Kazim Ali

Poetry Participant '98; Poetry Teaching Staff '10, '12, '16, '18

He is featured in the March/ April issue of The American Poetry Review. Kazim will be joining us again this summer on staff at the Poetry Workshop.


Sands Hall

Writers Workshops Participant and Staff

Her memoir, Flunk. Start.was published by Counterpoint Press in March, 2018.


Sands Hall

Writers Workshop Teaching Staff and Past Participant

Her memoir, Flunk. Start., published March, 2018, was recently named one of the top 10 best books in spirituality and religion for Spring 2018 by Publisher’s Weekly. 


Edan Lepucki

Writers Workshop Participant '07, Writers Workshop Teaching Staff '14, '18

Her most recent novel, Woman No. 17, published by Hogarth in 2017, is now out in paperback. Woman No. 17 was named a notable book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, POPSUGAR, and the Washington Post. People Magazine picked it as the May selection for the Book of the Month Club. 


Rachel Howard

Writers Workshop Participant, '13, Writers Workshop Staff, '17

Her novel The Risk of Us sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for publication in Spring 2019. It’s about a woman who longs to be a mother; the troubled child she and her husband take in from the foster care system; the inevitable tests children bring to a marriage; and the limits of human empathy coupled with the joys of new parenthood, and was pitched as appealing to fans of Jenny Offill, Rachel Cusk, and Sheila Heti.

Attended with the help of Carlisle Scholarship

Brenda Hillman

Poetry Teaching Staff, Poetry Guest Director

Brenda Hillman’s new collection, Extra Hidden Life, among the Days  was published by Wesleyan Poetry (Wesleyan University Press) in February 2019.


Glen David Gold

Writers Workshops Participant, '96, '97 / Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

His memoir I Will Be Complete will be published by Knopf in June 2018.

Attended with the help of The UC Irvine Scholarship

Terence Clarke

Writers Workshops Participant, 1972, 1973. Special Guest, 2013, 2014.

His new book, New York: Stories, was published by Astor and Lenox on November 1, 2017. Publishers Weekly says “This gem of a collection by Terence Clarke celebrates the art, passions, and people of New York City.” Kirkus Reviews says “Tales like these feel like new takes on classic stories of New York by Salinger or Capote—fine company, all in all.”


Sandra Scofield

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Her craft book, The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision, has been published by Penguin.


Sands Hall

Writers Workshops Participant, Teaching Staff

Her memoir, Flunk. Start., will be released by Counterpoint Press in March, 2018.

Janet Fitch

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff & Participant, ’89/ Poetry Participant '17

Janet Fitch’s novel, The Revolution of Marina M., set during the turbulent years of the Russian Revolution was published in November, 2017 by Little Brown and Co.


Martin J. Smith

Writers Workshop '92; Faculty member since 2002

Globe Pequot published Mr. Las Vegas Has a Bad Knee in November 2017, Martin J. Smith’s collection of journalistic essays spanning his 31-year career in the American Southwest, with a foreword by David L. Ulin. “[…] Smith’s true gift resides in his empathy—in the gentle way he forces us to see grace and redemption in the lives of people whom most of us would be inclined to mock.”—Steve Hawk, former editor of Surfer and Sierra magazines.


Julia Flynn Siler

Writers Workshop Participant '04, '05, Writers Workshop Teaching Staff, '14, '17

Julia Flynn Siler is a Logan Nonfiction Fellow this the fall. Along with 18 other celebrated journalists, she will be using the time to complete her work of narrative investigative history, Daughters of Joy: America’s Other Slaves and Their Fight for Freedom (forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf). For more information, please visit http://careyinstitute.org/


John Harvey

Poetry Participant '95, Writers Workshop Staff '97

His new book, Going Down Slow and Other Stories, will be released by Five Leaves Publications in November, 2017.


Amy Tan

Writers Workshop Participant '87, '90, Special Guest

Her new book, a memoir entitled Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir, was released by HarperCollins in October, 2017


Diana Fuller

Diana Fuller is producing the film, Where Once Was Water, directed by Christopher Beaver. Where Once Was Water is a lively solutions-oriented documentary that tells the story of how the driest city in America, in the middle of the Mojave desert, leads the way in sustainable water conservation.  

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/229357749


John Daniel

His poem “After the Wedding” was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. The podcast can be found here: http://writersalmanac.org/episodes/20170810/


Elizabeth Rosner

Writers Workshop Participant '82, '83, '87, Poetry Participant '99, Teaching Staff '06, '15

Her new book, Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, was released from Counterpoint Press this month.


