The UCI DIY project, in partnership with the Division of Undergraduate Education, UCI Illuminations and the Humanities Center’s ‘To Form a More Perfect Union?’ series, invites undergraduates to submit a range of creative and critical work in robust conversation with the speakers appearing this coming academic year.  In 2021-2022, Illuminations will feature some of our country’s must important, award-winning writers and thinkers, including Tracy K. Smith and Joy Harjo (fall), Viet Thanh Nguyen (winter), and Sandra Cisneros (spring).

Students will have the opportunity to create their own work responding to these speakers’ writing. For each writer, starting with both Smith and Harjo, the UCI DIY website will issue a challenge and call to participate, asking students to create their responses to a speaker using a particular form.  Work can be poems, stories, art work, sound essays, or videos.  Selected student work will be posted on the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) website for the UCI DIY project.


Joy Harjo’s book of poems, A Map to the Next World and Tracy K. Smith’s Pulitzer-prize winning volume, Life on Mars, call to mind other worlds, and how important it is to imagine life not just as it is but as it could be. Reflecting on Harjo’s and Smith’s work, we invite you to submit work that is your own “map to the next world.” You might take a clue from Smith’s practice of remixing older texts, such as the Declaration of Independence, into new forms that speak to contemporary desires for a better world.

For inspiration, check out Smith reading from her “re-writing” of the Declaration.

Joy Harjo

For more information about the speakers, check out this LINK

Poet laureate November 16, 5 pm PDT

Tracy K. Smith

For more information about the speakers, check out this LINK

Former Poet Laureate October 21, 5 pm PDT

Read to Create:

A workshop with Monica Youn and Krystal Tribbett featuring the poetry of Tracy K. Smith

For more information about the speakers, check out this LINK
Fri, Oct 15, 2021
12 PM – 1:30 PM PDT (GMT-7)

The UCI Libraries invite you to browse their author page for the featured writers: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/ucihumanitiescenter/authorpage

Submissions Now Open!

UCI DIY is sponsored by the  Division of Undergraduate Education.  For more information, contact associate dean Jonathan Alexander at jfalexan@uci.edu.  Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. For the Tracy K. Smith event, submissions are encouraged before October 31, 2021 and for the Joy Harjo event, please submit before November 30, 2021. Please submit them via the Google form below.

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