2018 Faculty

Charles Baxter is the author, most recently, of There’s Something I Want You to Do, published by Pantheon in February, 2015 and in paperback in 2016; the book was a finalist for the Story Prize in 2016. He is also the author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, published in 2011, The Soul Thief, published in 2008, by Pantheon, and of Saul and Patsy, published in 2003 by Pantheon. His third novel, The Feast of Love (Pantheon/Vintage), was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made into a film starring Morgan Freeman. He has published two other novels, First Light and Shadow Play, and four books of stories. He has also published essays on fiction collected in Burning Down the House (Graywolf) and Beyond Plot, and has edited or co-edited several books of essays, The Business of Memory, published by Graywolf, Bringing the Devil to His Knees (The University of Michigan Press), and A William Maxwell Portrait, published in 2004 by W. W. Norton. He has edited the stories of Sherwood Anderson, published by the Library of America in 2012. His book of poems, Imaginary Paintings, was published by Paris Review Editions. He also edited Best New American Voices 2001 (Harcourt) and was the judge for the Bakeless Prize in Fiction in 2004. He has received the Award of Merit in the Short Story and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rea Award in the Short Story in 2012. He was born in Minneapolis in 1947, graduated from Macalester College with a B. A. degree in 1969, and the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Ph.D. in 1974, and lived for many years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He taught at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Stanford, and the University of Iowa. He now lives in Minneapolis and is currently the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among other journals and magazines. His fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories seven times, eleven times in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and translated into many languages.


Pam Houston’s most recent book is Contents May Have Shifted, published in 2012, by W.W. Norton.  She is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton.  Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is professor of English at UC Davis, directs the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers and teaches in The Institute of American Indian Art’s Low-Rez MFA program and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world.  She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.


Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. Ilya is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press) which won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. Dancing In Odessa was also named Best Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine. Kaminsky was awarded Lannan Foundation’s Literary Fellowship. Poems from his new manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Recently, he was on the short-list for Neusdadt International Literature Prize. His anthology of 20th century poetry in translation, Ecco Anthology of International Poetry,  was published by Harper Collins in March. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Mecedonia, Romania, Spain and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize. Kaminsky has worked as a law clerk for San Francisco Legal Aid and the National Immigration Law Center. He currently works as the Court Appointed Special Advocate for Orphaned Children in Southern California. Currently, he teaches English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. 


Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still WritingDevotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”.  Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on”Super Soul Sunday.” She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her most recent book, Hourglass, was just published by Knopf.


Justin Torres’ first novel We the Animals, a national best seller, has been translated into fifteen languages and is currently being adapted into a feature film.  He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library.  The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 Under 35.  He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endownment for the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.  Recently, he served as Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig.  He lives in Los Angeles, where he is Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.


A finalist for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner award, Sunil Yapa’s debut novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist was named one of the best books of 2016 by Amazon, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Bustle, and others. Set during one day of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, the novel was described as “fast-paced and unflinching” by The New Yorker, “a genuine tour-de-force” by the Seattle Times, and “protest poetry, pure and simple” by MacLeans. Yapa has been a frequent guest on NPR, appearing on Morning Edition, as well as public radio in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Australia. He also appeared on NBC as a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers. The winner of the 2010 Asian American short story award, Yapa’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in American Short Fiction, Guernica, O Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Margins, Hyphen, Slice, LitHub and others. Yapa received his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City. He currently lives in Montreal, and teaches in the MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.

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