Julia Flynn Siler

Writers Workshop teaching Staff & Participant '04, '05

She was awarded the 2017 Mayborn Fellowship in Biography for her third book. She’ll be recognized at next month’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in Grapevine, Texas, where such masters as Sebastian Junger (A Perfect Storm), Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers) and Charles Johnson (Middle Passage) will be keynote speakers. More information please visit http://bit.ly/2qKoH4V

Engineering Eden

Jordan Fisher Smith

Writers Workshop Participant '01/ Teaching Staff '14 '16

His book, Engineering Eden, won the 2017 California Book Award Silver Medal for nonfiction.


Sands Hall

Writers Workshops participant '89/ Teaching Staff

Her memoir, Flunk. Start., has been purchased by Counterpoint Press for publication in January 2018. Sands is represented by Michael Carlisle at Inkwell Management.



Sandra Scofield

Writers Workshops, Teaching Staff

Her eighth book of fiction, Swim: Stories of the Sixties, will be published May 15.


Edan Lepucki

Writers Workshops Participant 2007, Teaching Staff

Edan Lepucki’s second novel, Woman No. 17, was published by Hogarth/Crown in May, 2017.

Janet Fitch

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff & Participant, ’95

Janet Fitch’s novel The Revolution of Marina M. set during the turbulent years of the Russian Revolution, will be released on November 7, 2017 by Little Brown and Co.  Fitch’s punk-rock novel, Paint It Black, has been adapted into ta feature film which will be released in May.


Patricia Spears Jones

Poetry Participant ’91,’92,’94 / Poetry Teaching Staff

Poet and playwright Patricia Spears Jones is the the 2017 recipient of the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers. The judges praised Jones for her “sophisticated and moving” work. Her books of poems are Painkiller, Femme du Monde and, most recently, A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems.  “Patricia Spears Jones’ poems are made of fever, bones, and breath. The fever of eros, the bones of family and friends, and the breath of everyday existence. She is an accessible poet, but never boring,” the citation reads. “More of us should know who she is, and even more should read her.”

Robert Hass

Director of the Poetry Program, and Staff Poet

His new book, A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into The Formal Imagination of Poetry, was published by Harper Collins in 2017. From the former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner, an illuminating dissection of poetic form, traditional and modern.

Kazim Ali Quartet

Kazim Ali

Poetry Participant, '98; Poetry Staff, '10, '12, '16

Kazim’s new novel written in the form of a string quartet, The Secret Room: A String Quartet, has been published by Kaya Press. He also edited a collection of essays, Mad Heart Be Brave: On the Poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, published in April 2017 from the University of Michigan Press.

2017 rosner

Elizabeth Rosner

Writers Workshop Participant,'82,'83,'87; Poetry Participant,'99; Teaching Staff

Elizabeth Rosner’s first book of non-fiction, entitled Survivor Café: the Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, will be published in September 2017 by Counterpoint Press.


Ali, Kazim

Poetry Participant, '98; Teaching Staff

Kazim Ali’s poem, “Refuge Temple,” is in the April edition of Poetry Magazine. The poem reflects on the houses of poets–specifically Lucille Clifton’s home in Buffalo and C.D. Wright and Forrest Gander’s home in Barrington.

haslam cover

Gerald Haslam

Writers Workshops, Teaching Staff

Gerald Haslam’s 2016 novel, Grace Period (Univ. of Nevada Press), won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for Legacy Fiction.

Robin Romm

Writers Workshops Participant, '03; Teaching Staff

Robin Romm has edited Double Bind: Women on Ambition, an anthology of personal essays by brilliant women on the subject of striving. It will be published in April by Liveright/Norton.

Also, Robin and her partner, Don Waters, had a baby girl in August. Sylvie Jacquelyn was born August 27, 2016 and is a total joy.

Lisa Alvarez

Writers Workshop Participant, '92, '93; Staff

Lisa Alvarez’ s flash fiction story “Intro to Women’s Studies or Too Much Margaret Atwood” appeared in Only Light Can Do That: 100 Post-Election Poems, Stories & Essays, published in December by The Rattling Wall and PEN Center USA. She is pleased to note that Community of Writers staff Janet Fitch and Andrew Tonkovich have poems in the anthology along with the contributions of many Community of Writers alums. Lisa attended the Community of Writers with the support of a UCI scholarship and the Ancinas Scholarship.


Louis B. Jones

Writers Workshop Participant, '89, Staff

Louis B. Jones has an essay on Jane Austen in the Winter 2016 Three Penny Review, and a piece on Plato for the upcoming Spring, 2017 Three Penny Review issue. Louis originally attended the Community of Writers with the support of a UC Irvine Scholarship.


