Michelle Latiolais is the Director of the Programs In Writing. 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. Widow, a collection of stories, Involutions and essays, was released in January 2011 from Bellevue Literary Press, and was a finalist for The Believer Award. She was released in May 2016 by W.W. Norton & Company, a novel with embedded stories. Recent work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Santa Monica Review, Juked and The Kenyon Review.
Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised by her mother in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California and Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. She is the author of the ecofabulist novel Gold Fame Citrus, and the short story collection Battleborn, which won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Paris Review, Tin House, Freeman’s, Story Quarterly, The New Republic, and many anthologies including New American Stories, Best of the West, Best of the Southwest, Pushcart Prize XLIII, and The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story. A Guggenheim Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow, and named one of Granta's "Best Young American Novelists" in 2017, Claire lives in the Mojave Desert. Claire’s areas of interest are Creative Writing, Literary Journalism and Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Natalie Shapero is the author, most recently, of the poetry collection POPULAR LONGING. Her previous collections are HARD CHILD, shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize, and NO OBJECT, winner of the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award. Natalie’s writing has appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere.
Monica Youn is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Blackacre (Graywolf Press 2016), which won the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America. It was also shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Award, longlisted for the National Book Award, and named one of the best poetry books of 2016 by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and BuzzFeed. Her second book Ignatz (Four Way Books 2010) was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation, a Witter Bytter Fellowship from the Library of Congress, and as Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University as well as residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Lannon Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo and MacDowell. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and four editions of The Best American Poetry. Youn earned her M. Phil. in English Literature from University College, Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, her J.D. from Yale Law School, and her A.B. from Princeton University. A former constitutional lawyer, she is the daughter of Korean immigrants and is a member of the curatorial collective the Racial Imaginary Instititute. Her fourth book FROM FROM is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in March 2023.
Amy Gerstler is a writer of poetry, nonfiction and journalism. In 2018 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Penguin published her most recent book of poems, Scattered at Sea, in 2015 and it was long-listed for the National Book Award and short-listed for a Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her book Dearest Creature (Penguin, 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 Magazine, several volumes of Best American Poetry and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry and elsewhere. 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, and Pitzer College.
Once a year the Programs in Writing welcomes two visiting writers to teach the Graduate Writers’ Workshop. In recent years, visiting writers have included: Percival Everett, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Colette LaBouff Atkinson, Charles Baxter, Ann Beattie, Frank Bidart, Don Bogen, Jennifer Clarvoe, Killarney Clary, Stuart Dybek, Doreen Gildroy, Louise Glück, Glen David Gold, Andrew Sean Greer, Linda Gregerson, Robert Hass, Ursula Hegi, Brenda Hillman, Edward Hirsch, Cynthia Huntington, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, William Kittredge, Margot Livesey, Thomas Lux, Heather McHugh, James McMichael, Maile Meloy, Carol Muske-Dukes, Ann Patchett, Robert Pinsky, Martha Rhodes, Mark Richard, Christine Schutt, Jim Shepard, Mona Simpson, Ted Solotaroff, Pamela Stewart, Robert Stone, Mark Strand, Melanie Thernstrom, Lawrence Thornton, Brad Watson and C.K. Williams.