News from Creative Writing Alum

CW alum updates:

• Chiara Barzini Chiara Barzini, creative writing program alum, has published her first book of short stories, Sister Stop Breathing, Calimari Press, 2012. Chiara Barzini is a screen and fiction writer. Films written by her have been distributed in Italy, Spain, Japan, and Latin America. The most recent one, Into Paradiso, premiered at the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Noon, Bomb Magazine, SLEEPINGFISH, Or, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA PROJECT, The New Review of Literature, New York Tyrant as well as The Village Voice, Rolling Stone Italy, Flair, Italian Vanity Fair, and Marie Claire.

• Sean Patrick Maylone NY Times Interview

• Natalie Serber Natalie Serber's book of short stories, Shout Her Lovely Name (Houghton Mifflin) will be published in June, 2012. Natalie took creative writing classes at UCSC in 1988 and received her education certificate at UCSC before getting her MFA at Warren WIlson. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.

• Lindy Lavender (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - "I am working for a state senator now, and I am surprised by how often I use my creative writing background. I think writing gave me a greater sense of empathy, and an eye for observing the world around me. It also helped me to be more careful about how I craft my words, which comes in handy when dealing with gun enthusiasts."

CW alum accepted into graduate programs:

• Carrie Abel (B.A., UCSC, 2009) - Accepted into the Masters in Education program at UCSC

• Ari Anaya (B.A, UCSC, 2007) - Accepted into the MA feminist studies/English program at Brandeis University as well as the MA in Teaching English as a Second Language at SF State

• Sean Beld (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the MFA program Oregon State University, 2011

• Ian Colbert (B.A., UCSC, 2008) - Accepted into the MFA graduate program at University of Alaska, Fairbanks

• Jamie Cutter (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the Masters in Education program at UCSC

• Scott Dievendorf (B.A., UCSC, 2009) - Accepted into the MFA graduate program in fiction at Columbia University

• Gracie Egelhofer (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the MA Creative Writing program, Notre Dame de Namur, 2011

• Jason File (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - Accepted in the MA in creative writing at SF State

• Megan Fitzgerald (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the MFA in creative writing at Indiana University

• Megan Healey (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Joined the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at Columbia for Fall, 2010

• Heidi McCoy (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - Accepted into the Mills College MFA program

• Parvati (Paris) Narayan (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the MA program in English, CSU Fullerton, 2011

• Patricia Pinedo (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the MFA program at San Jose State University

• Rebecca Rukeyser (B.A., UCSC, 2007) - Accepted in the Iowa Writers Program where she will join recent CW graduate Emily Liebowitz (UCSC '07) already in the program

• Alex Russell (B.A., UCSC) - Accepted to the MA Fiction program at UC Davis

• Katy Zofia Turchin (B.A., UCSC, 2010) - Accepted into the MFA program at San Francisco State

• Sarah Wallen (B.A., UCSC, 2009) - Accepted into MFA programs at LIU Brooklyn, Roosevelt University, and Adelphi University

• Carolyn White (B.A., UCSC, 2008) - Awarded a full merit based fellowship to the MFA in fiction program at American University for Fall, 2010 

Recent graduates of MFA programs:

• Jen Ghastin (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - San Jose State University MFA

• Cynthia Guardado (B.A., UCSC, 2006) - Cal State Fresno MFA '12 (Poetry)

• Leigh Hecking (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - San Diego State '07 MFA, Fairleigh Dickinson '11 MFA

• Ben Kaja (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - Virginia Tech '08 MFA (Poetry)

• Allison Layfield (B.A., UCSC, 20'04) - New Mexico State University '10 MFA (Poetry)

• Kelly McNerney (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - San Francisco State '11 (Poetry)

• Alessandra Simmons (B.A., UCSC, 2005) - Indiana University '11 MFA (Poetry)

• Rachel Swirsky (B.A., UCSC, 2005) - U of Iowa '08 MFA (Fiction)

• Dana Trocker (B.A., UCSC, 20'07) - Completing a Masters Program in Writing with a Concentration in Book Publishing at Portland State University

Other CW alum news:

• Kat Bailey (B.A., UCSC, 2008) - Published a short story in the winter 2009 issue of the Lakeview Review. The story is titled "Think of a Tree" and it was the second place winner of the winter short fiction contest. It has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

• Justin Coupe (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - Now a filmmaker, is the director/producer of the award winning documentary, Rivers of A Lost Coast. He recently produced/shot a television series for the TLC network titled "Addicted."

• Jacob Cribbs (B.A., UCSC, 2009) - Recipient of the 2009 Dharma Grace Award for his play, “The Animals of Omaha."

• Cecilia Fairchild (B.A., UCSC, 2006) - Wrote a one-woman show, and performed it at the Next Stage Theatre in Los Angeles. The show was called "Stripping in L.A.," a collection of monologues, poems, and a little bit of dance about a girl moving back to L.A. after living by the ocean for several years, trying not to lose herself in the craziness of the city.

• Jason File (B.A., UCSC, 2004) - Published a novel Axis of Praxis (available on Amazon).

• Elizabeth McKenzie (B.A., UCSC) - Kresge College Lecturer and creative writing alum is the recipient of a Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Creative Artists Fellowship. She will receive a five-month residency, which includes a monthly stipend of 600,000 yen (approximately $6,500) and a travel grant of $6,000, to live in Japan in 2010 and pursue a creative project. The residency is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in conjunction with the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. Elizabeth will be working on her new novel, For the Benefit of Mr. Maru. In this novel, family history blends with fiction to relate the story of her grandmother’s involvement with the radiation victims of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki and the subsequent dissolution of her family (Elizabeth’s grandmother was a doctor who went to Nagasaki to study the effects of the bomb on children). Elizabeth will also interview contemporary Japanese writers little known outside of Japan for a forthcoming collection of translations.

• Daniel Mirk (UCSC '06) - A senior staff writer for The Onion News Network, an online web video series which has won a Peabody Award as well as numerous Webby Awards.

• Erika Meitner - Past Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry, is now an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. Her second collection, Ideal Cities, winner of the National Poetry Series, will be published by Harper Perennial this year. 

• Katie Quarles (B.A., UCSC, 2009) - Published poems in the following magazines:
The King's English
We Are Not

Cahoots Magazine
River Road
Seven Kinds Prescribed

4 Poems

• Zoë Ruiz (B.A., UCSC) - After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Zoë moved to the Bay Area and obtained a internship at 826 Valencia, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting students with their writing skills. She also worked as a Production Assistant and Morning News Writer for KPIX CBS in San Francisco. A year later, she moved to Los Angeles and used her writing skills as a Development Assistant at a nonprofit that offered free services for homeless women on Skid Row. During this time, she also became a volunteer for 826LA and recently obtained a position as a Volunteer Coordinator and Programs Assistant. Zoë practices yoga, makes stationary, and designs street literature projects. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus,, and you can find her self-published books at Occidental College Library. She's grateful that she had the opportunity to study creative writing at UC Santa Cruz, because learned so much from her professors and peers.

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