Faculty

Program Assistant:

Kimberly Garrett

Full-Time Faculty


Dave Madden

Full-Time Faculty, Academic Director
(415) 422-6915

Dave Madden is the author of The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy, as well as a collection of short stories. His essays have appeared in The Guardian, Lit Hub, Harper's, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. He's received fellowships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Education:

PhD (Creative Writing), University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Micah Ballard

Administrative Director
(415) 422-6208

Author of four full-length collections of poetry, The Michaux Notebook (FMSBW), Afterlives (Bootstrap Press, 2016), Waifs and Strays (City Lights Books, 2011), nominated for a California Book Award, and Parish Krewes (Bootstrap Press, 2009), and over a dozen small books, including Selected Prose (2008-19) (Blue Press, 2020), Daily Vigs (Bird & Beckett Books, 2019), Vesper Chimes (Gas Meter, 2014), Evangeline Downs (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006) and Negative Capability in the Verse of John...

Education:

MA in Poetics, New College of California, MFA in Poetics, New College of California

Laleh Khadivi

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-6066

Laleh Khadivi is the author of The Kurdish Trilogy which includes The Age of Orphans (2009), The Walking (2013), and A Good Country (2017). Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, VQR, and The Sun. She has worked as a documentary filmmaker since 2000 and her films have been screened in festivals and on various cable networks. 

Education:

MFA Mills College

D.A. Powell

Professor
(415) 422-6066

D. A. Powell's books include Cocktails (Graywolf, 2004) and Chronic (Graywolf, 2009), both finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012), winner of the 2013 Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. Powell's awards include the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kingsley Tufts Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and the California Book Award. He has taught at Columbia University, University of Iowa, and...

Education:

MA, Sonoma State University, MFA, Iowa Writers' Workshop

Bruce Snider

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4748

Bruce Snider is the author of the poetry collections Fruit (University of Wisconsin Press), Paradise, Indiana (Plieades Press/LSU Press), and The Year We Studied Women, (University of Wisconsin Press). He is co-editor with Shara Lessley of an anthology of essays, The Poem’s Country: Place and Poetic Practice (Pleiades Press). His awards include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a James A. Michener Fellowship, and the Jenny McKean Writer-in-Washington award, as well residencies from Yaddo, the...

Education:

University of Texas at Austin, MFA in Creative Writing, 1996

Expertise:

Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Playwriting

Susan Steinberg

Professor
(415) 422-5106

Susan Steinberg is the author of four books of fiction: Machine (Graywolf Press), Spectacle (Graywolf Press), Hydroplane (FC2), and The End of Free Love (FC2). The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists Fellowship, Professor Steinberg has also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and a National Magazine Award. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney's, Conjunctions, The Gettysburg Review, American Short Fiction, Boulevard, Quarterly West, Denver Quarterly, The Massachusetts...

Education:

MFA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art

Part-Time Faculty


Christopher Arnold

Adjunct Professor

Chris Feliciano Arnold is the author of The Third Bank of the River: Power and Survival in the Twenty-First Century Amazon, a work of narrative nonfiction to be published by Picador USA in March 2018. He has written essays and journalism for Harper's, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Outside, Vice News, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Folha de S. Paulo, Salon, McSweeney's, The Millions and more. His fiction has been published in Playboy, The...

Education:

MFA, Creative Writing, Purdue University, BA, Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon

Ari Banias

Adjunct Professor

Ari Banias is the author of the poetry collections A Symmetry (W.W. Norton, 2021), Anybody (W.W. Norton, 2016), as well as a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Hyperallergic, Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Poetry, A Public Space, and in numerous anthologies, including We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat, 2020). He's the...

Education:

MFA, Hunter College, BA, Sarah Lawrence College

Stephen Beachy

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Stephen Beachy is a past winner of the Michener Award in fiction. He is the author of several novels and two novellas, including The Whistling Song, Distortion, Some Phantom/No Time Flat, boneyard, and Glory Hole.  His work has also been published in High Risk 2, New York Times Magazine, Bomb, and Best Gay American Fiction 1996. He's the prose editor of Your Impossible Voice.