Attended with the help of UC irvine Scholarship

Lisa Alvarez

Writers Workshop Participant '92, '93; Staff

Lisa Alvarez’s poem, “At The Free Clinic, 1977,” appears in the Fall 2016 issue of Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature. She is also happy to note a number of other alums are in the same issue. Lisa attended the Community of Writers with the support of a UCI scholarship and the Ancinas scholarship.

Attended with the help of UCI scholarship, Ancinas scholarship

Patricia Spears Jones

Poetry Workshop Participant, '91,'92,'94, Staff

Patricia Spears Jones’s poem, “Etta James at the Audubon Ballroom,” is included in the Pushcart Prize Anthology XLI.


Lisa Alvarez & Andrew Tonkovich

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Lisa Alvarez and Andrew Tonkovich look forward to the early spring arrival of their co-edited book from Heyday, the first-ever literary anthology of Orange County, California. Featuring nearly 200 years of writing from and about the County, this collection includes work by Community of Writers staff and alums, as well as co-founder Oakley Hall. Publication date of Orange County: A Literary Field Guide is February 1, 2017. Thanks to all our fellow Communitarians for suggestions and direction, especially Heyday founder and frequent workshop guest Malcolm Margolin.

don mee choi hardly war

Don Mee Choi

Poetry Workshop Staff

Don Mee Choi’s latest collection of poetry, Hardly War, was published in April of 2016 by Wave Books.

come twilight

Tyler Dilts

Writers Workshop Staff

Tyler Dilts’ latest novel, Come Twilight, was published in August by Thomas & Mercer. Come Twilight is the fourth book in the Long Beach Homicide series.

wagman 2016

Diana Wagman

Writers Workshops Staff

Diana Wagman‘s new novel, Extraordinary October, was released in October by Ig Publishing. It was recently reviewed by Kirkus: “In an auspicious debut for teens, adult author Wagman (Life #6, 2015, etc.) proves particularly adept at mixing genres and maintains a terrific balance between fantastical (and occasional macabre) happenings and genuine teen perceptions. Offbeat while also incorporating themes of tolerance, October’s tale will have readers rooting for her every step of the way.”

Engineering Eden

Jordan Fisher Smith

Writers Workshop Participant, '01, Staff

Jordan Fisher Smith’s latest nonfiction work, Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, A Trial, and the Fight Over Controlling Nature, was released in June by Crown.

Martin J Smith combustion

Martin J. Smith

Writers Workshops Participant '91, Teaching Staff

Martin J. Smith’s newest book, Combustion, was released in September by Diversion Publishing.


Sharon Olds

Poetry Workshop, Staff

Sharon Olds, a longtime Poetry Workshop staff member, has been awarded the Wallace Steven’s Award for “proven mastery in the art of poetry.” The award comes with a $100,000 cash prize.

Regina Louise

Writers Workshops Participant,'01,'14, Screenwriters Workshop, '02, Staff

Regina Louise’s essay, “I was Adopted at–41,” was recently published by Narratively, and was then picked up by the BBC World News and the interview aired on Outlook “30 Years Looking For Mum.” Her essay, “Milk Vat,” was recently published in Black Clock Journal. Regina is currently working on the first release of the nonprofit publishing company she’s founded: Someone Has Led This Child to Believe: A Case History of Love, Luck & Self-Determination. It is the followup to her ’03 memoir, Somebody’s Someone.

uncle kazim ali

Kazim Ali

Teaching Staff, Poetry Participant '98

Kazim Ali’s book of stories, Uncle Sharif’s Life in Music, will be published in November 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press. It is available for pre-order now.


Gerald Haslam

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Gerald Haslam’s 2006 novel Grace Period (University of Nevada Press) won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for Legacy Fiction from the US Review of Books.


Mary Volmer

Writers Workshop Participant, '03, '05

Mary Volmer’s second novel, Reliance, Illinois (Soho Press) is out on May 10, 2016.


Elana K. Arnold

Writers Workshop Participant, '95,'98, and Staff

Elana K. Arnold’s latest novel, What Girls are Made Of, will be published in spring 2017 by Carolrhoda Books.

All the wrong places Giles

Molly Giles

Writers Workshop, Staff

Molly Giles new book of short fiction, All The Wrong Places, was published by Lost Horse Press in July of 2015.


