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Saretta Morgan

Creative Research Faculty Fellow 2020
Piper Writers Studio Instructor 2019

About Saretta Morgan

Saretta Morgan is a writer and artist. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she teaches Creative Writing at Arizona State University and contributes to the humanitarian aid efforts of No More Deaths Phoenix. She is the author of the chapbooks room for a counter interior and Feeling Upon Arrival. Currently her work addresses Black migration to the United States Southwest and its relationship to contemporary migration and border politics. Saretta holds degrees in writing from Columbia University and Pratt Institute. Most recently she has received grants and fellowships from Arizona Commission on the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. She is at work on Alt-Nature, her first full-length collection.

Find Classes with Saretta Morgan

Date: Tuesdays, July 23 - August 13, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Type: Workshop, Generative Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Experimental, Fiction, Hybrid, Poetry

We experience our lives through form. The layout of a house, the format of a letter, or the etiquette of public interaction. When these forms shift, we are forced to take notice. In this cross-genre writing studio, we will examine how language and narrative develop differently according to structural decisions crafted by the author. Participants will explore how voice, themes and images emerge through attention to life’s many architectures, and experiment with new narrative and poetic forms based on their own unique personal experiences and close readings of a range of texts.

More About Saretta Morgan

Morgan, Saretta “from “Plan Upon Arrival” by Saretta MorganPoets, January 2, 2019.

7. Letters arrived in intervals, as with everything else one might come, one might not regardless of whether there’d been a response. We prepared at all times. Bent over. We dreamed things would be different. Every time the door opened we each smiled in a way to make clear we’d never seen our own face.

8. An appendix washed up, pages current-smoothed, leaning funny. We stood and watched the skin stretched and sewn. The so-called imaginary, so-called interior, so-called paradoxical private sphere.

13. Dailiness was the anxiety through which we waited. Buttons undone, like clearance. Not what we wanted but what we didn’t know we had to have. Private acts to attempt in public. Productive relationships to sites of violence. Lace-fronts. A dollar to run to the store.

19. However useful, the language was degrading, incompatible and lacked necessary verbs. The ability to compress, overflow and alter the landscape through a low swollen hum. To smell strongly in the morning, at the grocery or over the phone.

24. There were moments we were incapable of decision. An opening through which to register an image pungent through its own material law. A body pulled inward, door unlocked. Irresponsible to. That this moment would return. Return us. That this, and only this, would be the day.

Tolbert, TC “Poet’s Corner with Saretta MorganThe University of Arizona Poetry Center, November 28th, 2018.

In Poet's Corner, Tucson Poet Laureate TC Tolbert shows us several drafts and revisions of a poet's work, then speaks to that poet about the writing process.

Morgan, Saretta “Poetry spot: Excerpt from ‘Plan Upon Arrival’ by Saretta Morganazcentral, August 16, 2018.

The plan depended on who you asked and the time of day. A pale light loomed on the porch. One burnt out. Or flickering. Glass, busted illuminated by a fire.

Typical, we stayed trying to go home then were mad when we got there.

Sound. Texture. The relative temperature of a thumb exiting a mouth to that of a mouth unwilling. Flesh and water some days meant nothing, or else we held our knees.

We sat for bread, the plan folded into apertures. After-images softening the point only and always directly behind the future. Which meant there was a future.

MH “Dissonance(s): Saretta Morgan’s Room for a Counter InteriorAnomaly, February 15, 2018.

As architecture and urban landscaping become more and more defensive, especially as a way towards keeping homelessness outside the city center and making it invisible by pushing it towards the margins, imagining and eventually building spaces that counteract this hostility towards bodies marked as unwanted or illegitimate becomes vital. As urban structures rely more and more on insidious design elements that prevent unwanted bodies from seeking any kind of refuge in public spaces, revealing the violence of such elements becomes vital, especially because it’s the kind of violence that, more often than not, goes unnoticed by most people except those who are actually excluded by it.

Leung, Muriel & De Jesus, Joey “The Felt House that Moves Us: A Conversation with Saretta MorganApogee, September 6, 2016.

Apogee Journal Poetry Editors, Muriel Leung and Joey De Jesus, sit down with Saretta Morgan to discuss performance poetry, working across different mediums, and why “being published—speaking publicly—has a political weight.” An excerpt of Saretta’s larger work, “(Auto) Index” is now available in Apogee Journal’s Issue 07.