Education:

MFA in Creative Writing, Iowa Writers' Workshop

Lewis Buzbee

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Author of novels Bridge of Time (2012), The Haunting of Charles Dickens (2010), winner of the Northern California Book Award, an Edgar Award nominee, and a Judy Lopez memorial Honor book, Steinbeck's Ghost (2008) which was a Smithsonian Notable Book, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Children's Book of the Year, and the winner of the Beatty Award from the California Library Association, and Fliegelman's Desire (1990); stories, After the Gold Rush (2006); and nonfiction...

Education:

MFA in Fiction, Warren Wilson College.

Kirstin Chen

Adjunct Professor

Professor Kirstin Chen is the author of novels Counterfeit (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2022), Bury What We Cannot Take, and Soy Sauce for Beginners. She has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Toji Cultural Foundation, and the National Arts Council of Singapore. More information about her work can be found on her website, www.kirstinchen.com, and via Twitter at @kirstin_chen.

Education:

MFA Emerson College, BA Stanford University

Jennifer Cheng

Adjunct Professor

Jennifer S. Cheng is the author of MOON: Letters, Maps, Poems (2018), selected by Bhanu Kapil for the Tarpaulin Sky Book Award and named a Publishers Weekly “Best Book of 2018”; House A (2016), selected by Claudia Rankine for the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize; and Invocation: An Essay (2011), an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press. Her poetry and lyric essays appear in Tin House, Conjunctions, AGNI, Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Catapult, Hong Kong...

Education:

MFA, Poetry, San Francisco State University, MFA, Nonfiction, University of Iowa, BA, Brown University

Heather Gibbons

Adjunct Professor
(415) 368-8025

Heather June Gibbons is the author of the poetry collection Her Mouth as Souvenir (University of Utah Press), winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Sore Songs (Dancing Girl Press), and Flyover (Q Avenue Press). Her poems have appeared in publications such as Best New Poets, Blackbird, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, jubilat, New American Writing, and the San Francisco Chronicle. A...

Education:

MFA, University of Iowa Writers' Workshop

R.O. Kwon

Adjunct Professor

Professor Kwon’s nationally bestselling first novel, The Incendiaries, is published by Riverhead and is being translated into seven languages. Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, The Incendiaries received the Housatonic Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award, the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize. Kwon’s writing has appeared in The New York...

Education:

MFA, Brooklyn College, BA, Yale University

Lauren Markham

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Professor Lauren Markham can be found on Twitter and on her website. Her recent essays include: "Letter Writing in a Pandemic," Lithub, 2020 The Last Train Trip Before Everything Changed, Lithub, 2020 No End in Sight, VQR, 2020 For Me, With Love and Squalor, Longreads, 2018 "If These Walls Could Talk," Harper's, 2018 (included in Best American Travel Writing, 2019) Death of a Valley, Guernica, 2015

Education:

MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts

John McMurtrie

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

John McMurtrie is senior editor of Stranger’s Guide, a literary travel magazine launched in 2018. He was books editor of the San Francisco Chronicle from 2008 to 2019. His reviews, essays, and features have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Literary Hub, and Alta.

Education:

BA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Nayomi Munaweera

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Nayomi Munaweera is the author of the novels Island of a Thousand Mirrors, which won the Commonwealth Book Prize for the Asian Region in 2013, and What Lies Between Us, which won the Sri Lankan National Book Award for best English novel and the Godage Award. She is anthologized in Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian-American Women on Obedience and Rebellion, and All the Women in My Family Sing.

Education:

MA, University of California, Riverside

Brittany Perham

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Brittany Perham is the author of the poetry collections Double Portrait, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize and finalist for the Northern California Book Award, and The Curiosities. She’s recipient of the Wallace Stegner and Henry Hoyns fellowships, as well as fellowships and awards from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, the James Merrill House Foundation, and the University of Kentucky.

Education:

MFA, University of Virginia

Barbara Reyes

Adjunct Professor

Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, the Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and her MFA from San Francisco State University. Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Diwata (BOA Editions, 2010), recently noted as a finalist for the California Book Award. She is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003) and Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the...

