphor in fiction, and Parkes, Cal State LA's 2007 British Council Poet in Residence, will give a brief introductory talk on the subject. The event will be held in the John F. Kennedy Library Conference Room B530. Click here to display a campus map showing the location of the JFK Library at Cal State LA.

Click here to read more about x-24: unclassified

Click here to read more about the participants

This event is sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, the Department of English and the College of Arts and Letters, and is open to faculty, students, staff, and the general public.

For more information, call the Cal State L.A. English Department at (323) 343-4140.

About the Collection

x-24: unclassified (ISBN-13: 978-0954157012, March 2007) is an anthology showcasing some of the finest emerging writers in the world from Ecuador, Morocco, Peru, Ghana, UK, Nigeria and the US. The collection is edited by  Tash Aw (Whitbread Prize winning author of The Harmony Silk Factory) and Nii Ayikwei Parkes (co-founder of the Tell Tales short story initiative) under flipped eye publishing limited's recently acquired lubin & kleyner imprint.

A review of a recent reading: http://www.theshortstory.org.uk/features/index.php4?features_id=19

Whether it's an organic seed distributor entrapping an errant lover with a replica pre-Columbian Aztec artefact bought in Chicago, or a blind beggar scrambling for change at a South American crossroads, the fifteen stories in the anthology bubble with range and urgency. The writers, Niki Aguirre, Daniel Alarcón (Whiting Award winner), Naomi Alderman (Orange Award winner), Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Sefi Atta (Caine Prize Shortlist), Julia Bell, Gaylene Gould, Peter Hobbs (Whitbread Prize Shortlist & Betty Trask Award), Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Jennifer Kabat, Laila Lalami (Caine Prize Shortlist), Ken Nash, Claire Sharland, t. tara turk, and Clare Wigfall may be at different stages of their careers, but they share a key trait – they are absolutely compelling story tellers. (editorial description of the book)

"This is a rare anthology that is as much a celebration of new literary talent as it is of the range and internationalism of contemporary English literature." – Hisham Matar, author of Booker-shortlisted In the Country of Men.

About the Participants

Niki Aguirre was born in the US and has lived in Chicago, Ecuador, Cadiz and London. She studied English Literature at The University of Illinois and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. Some of Niki's main literary heroes are are Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Ginsburg, Anne Sexton, W.H Auden and T.S Eliot and their influence is obvious in the intense lyricism of her prose. She is currently working on a collection of short stories, 29 Ways to Drown, to be published in late 2007.

Image of Niki Aguirre


Image of Jen Kabat

Jennifer Kabat lives between London and rural upstate New York where she is just completing her first collection of stories, They Mimic Our Greater Selves. She writes about art, architecture and design and has contributed to the Guardian, Wired, Metropolis, Wallpaper and New York Magazine. She's also served as an editor at The Face, Arena and the American design magazine ID. In 2003 she received an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia.


Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco. She earned her B.A. in English from Universite Mohammed V in Rabat, her M.A. from University College, London, and her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Southern California. The metaphoric strength of her stories is inspired in part by her love for the work of poets such as Abdellatif Laabi, Pablo Neruda, and Mahmoud Darwish. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe , The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts grant and a Fulbright Fellowship. Her debut book of fiction, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, was published in the fall of 2005 and has since been translated into five languages. She was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2006. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside.

Image of Laila Lalami


Image of Nii Parkes

Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a Ghanaian writer and editor based in London. He is known mainly as a poet and is the author of three chapbook, but he has also had short stories published from Ghana to Canada, and he was co-founder with Courttia Newland of the Tell Tales short story initiative. Nii is the senior editor at flipped eye publishing limited.


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