Winter 2014 Living Writers Series: The Alumni Series

December 07, 2013

Alumni Series, Winter, 2014, six pm, Thursdays, Humanities Lecture Hall

January 9:

Novelist/Memoirist Reyna Grande is the author of the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies, for which she received an American Book Award (2007) and an International Latino Book Award (2010). Her most recent book, The Distance Between Us, is a memoir about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as“the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience,” it was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award.

January 23:

Writer/Performer Beth Lisick is the author of five books: the memoir collection Yokohama Threeway and Other Small Shames, the New York Times bestselling comic memoir Everybody Into the Pool, the gonzo self-help manifesto Helping Me Help Myself, the story collection This Too Can Be Yours, and the performance poetry/story collection Monkey Girl. Since 1999 she has been collaborating with writer/comedian Tara Jepsen on stage and video projects. They have performed at Dixon Place, UCB Theatre, SF MOMA and screened their films at OUTfest, Frameline, and the Mix Film Festival of Sexual Diversity in Sao Paulo, Brasil.

January 30:

Fantasy Writer Rachel Swirsky has published over fifty short stories in venues including The New Haven Review, and Clarkesworld Magazine. Her speculative fiction has been nominated for most of the genre's major awards, including the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award, and in 2010, she won the Nebula Award for her novella "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window." She holds a master's degree in fiction from the Iowa Writing Workshop at the University of Iowa. Her second collection, HOW THE WORLD BECAME QUIET: MYTHS OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, came out from Subterranean Press at the end of September.

Sina Grace is the author and illustrator of the indie mini-series Books with Pictures, the neo-noir Cedric Hollows in Dial M for Magic, and the autobiographical one-shot, Self-Obsessed. Not My Bag, which recounts a story of retail hell, is his new book from Image Comics. He lives in Los Angeles, where he can be found in coffee shops working on his revenge video game-kickback, Burn the Orphanage.

Feb 6 Panel of Editors:

Zoë Ruiz is the managing editor of The Rumpus. Her work was been published by The Weeklings, Salon, Two Serious Ladies, and elsewhere.

Elizabeth McKenzie is the author of Stop That Girl, which was short-listed for the Story Prize, and a novel, MacGregor Tells the World. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Pushcart Prize Anthology, Threepenny Review and others, and has been recorded for NPR's Selected Shorts.  She is currently Managing Editor of Catamaran Literary Reader and Senior Editor of the Chicago Quarterly Review.

Daniel Mirk was a staff writer for the satirical website The Onion from 2006 to 2012. He is one of the creators of the Peabody Award winning Onion News Network web series, the IFC television series of the same name, and the Amazon Studios pilot Onion News Empire. Daniel has also written for Comedy Central, Funny Or Die, and The Upright Citizens Brigade. In 2013 Daniel was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the writing staff of the Comedy Central special "Night Of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together For Autism Programs" hosted by Jon Stewart.


Feb 13 Panel of Journalists

Martha Mendoza is a Puliter Prize-winning Associated Press National Writer whose reports have won numerous awards and prompted Congressional hearings, Pentagon investigations and White House responses. She has reported for the AP since 1997, in Albuquerque, N.M., New York and Mexico City. A UC Santa Cruz graduate, she was a 2001 Knight Fellow at Stanford University and a 2007 Ferris Professor for Humanities at Princeton University.

Nick Miroff is a correspondent for The Washington Post covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. He is also a senior correspondent for GlobalPost and a contributor to National Public Radio. Miroff has a master's degree from the UC Berkeley School of Journalism (2006) and studied Spanish and Latin American literature at UC Santa Cruz (2000). He grew up in Albany, New York.

Michael Scherer is TIME magazine's Washington D.C. Bureau Chief. He joined TIME in December of 2007 and became the magazine’s White House correspondent following the 2008 campaign. He has written a number of cover stories in recent years, including The Informers, The Gunfighters, The New Sheriffs of Wall Street and Yo Decido: the Rise of the Latino Voter. He won the 2012 National Press Club’s Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis for his series on how the Obama campaign harnessed technology to win the Presidential race. Before coming to TIME, he worked as a Washington Correspondent for both and Mother Jones magazine, and as a beat reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, Mass.


Feb 27 Poets

Sesshu Foster has taught composition and literature in East L.A. for 25 years. He's also taught writing at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics  and the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work has been published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems. Local readings are archived at He is collaborates with artist Arturo Romo-Santillano and other writers on the website, His most recent books are the novel Atomik Aztex and the hybrid text World Ball Notebook.

Angel Dominguez writes things. Originally from Los Angeles, he received his BA in Poetry from UC Santa Cruz. He is currently an MFA candidate at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He is the founding editor of the Omni Writers Collective Press, the co-founding editor of TRACT / TRACE: an investigative journal, and presently the senior editor for the Bombay Gin literary journal. His work has appeared in The Bombay Gin, Omni Symposium vol.1, and is forthcoming in the Berkeley Poetry Review. Most recently he completed an interview chapbook TIME-SCAPING with Mary Burger, published by Pinball Press. Now residing in Boulder Colorado, he is exploring the sentence and what it is for.

March 6

Novelist Molly Antopol teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where she was a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow. Her debut story collection, The UnAmericans, is forthcoming in February 2014 from W.W. Norton. She is a recipient of the 2013 '5 Under 35' Award from the National Book Foundation and holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared on NPR’s This American Life and in many publications, including One Story, Ecotone, American Short Fiction, Glimmer Train, Esquire and Mississippi Review Prize Stories. She lives in San Francisco and is at work on a novel, The After Party, which will also be published by Norton.