Education:

BA in Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, MFA, San Francisco State University

Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Adjunct Professor

Professor Ingrid Rojas Contreras is the author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday, 2018) a silver medal winner in first fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times editor's choice. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Cut, The Believer, and elsewhere. A new work of non-fiction, a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds, is coming from Doubleday in 2022.

Nina Schuyler

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Nina Schuyler is the author of The Translator, winner of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award and short-listed for the 2014 William Sarayon International Prize for Writing, and The Painting, named a Best Book by San Francisco Chronicle and nominated for the Northern California Book Award. Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best American New Voices. She writes a column for Fiction Advocate, “Stunning Sentences,” and reviews children’s books for The Children’s...

Education:

MFA in Creative Writing, San Francisco State University, JD, Hastings College of the Law, BA in Economics, Stanford University

Maw Shein Win

Adjunct Professor

Maw Shein Win is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. Her poetry chapbooks are Ruins of a glittering palace (SPA/Commonwealth Projects) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press). Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in 2018. She was a 2019 Visiting Scholar in the Department of English at UC Berkeley. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito, California (2016 - 2018). Her full-length poetry collection is Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn,...

Education:

BA, English, Concentration in Creative Writing, CSU Long Beach

K. M. Soehnlein

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6066

Karl Soehnlein is the recipient of a Lambda Literary Award (novel); the Henfield Prize (short fiction); and the SFFILM/Rainin Filmmaking Grant (screenwriting). He is the author of the novels The World of Normal Boys (2000), You Can Say You Knew Me When (2005), and Robin and Ruby (2010). He has been published in the nonfiction anthologies, Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times, and in The Village Voice, San Francisco Magazine, and Out. He is a member of...

Education:

San Francisco State University, MFA in Creative Writing, 1996, Ithaca College, BS in Cinema Production, 1987

Expertise:

Fiction, Playwriting, Screenwriting

Visiting Writers


Aya de León

Visiting Writer; Adjunct Professor

Professor de León is a Cave Canem fellow, a VONA alumna, and the author of five books, including Side Chick Nation, the first novel published about Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Her latest novel is A Spy in the Struggle, about FBI infiltration of a Bay Area movement for climate justice and Black Lives. A two-time winner of the International Latino Book Award, her novels have won multiple Independent Publisher awards. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Ebony, Essence, Guernica,...

Education:

MFA Bennington College and Antioch University, Los Angeles, BA Harvard College

Cristina García

Visiting Writer
(415) 422-6066

Cristina García is the author of seven novels: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, and, most recently, Here in Berlin; two Latinx anthologies: Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature; and a collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and...

Education:

MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, BA, Political Science, Barnard College, 1979

Monica West

Visiting Writer

Monica West is the author of Revival Season, published by Simon & Schuster in 2021. Revival Season is the story of 15-year-old Miriam Horton who suffers from a crisis of faith after witnessing a startling act of violence on the summer revival circuit. When Miriam returns home, she discovers a secret that shatters the gendered limitations of her faith. Monica has received awards, fellowships, and residencies from the Whiting Foundation, Kimbilio Fiction, and Hedgebrook. She is currently...

Education:

MFA, Iowa Writers' Workshop, MA, New York University

Emeriti Faculty


Catherine Brady

Professor
(415) 422-5109

Former president, AWP. The Brenda Ueland Prose Prize and the Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Prize. Author of three short story collections: The End of the Class War (1999), finalist for the 2000 Western States Book Award, Curled in the Bed of Love (2003), winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Mechanics of Falling (2009), winner of the Northern California Book Award for Fiction; a biography: Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA...

Education:

MFA in Creative Writing, University of Massachusetts

Aaron Shurin

Professor
(415) 422-6066

The author of eleven books of poetry and prose, Aaron Shurin is a recipient of California Arts Council Literary Fellowships in poetry (1989, 2002), and fellowships from the NEA and San Francisco Arts Commission in creative nonfiction (1995, 2005). He has taught extensively in the fields of American poetry and poetics, contemporary and classical prosody, improvisational techniques in composition, and the personal essay. His own work is framed by the innovative traditions in lyric poetry as they...

Education:

MA in Poetics, New College of California