Lisa Alvarez’s poetry and prose has been published in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Huizache, [PANK], Santa Monica Review, TAB Journal and most recently in So It Goes, the literary journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library as well as anthologies including Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America (Norton). Along with Andrew Tonkovich, she co-edited Orange County: A Literary Field Guide (Heyday). She is the editor of the forthcoming Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poems from the Community of Writers (Heyday). Born in Los Angeles, she earned an MFA from UC Irvine and has taught for nearly 30 years as a professor of English at Irvine Valley College. She co-directs the Writers Workshops, and serves serves as Assistant Program Director at the Community of Writers.
2021 Fiction Teaching Staff
Leslie Daniels’ first novel, Cleaning Nabokov’s House, has been published in translation in four languages. The novel, now under option for film, fights the good fight of being both literary and funny. Daniels’ stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications. Her background in publishing includes over a decade as a literary agent in New York, as well as serving as the fiction editor for Green Mountains Review. Leslie Daniels lives in Ithaca, New York. www.lesliedaniels.com
Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico to parents from the state of Michoacán. He graduated from the University of California-Riverside, then went on to earn an MFA from UC-Irvine’s Program in Writing. His first novel, Still Water Saints, was published by Random House in 2007. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was published by Random House in March 2013. Alex’s work has appeared in several anthologies and journals including Alta, NPR, Virginia Quarterly Review, and in the 2022 Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories. His awards include a 2009 Margaret Bridgeman Fellowship in Fiction to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a 2014 Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts, a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León, and a 2019 Fellowship to MacDowell. His latest is Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime (Unnamed Press 2019). Alex teaches at UC-Riverside where he serves as the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing.
Photo: Tracy Hall
Janet Fitch’s first novel, White Oleander, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, translated into 24 languages and made into a feature film. Her second novel, Paint It Black, a national bestseller, was made into a 2017 feature film, written and directed by Amber Tamblyn. Her most recent books are a duet of novels set during the Russian Revolution, The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Los Cathedral. She leads weekend writing intensives through the Community of Writers, and is longtime staff at the Summer Workshops, which she herself attended as a young writer. www.janetfitchwrites.comwww.janetfitchwrites.com
Photo credit: Cat Gwynn
Karen Joy Fowler is a novelist and writer of short fiction. Her work ranges from literary to science fiction, from contemporary to historical. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award, the California Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2014. Her novel Booth was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2022. She is currently sheltering at home in the beautiful city of Santa Cruz, California. www.karenjoyfowler.com
Photo credit: Nathan Quintanilla
Michael Jaime-Becerra is a writer from El Monte, California, a working-class suburb east of East Los Angeles. He is the author of This Time Tomorrow, a novel awarded an International Latino Book Award, and Every Night Is Ladies’ Night, a story collection that received the California Book Award for a First Work of Fiction. Recent essays of his have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, ZYZZYVA, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.
Photo Credit: EVJ
Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, ZYZZYVA, The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review and Huizache, among others. Her most recent work is Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley’s California, a fictional account of a fictionalized account of the life of African American historian and scholar Delilah Beasley. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California. www.danajohnsonauthor.com/
Photo credit: Brett Hall Jones
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of The Five Wounds, which won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Her story collection, Night at the Fiestas, won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The New York Times, and elsewhere. In September she will join the faculty of the Stanford Creative Writing Program. [F] kirstinvaldezquade.com
Photo Credit: Holly Andres (c)2020
Martin J. Smith is an award-winning journalist and author of five suspense novels, including the Edgar Award-nominated Straw Men and the thriller Combustion; and five nonfiction books, including The Wild Duck Chase, the essay collection Mr. Las Vegas Has a Bad Knee, and the forthcoming Going to Trinidad: A Doctor, a Colorado Town, and Stories from an Unlikely Gender Crossroads (Bower House, April 2021). A participant at the Community of Writers in 1992, Smith has been returning as a faculty member since 2002. https://martinjsmith.com/
Photo credit: Brett Hall Photography
Gail Tsukiyama is the author of eight novels, including Women of the Silk, The Samurai’s Garden, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, and her latest novel, The Color of Air. She has been the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence, and the Asia Pacific Leadership Award from the Center of the Pacific Rim and the Ricci Institute. A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has taught at San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley, and Mills College.
Josh Weil is the author of the novel The Great Glass Sea, the novella collection The New Valley, and story collection The Age of Perpetual Light. A Fulbright Fellow and National Book Foundation 5-under-35 honoree, he has been awarded The American Academy of Arts and Letters’ First Fiction Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the GrubStreet National Book Prize, the Library of Virginia Literary Award, the California Book Award, and a Pushcart. A writing teacher for over a decade, he has most recently taught in the MFA program at U.C. Irvine and at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. www.joshweil.com
Photo credit: Brett Hall Photography
Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the poetry collection, Wife, which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection. Tiphanie is also the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Books of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. She is the author of a collection of stories, How to Escape from a Leper Colony, which won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5Under35. Her writing has won the Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, the Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places. Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands and is a professor at Emory University. She lives in Atlanta with her family. www.tiphanieyanique.com