Core Faculty

Poetry

Michael RyanProfessor of English and Creative Writing and Director of the MFA Program in Poetry, has taught at UCI since 1990.  Previously, he taught at Iowa, Princeton, the University of Virginia, and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He has published nine books: five books of poems and four books of prose.  His New and Selected Poems was published in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin and won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. A memoir, Baby B., excerpted in The New Yorker, was also published in 2004. His first book of poems, Threats Instead of Trees, won the Yale Younger Poets Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His second, In Winter, was a National Poetry selection in 1981, and his third, God Hunger, won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Secret Life, an autobiography, was published in 1995,  A Difficult Grace (essays) in 2000, and Guy Novel (fiction) in 2016. Other distinctions include a Whiting Writers Award, two NEA fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and awards from American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review and the Poetry Society of America. This Morning, his fifth book of poems, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012.

Amy Gerstler is a writer of poetry, nonfiction and journalism. Penguin published her most recent book of poems, Scattered at Sea, in 2015. The book was longlisted for a National Book Award, short listed for a Kingsley Tufts Prize and was a finalist for a PEN Literary Award. Her book Dearest Creature, (2009)  was a finalist for an LA Times Book Award and the Poets Prize, and was named of one the New York Times notable books for 2009. Her previous twelve books include Ghost Girl, Medicine, Crown of Weeds, which won a California Book Award, Nerve Storm, and Bitter Angel, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry, several volumes of Best American Poetry and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry. She was the guest editor of the yearly anthology Best American Poetry in 2010. She has taught at the Bennington Writing Seminars program at Bennington College, at Art Center, College of Design in Pasadena, California, and in the Masters of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California as well as at California Institute of the Arts, Cal Tech, the University of Utah, Pitzer College, and elsewhere.

Fiction 

Ron Carlson’s most recent novel is Return to Oakpine.  His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harpers, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and other journals, as well as The Best American Short Stories, The O'Henry Prize Series, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and other anthologies; they have been performed on National Public Radio’s “This American Life” and “Selected Shorts.” Ron Carlson Writes a Story, his book on writing is taught widely.  He is the author of two books of poems, Room Service and The Blue Box.  He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Cohen Prize at Ploughshares, the McGinnis Award at the Iowa Review, the Aspen Literary Award; n and his novel Five Skies was One Book Rhode Island in 2009.  Mr. Carlson teaches fiction at the University of California, Irvine.

Michelle Latiolais  is is the author of the novel She; Widow--a collection of stories shortlisted for The Believer Book Award; the novel A Proper Knowledge; and the novel Even Now, which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. She is a Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine, where she co-directs the Programs in Writing. She lives in Los Angeles.

Director

Susan Davis  is the Director of the Emphasis. She is the winner of the Drury and the Rebecca Lard Awards for poetry.  A book of poems I Was Building Up To Something was released in November of 2011.  She has published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Pequod, Poetry Quarterly, and Ploughshares, and is a regular contributor to the Cincinnati Review, among others.  Her poem "Farm Days" was installed in collaboration with Texan artist Viola Delgado in a public arts project in Dallas.  She maintains a personal and intern-based reading and writing outreach to the young people of the township Kayamandi in South Africa.