Martin J. Smith

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

“The Million Dollar Duck,” the documentary film based on Martin J. Smith’s 2012 book The Wild Duck Chase, about the strange and wonderful world of competitive duck painting, will have its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January 2016. In addition, Diversion Books will release his fifth crime novel, Combustion, in 2016 as well.


Sandra Scofield

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Her memoir, Mysteries of Love and Grief, was published in September, 2015 by Texas Tech University Press. An excerpt from the book was won the Narrative Magazine Spring Contest.

Jane Ciabattari

Writers Workshops Participant, '77, and Staff

Jane Ciabattari’s flash fiction, “My Celebrity Goat,” appears in New Flash Fiction Review (2015). The Rumpus published an interview with her in December 2015, just in time for the first anniversary two-hour ‘Flashathon” of the [Flash Fiction Collective] reading series she co-founded with Grant Faulkner and Meg Pokrass at Alley Cat Books in San Francisco. (Twelve readers in two hours, including Molly Giles, Ethel Rohan, Kirstin Chen, Cornelia Nixon, Jane McDermott.)


David Lukas

Long-time Community of Writers staff naturalist, David Lukas, has just published a book called Language Making Nature, a toolkit of techniques and insights into the highly imaginative process of word making, with a particular focus on creating new words for speaking of the natural world. This book is designed for writers, artists, and thinkers of all types, and to be a tool for creative writing programs and writing workshops at all levels.


Janis Cooke Newman

Writers Workshop Participant, '97,'98,'01, and Staff

The paperback of Janis Cooke Newman’s second novel, A Master Plan for Rescue, will be released by Riverhead in May 2016.


Elana K Arnold

Writers Workshop Participant, 1995,1998 & Writing Workshops Staff

HarperCollins/Walden Pond Press has bought two books in the BAT Chronicles, a middle grade series by Elana K. Arnold. In the spirit of Clementine and Ramona, the books follow Bixby Alexander Tam – nicknamed BAT – a third-grader on the autism spectrum, and his funny, unexpected, authentic experiences at home and at school. The first book, A Boy Called BAT, is set to publish in 2017; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content brokered the deal for world English rights.


Christian Kiefer

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Christian Kiefer’s new novel, The Animals, was released by Liveright/W.W. Norton in March. He is also the winner of a Pushcart Prize for his story, “Hollywood and Toadvine,” originally published in Santa Monica Review.


Will Allison

Writers Workshops Staff

Will Allison, a contributing editor and author at One Story, will be teaching an online class for the Brooklyn-based literary magazine entitled “Become Your Own Best Editor,” which will guide students through a case study of a One Story debut, “Claire, the Whole World,” by Jonathan Durbin.



Katie Ford

Poetry Teaching Staff

Katie Ford’s poem, “Still-Life,” which she composed at Squaw Valley in 2012, will be printed in the forthcoming textbook The Norton Introduction to Literature, Fuller and Shorter editions.


Elise Blackwell

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff & Participant, '88, '90

Elise Blackwell’s fifth novel, The Lower Quarter, was published in October by Unbridled Books, and received a starred review in Kirkus.


Malcolm Margolin

Special Guest, '15

After forty-one years at the helm, Heyday founder and publisher/executive director Malcolm Margolin is retiring. Heyday has begun the search for a successor, and information about the position is available at https://heydaybooks.com/executive-search/


Lisa Alvarez

Writers Workshops Participant, '91,'93,'94, and Staff

Lisa Alvarez’s poem was published in the Fall 2015 Issue of Huizache.


Martin J. Smith

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff & Participant, '91

“The Million Dollar Duck,” a documentary film based on Martin J. Smith’s 2012 nonfiction book The Wild Duck Chase, will premiere in early 2016. In addition, Diversion Books will release Smith’s latest suspense-thriller, Combustion, in early 2016.


Claudia Rankine

Poetry Teaching Staff & Participant, '93

Claudia Rankine, whose book, Citizen: An American Lyric, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 2015, has joined the English department at USC Dornsife as Aerol Arnold Chair of English.

Lynn Freed

Lynn Freed

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Lynn Freed’s story, “The Way Things Are Going”, published in Harper’s, has been awarded the O. Henry Prize.

Christopher Upham

Christopher Upham

Screenwriting Teaching Staff

Christopher Upham’s film, Return to Dak To, had its Bay Area premier in April, 2015, at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

Electric City

Elizabeth Rosner

Poetry Participant, '99, Writers Workshop Staff & Participant, '82,'83,'87

Elizabeth Rosner’s latest novel, Electric City, was released in paperback in late September, and was named as one of the best books of 2014 by National Public Radio.