Academic Director

Kalmanovitz Hall 303

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 Defectorthe 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.

  • PhD (Creative Writing), University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Administrative Director

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 Wieners...

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

Full-Time Faculty

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. 

  • MFA Mills College
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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...

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

  • MFA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art
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Monica West is the author of Revival Season, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, a Barnes and Noble Discover selection, and short-listed for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She received her BA from Duke University, her MA from New York University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She has received fellowships and funding from Kimbilio Fiction, Hedgebrook, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Bread Loaf.

  • Iowa Writers' Workshop, MFA in Creative Writing, 2017
  • New York University, MA in English and American Literature, 2003
  • Duke University, BA in English Literature, 1999

Part-Time Faculty

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 Flatboneyard, 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.

  • MFA in Creative Writing, Iowa Writers' Workshop

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...

  • MFA in Fiction, Warren Wilson College.

Kate Folk is the author of Out There (Random House '22), a finalist for the California Book Award in First Fiction. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, One Story, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and Zyzzyva, among others. A 2019-2021 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, she's also received support from MacDowell, Willapa Bay AiR, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She...

  • University of San Francisco, MFA in Creative Writing, 2011
  • New York University, BA in Individualized Study, 2007

Vanessa Hua is an award-winning columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestsellers A River of Stars and Forbidden City, as well as Deceit and Other Possibilities, a New York Times Editors Pick. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as awards from the Society of Professional...

  • UC Riverside, MFA in Creative Writing, 2009
  • Stanford University, MA in Media Studies, 1997
  • Stanford University, BA in English, 1996
  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Journalism

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...

  • MFA, Brooklyn College
  • BA, Yale University
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Lauren Markham writing regularly appears in outlets such as Guernica, Harper's, Orion, Zyzzyva, Freeman's, Lithub, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine and VQR, where she is a contributing editor. She is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, which was the winner of the 2018 Ridenhour Book Prize, the Northern California Book Award, and a California Book Award Silver Prize; it was also named a Barnes & Noble Discover...

  • Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing, 2010

Achy Obejas is a critically acclaimed poet, fiction and non-fiction writer, and translator. She teaches sometimes.

  • Warren Wilson College, MFA in writing, 1993
  • Latine literature
  • Latine politics
  • Cuba
  • Latin American Jewish culture and community
  • LGBTQIA culture and history

Nina Schuyler is the author of Afterword, published in May 2023. Her novel, The Translator was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and the winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award. The Painting, named a Best Book by San Francisco Chronicle and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. Her book, How to Write Stunning Sentences, is a Small Press Distribution bestseller.

Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and...

  • San Francisco State University, MFA in Creative Writing, 2004
  • Hastings College of the Law, JD, 1997
  • Stanford University, BA Economics, 1986
  • Style in prose
  • Prose architecture

Maw Shein Win's most recent poetry collection is Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn) which was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry, longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Award, and CALIBA's Golden Poppy Award for Poetry. Win's previous collections include Invisible Gifts and two chapbooks Ruins of a glittering palace and Score and Bone. Win’s Process Note Series features poets and their process. Win often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other...

  • CSU Long Beach, BA in English, Concentration in Creative Writing
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K.M. (Karl) Soehnlein is the recipient of a Lambda Literary Award (novel); IPPY Award (LGBTQ+ Fiction); the Henfield Prize (short fiction); and the SFFILM/Rainin Filmmaking Grant (screenwriting).

He is the author of the novels Army of Lovers (2022), 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, Who's Yer Daddy: Gay Men Write about their Mentors and Forerunners; Girls Who Like Boys Who Like...

  • San Francisco State University, MFA in Creative Writing, 1996
  • Ithaca College, BS in Cinema Production, 1987
  • Fiction
  • Personal essays
  • Screenwriting
  • Playwriting

Faculty Emeritus

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...

  • MFA in Creative Writing, University of Massachusetts

Aaron Shurin is the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, most recently The Blue Absolute, from Nightboat Books. Other works include: Flowers & Sky: Two Talks (Entre Rios Books, 2017), The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks (University of Michigan Press, 2015), and two books from City Lights: Citizen (poems, 2012) and King of Shadows (essays, 20008). His writing has appeared in over forty national and international anthologies, from The Norton Anthology of Postmodern...

  • MA in Poetics, New College of California

Visiting Faculty

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, Plough...

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

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...

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

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. Her memoir, The Man Who Could Move Clouds (Doubleday, 2022) is a story about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds. It was named a TIME best book of...