Louis Armstrong House Museum Fellowship Reading – 5/25

05/25/2024 – 1:00 pm
The Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street
Queens, NY 11368

Each year, the Queens College MFA Program partners with the Louis Armstrong House Museum to create a residency for two of our students. During this time, each writer conducts research on any aspect of the materials in the archives that relate to or revolve around Louis Armstrong’s larger-than-life story and magnificent musical career, with the intention of developing their own creative work. This reading, in Louis’ own garden, is the culmination of their work.

This year’s fellows Nina DalleyHood and Danielle Gutkovich will read from the creative works they developed in conjunction with their time in the archives. Afterward, a small reception will take place, featuring tours of Louis Armstrong’s actual house.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) sustains and promotes the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong by preserving and interpreting Armstrong’s house and grounds, collecting and sharing archival materials that document Armstrong’s life and legacy, developing programs for the public that educate and inspire, and engaging with contemporary artists to create performances and new works.

Events News

The Queens Review Launch Party – 5/18

Our very own Queens Review is having a launch party to celebrate its inaugural issue on Saturday, May 18th at 7PM in Kew & Willow Books. The launch will feature surprise guest readings by contributors and copies of the beautiful print edition (published simultaneously with the web edition) will be for sale, care of Kew & Willow Books.

Queens Review is a renewal of our program’s literary journal; it replaces our long-standing journal Armstrong Literary with a new vision to engage the multiplicity of culture and language, which is the essence of Queens, and connect those stories with the larger literary world. This issue is already yielding big results, with contributions by Cynthia Cruz, Diane Seuss, Stevie Edwards, and Rajiv Mohabir.

The Queens Review is a journal based in Queens: a borough with a multiplicity of cultures, languages, and experiences. Rather than present a single unified voice, we aim to express the varied landscapes around us as well as our own internal terrain. Founded by students and faculty of the Queens College MFA in Creative Writing and Literary TranslationThe Queens Review is interested in work that pushes boundaries –– on an emotional level as well as a linguistic one –– poems, stories, translations, and fragments that scatter, ground, croon, and devastate.

Submissions for Issue 2 should open in the fall, but you can read the first issue on the QR website:


Nadia Misir in Exhibition May 5th

Sunday, May 5th, 2024
12pm – 5pm
@ Oyate Group
276 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

MFA alum Nadir Misir will be taking part in an exhibition of Indo-Caribbean visual artists and writers, called Indian Arrival | Indentured Survival, at the Oyate Group headquarters in The Bronx. The exhibit, opening on May 5th, will feature art and literature by the descendants of indentured Indo-Caribbean peoples in celebration of Indian Arrival Month.

Oyate Group (derived from the Dakota language, meaning “people”) is a New York City-based nonprofit organization with the mission to alleviate poverty. The exhibition, curated by Indo-Guyanese artist Raqeebah Zaman, seeks to alleviate poverty through education and information.

Register for the event here:


4/30 – Brainstorm: Sedarat & Coloff

Tuesday, April 30 at 7PM
Pete’s Candy Store
709 Lorimer St.
Brooklyn, NY

Grab your thinking caps because the next Brainstorm is coming your way, featuring poet Roger Sedarat (Haji As Puppet: An Orientalist Burlesque) and musician Leah Coloff (The Secret City).

Brainstorm is a reading series organized by grad students from the
Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation.
Come hear writers you know, meet writers you might like to know, and
perhaps be introduced to your future favorite author.


A Reading by Birdhouse Prize Winner Hannah Lee

Tuesday, April 16, 7PM
(Reception at 6:30PM)
QC Art Center, Rosenthal Library 612
Moderated by Peter Vanderberg
In-person, or via Zoom:

Join us as we celebrate the latest winner of the Birdhouse Prize from Ghostbird Press, Hannah Lee! She’ll be reading from her award-winning chapbook, On the Other Side of the Magpie, along with past winners Joe Gross and Francesca Hyatt.

Ghostbird Press is a small, independent chapbook press that publishes collaborations of writing and visual art. Peter Vanderberg, a fellow QC MFA alum, offers the annual Birdhouse Prize to graduating QC MFA students, resulting in a gorgeous full-color chapbook for the winner.

If you can’t make it to campus for this wonderful event for the QC community, we hope you can join us over Zoom via the link below.
Join via Zoom:


Hannah Lee is a NYC-based Korean-American poet who processes her world through poetry. She is a graduate of the Queens College MFA program, and was an editor at Armstrong Literary. Her work has been featured in Encounters Magazine.

Francesca Hyatt is a writer, translator, and lecturer of English at CUNY-Queens College. She has MFA in Creative Nonfiction and her chapbook Forestwish won the Birdhouse Prize in 2022 (Ghostbird Press). She is the editor at KtB Magazine, a founding co-editor at the new literary journal Clotheslines, and the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Eating Alone.

Joe Gross is a Flushing-based bookseller, poet, translator, and author the prize-winning chapbook Lest We All Get Clipped (Ghostbird Press, His work has been anthologized in Eating Alone: Essays & Reflections (Clotheslines Press). His work has been anthologized in Eating Alone: Essays & Reflections (Clotheslines Press 2023) and The Pearl (Wyeth Renwick 2023). He holds an MFA from Queens College, where he was co-editor of Armstrong Literary. Twitter: @komradekapybara Instagram: @joegrosspoet

Peter Vanderberg is the editor of Ghostbird Press and a PhD student at St. John’s University. He is the author of several chapbooks including war/torn, recently released from Finishing Line Press. He lives and teaches on Long Island.


