MFA Core Faculty
- Samuel Maio (poetry)
- Cathleen Miller (nonfiction)
- Alan Soldofsky (poetry)
- Nick Taylor (fiction)
- Selena Anderson (fiction)
- Keenan Norris (fiction, nonfiction)
Additional Creative Writing Faculty
- Scott Sublett (screenwriting)
- Robert James (fiction)
- Tod Edgerton (poetry)
Samuel Maio is the author of a book of poems, The Burning of Los Angeles (1997), a Pulitzer Prize nominee of the Los Angeles Times, and a critical study, Creating Another Self: Voice in Modern American Personal Poetry (1995), a Christian Gauss Award finalist. Both books were published by the Thomas Jefferson University Press. Maio has published well over 100 poems, short stories, essays and reviews in periodicals such as: Antioch Review, Bloomsbury Review, Chariton Review, The Formalist, Northwest Review, The Southern California Anthology, and many others. Several of his poems from The Burning of Los Angeles were featured in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. The book was subsequently reviewed widely and is now in its second printing. His essays on modern poets and poetry appear frequently in The Formalist.
Formally trained in the scholarship of literature, Maio studied under the direction of renowned Americanists Jay Martin and Ronald Gottesman at the University of Southern California (USC), where he earned his Ph.D. in Modern Poetry in 1986. While at USC, he won the Academy of American Poets Prize. He is Professor of English at San Jose State University where he has taught since 1990, having previously been a member of the English faculty at the University of California at Davis. He is currently finishing his second book of criticism, Countermeasures: Metrical Poetry in the Modern Age, scheduled for 2002 publication, and he is at work on new poems and stories as well.
Cathleen Miller's memoir, The Birdhouse Chronicles, describes her move from San Francisco to a ramshackle farmhouse in Pennsylvania's Amish country. Birdhouse was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Miller is the co-author of the international bestseller Desert Flower, published in sixteen countries, with over two million copies in print. Her essays have appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Salon.com, Cimarron Review, Old House Journal, and the anthologies Travelers' Tales San Francisco and Wild Writing Women: Stories of World Travel. Currently she's at work on a biography of Dr. Nafis Sadik, an advocate for women's reproductive freedom and the first female director of the United Nations.
Miller was one of the founding members of the popular Bay Area group, the Wild Writing Women, which hosts a literary salon in San Francisco. In 2004 she served as the Distinguished Writer in Residence at St. Mary's College.
Alan Soldofsky is the author of two collections of poetry, Kenora Station and Staying Home, both originally published as limited edition artist's books by Steam Press of Berkeley, intaglio prints by Lyman Piersma, book design by Alistair Johnston.
A graduate of the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, he joined the San Jose State faculty in 1985 and directed first the San Jose Poetry Center, then the SJSU Center for Literary Arts, before being appointed director of the Creative Writing Program.
His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and quarterlies including: Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, The Nation, The North American Review, and Poetry East. A former contributing editor to Poetry Flash, he has also published criticism and reviews in Chelsea, Ironwood, and Quarry West as well as articles and essays on crossings between Modernist and Post-modernist poetry, one of which, "Nature and the Symbolic Order: The Dialogue Between Czeslaw Milosz and Robinson Jeffers," is included as a chapter in Robinson Jeffers: Dimensions of a Poet, edited by Robert Brophy (Fordham University Press, 1995).
Nick Taylor is the author of the novel The Disagreement (2008), winner of the 11th Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction. He has received fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the William R. Kenan Endowment for Historic Preservation.
Selena Anderson recently finished her PhD at University of Houston and completed her MFA at Columbia University. Her stories appear in such publications as BOMB, Fence, Oxford American, Callaloo, Georgia Review, and The Best of Gigantic, and have been honored with the Transatlantic/Henfield Prize and the Inprint Joan and Stanford Alexander Prize. She is working on a story collection and a novel.
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Keenan Norris’s novel Brother and the Dancer won the 2012 James D. Houston Award and was nominated for the inaugural John Leonard Prize, a first books prize issued by the National Book Critics Circle. His chapbook By the Lemon Tree was nominated for the 2019 California Book Award. He is also the editor of the critical volume Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape. Keenan also recently signed a book deal with Goliad Press to publish his novella Luster.
His short fiction appears in several literary journals, as well as the anthologies Oakland Noir, Inlandia: A Journey Through the Literature of Southern California’s Inland Empire and an upcoming anthology of San Bernardino literature.
Keenan has also published journalism, editorials and academic scholarship. In popmatters.com, his journalism has explored Oakland’s relationship to Silicon Valley, as well as the exploitation of Black Studies programs by university athletic departments. He has published “Post-Mortem Morning: Oakland and the Remains of the Left” and “Ben Carson, Thug Life and Malcolm X” in the Los Angeles Review of Books and he has also published peer-reviewed scholarship in the Oxford Bibliographies in African-American Studies series, in the critical anthology Post-Soul Satire: Black Identity after Civil Rights and in Boom: A Journal of California, where his work has explored activismt work on behalf of asylum seekers from Central America and the aftermath of Oscar Grant's murder.
He has served as guest editor for the Oxford African-American Studies Center since 2014 with a focus on improving its archive of California scholarship. He is also editing a special issue of Words, Beats & Life: the Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture focusing on street lit and served as faculty advisor to Issue #152 of Reed Magazine. He was a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow from 2015-2017 and in that role developed, with Dr. Leslie Rabine, a multimedia installation, Writing Freedom (writingfreedom.net), for the February 2017 Yerba Buena Public Square event.
Associate Professor | MFA UCLA
Hugh Gillis Hall 212, 408-924-4572
Scott Winfield Sublett is writer-director-producer of Bye-Bye Bin Laden, named “Best Feature” at the South Beach International Animation Festival, and writer-director
of Generic Thriller, a post-modern farce starring Oscar-winner Shirley Jones. Both features are currently
available on DVD, Netflix and streaming.
Interests: Creative Writing (fiction, nonfiction)
Michael (Tod) Edgerton
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