Professor 2021-02-19T14:52:14+00:00


I am Distinguished Professor and Chair of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).

UCR offers the only Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing in the University of California system and MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. The MFA Program offers degrees in Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Playwriting, and Screenwriting. To learn more about the university’s MFA Program and Undergraduate Creative Writing program, visit this link.

At UCR I have taught courses and workshops on creative nonfiction and fiction, our graduate proseminar The Writer’s Life, courses on contemporary literature, a course on book reviewing and interviewing, and one on literary theory for writers.

I was Director of UCR’s Annual Literary Festival Writers Week for seven years, a week-long conference with over 20 writers each year; guests have included Margaret Atwood, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, John Rechy, Rita Dove, Jamaica Kincaid, Joy Harjo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Walter Mosely, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Roxane Gay, Rachel Cusk, Daniel Alarcón, and many others.

Prior to UCR, I have taught at Stanford University, University of Iowa, CalArts, University of Copenhagen.  At those schools I taught courses on American literature and culture, on work and slacking, on the 1920s, on regionalism, on realism, on literary theory, on literature and film, on noir, on Los Angeles literature, on specific authors (Wharton, Yezierska, Cather, DuBois, Henry and William James, McKay, Hurston, and Hughes, and others), on crying, on cosmopolitanism, on the year 1903 and the year 1925, and other topics.

With three decades of teaching and speaking experience, I’m available as a speaker and guest lecturer.