Celebrating New Books by Alumni | April 1

We are delighted to welcome Sunu Chandy and Roger Wyze Smith back to Queens, so we can celebrate their new books. (Unfortunately, Ariel Francisco cannot make it.) Their books will for sale in the reception area, and Sunu and Roger will sign them. Feel free to come early if want some pre-event snaks!


Joyce Carol Oates & Ali Sethi

DATE: SAT, MAY 11, 2024, 7 PM
VENUE: LeFrak Concert Hall
TICKETS: $10/FREE with Online RSVP for QC Students, Faculty & Staff w/ ID 

Join us for an exclusive live episode of the SongWriter podcast where stories turn into songs! We welcome two iconic artists to the stage: the legendary author Joyce Carol Oates and the innovative musician and novelist Ali Sethi, recognized in TIME’s 100 Next list. Hosted by the podcast’s creator and producer, Ben Arthur, this live event promises captivating stories, mesmerizing music, and thought-provoking conversations.

There is no more versatile and accomplished American writer than Joyce Carol Oates. The author of many books, Oates has penned bestselling novels, critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, as well as essays, plays, poetry, a memoir, A Widow’s Story, and an unlikely bestseller, On Boxing. Her remarkable literary industry – which includes work as an editor and anthologist – spans forms, themes, topics and genres. Joyce Carol Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and since 1978, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ali Sethi, a New York-based writer, composer, and performer, gained global fame with his hit single “Pasoori,” topping Spotify’s Global Viral chart in 2022 and becoming Google’s most hummed-to-search song. Blending traditional South Asian melodies with global beats and drawing on “folk” and “woke” iconographies to tell powerful tales of identity, Sethi’s work has been described as “stealthily subversive” by The New Yorker. His innovative approach has earned him a spot on TIME’s 100 Next list.”

Ben Arthur, an Emmy-nominated songwriter, hosts and produces SongWriter, a podcast transforming stories into songs. His upcoming album, “Remission,” completes a musical trilogy alongside “Collision” and “Transmission,” with many tracks inspired by episodes of SongWriter. Notable guests this season include Neil Gaiman, Kat Edmonson, and George Saunders. Past guests have included Questlove, Joyce Carol Oates, and David Gilmour. SongWriter episodes are previewed by Paste Magazine and featured on Acoustic Cafe for 1.5M listeners. “Remission” showcases performances from Byron Isaacs and Tony Trischka. Ben has released eleven albums, authored two novels, and shared the stage with artists like Dave Matthews and Tori Amos. He’s also licensed songs to major networks and co-produced the Emmy-nominated series SongCraft Presents since 2011.

This event is presented by the Queens College School of Arts, the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation, and Kupferberg Center for the Arts.


9th Annual Queens College English Graduate Conference

Wednesday, March 27, 2024
10:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Presidental Conference Room 2 (5th Fl.)
Rosenthal Library, Queens College

The Queens College Graduate Conference in English Literature Studies is happening on March 27th, and our MFA students are showcasing the unique knowledge they’ve developed through their practice of creative writing & literary translation with scholarship.

Current MFA students Julie Goodale and Richard Prins will be taking place in this year’s conference as well! Julie will be making a presentation on docupoetics and performance called “Taking Up Space: Extending the Document into Multiple Dimensions,” and Richard will be talking about his translations of several speculative Swahili novels, and offering some thoughts on the particular appeal of utopia to Swahili literature in a talk called “Kusadikika and Walenisi: The Purpose of Utopia in the Swahili Novel.”

This is just some of the amazing work you can expect from an MFA Program as unique as Queens College! We engage multiple cultures and perspectives reflective of being located in the most culturally diverse place on the planet, and in doing so we prepare students not just to generate their own creative work but also academically to pursue further graduate studies (such as PhDs) or work in other fields.

To see exactly when these presentations are happening, check out the full conference schedule:


Rajiv Mohabir – Acoustic Fulcrums

Mar 21,7:00 PM|Joe’s Pub|$30

Brooklyn Raga Massive’s Ragini Festival 2024 presents “Acoustic Fulcrums” – a diasporic night representative of Caribbean memory, language and iconic sound culture. Centered around the work of poet, memoirist and translator, Rajiv Mohabir and the arrangements of steel pan artist and bandleader, Josanne Francis, this curated night explores the axis of acoustic memory and palpable story telling, capturing the many rifts, continents and currents expressive of the Caribbean postcolonial experience. 

Rajiv Mohabir’s work traverses and emanates out of a long dialogue with collective memory around the migrant experience, around fractured yet continuously sung oral history and the poetics, sonic transference and healing that writing can offer. 

Josanne Francis is a maestra of the steelpan instrument, an innovation born out of colonial resistance, repurposing petroleum industry metal containers within the urban tenements of Trinidad’s capital area. Now steelpan has become a large orchestral, ensemble and improvisatory instrument, blooming with the sounds of African-descended percussive innovation.


Alumni Reading with Sunu Chandy and Roger Wyze Smith

We’re excited to welcome two alumni–Sunu Chandy and Roger Wyze Smith–to campus to read from their newly published books!

Note: Unfortunately Ariel Francisco can’t make it this time, but we look forward to welcoming him in the near future.