Core Faculty


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. His New and Selected Poemswas published in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin and won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. A memoir, Baby B., excerpted inThe 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 and A Difficult Grace(essays) in 2000. Other distinctions include a Whiting Writers Award, two NEA fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and awards from American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Reviewand the Poetry Society of America. This Morning, a new book of poems, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012.


Ron Carlson’s most recent novel is Return to Oakpine.  He is the author of ten books of fiction, including the novel The Signal from Viking and his selected stories A Kind of Flying from W.W. Norton.  His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harpers, The New Yorker, Tin House 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.”  His book on writing fiction is Ron Carlson Writes a Story.  Carlson 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; and his novel Five Skies was One Book Rhode Island in 2009. His two collections of poetry are Room Serviceand The Blue Box from Red Hen Press.  Mr. Carlson is Director of the Graduate Program in Fiction.

Michelle Latiolais is Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine.  She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California.  Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published in 2008 by Bellevue Literary Press.  She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles and Woof! Writers on Dogs.  Her stories and essays have appeared in ZyzzyvaThe Antioch ReviewWestern Humanities ReviewSanta Monica ReviewIowa Review and the Northwest Review.  Widow, a collection of stories, Involutions and essays, was released in January 2011 from Bellevue Literary Press.  She has work forthcoming in ZyzzyvaSanta Monica Review and Juked.


Susan Davis is the Director of the Emphasis and also and teaches courses. Her background includes training and performance in music and theater. She is the winner of the Drury and the Rebecca Lard Awards for poetry.  She has published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Pequod, Poetry Quarterly and is a regular contributor to the Cincinnati Review, among others.  Her poem “Farm Days”, installed on transit-station windscreens in collaboration with Texan artist Viola Delgado, was unveiled in November of 2010.  Her book of poemsI Was Building Up To Something was released in November of 2011.   She is active in a vocal music and writing outreach to the children and young people of Kayamandi, South Africa.