Guest Speakers

The low residency MFA in Creative Writing degree can be completed in two years through distance mentorship and twice yearly campus residencies. During our residencies in January (8 days) and June (11 days), students will participate in workshops, craft talks, afternoon panels and evening readings. Students engage with Dominican faculty and an illustrious lineup of guest speakers in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, narrative / poetic medicine, memoir, and publishing.

Residency Guest Speakers

January 5-10, 2018


Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash is the author of four books as well as reviews, essays, and articles for publications such as McSweeney’s, Tin House, Narrative Magazine, Zyzzyva, and the New York Times. His short story collection Stay Up With Me was nominated for the Folio Prize and picked as a Best Book of the Year by the Independent of London, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. His novel The Last Good Chance was awarded The California Book Award. His nonfiction book On Top of the World, about the horrific fate of the bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald on 9/11, was a New York Times Bestseller and landed him on the Today Show and Larry King Live. His most recent book, The Dakota Winters, is due out in Dec 2018 in the US, UK, Canada France, and Germany. A well-regarded speaker, panelist, and interviewer, Barbash teaches writing at California College of the Arts.

Laura Cogan

Laura Cogan is the Editor and Executive Director of ZYZZYVA. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from New York University.

Carolyn Cooke

Carolyn Cooke's novel, Daughters of the Revolution, was named one of the ten best books of 2011 by The San Francisco Chronicle and one of the Reviewers' Favorite novels of that year by The New Yorker magazine. Her debut collection of fiction, The Bostons, was a winner of the PEN/ Bingham Award, a finalist for the PEN/L.L. Winship Award, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. A recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Djerassi Foundation, Macdowell, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo, Carolyn is a professor in the interdisciplinary MFA Program at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Terry Lucas

Terry Lucas is the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks, Altar Call and If They Have Ears to Hear, and two full-length poetry collections: In This Room and Dharma Rain. His work has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Crab Orchard Review Feature Award in Poetry, the fifth annual Littoral Press Poetry Prize, and five Pushcart Prize nominations. Terry’s poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in dozens of national literary journals. He has taught in the Chicago Public School System as a Master Poet in the Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center’s Writing Center. Terry is a graduate of New England College MFA and is the former co-executive editor of Trio House Press.  He currently offers freelance poetry coaching and is on the advisory board of Trio House Press.

Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson is the author of four books of poetry, including A Piece of Good News, which will be published in February 2019, and the editor of the New Selected Poems of Robert Lowell. She has received fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of California at Davis. She lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and daughter.

Peg Alford Pursell

Peg Alford Pursell is the author of SHOW HER A FLOWER, A BIRD, A SHADOW, the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year for Literary Fiction, and selected by Poets & Writers magazine for its second annual “5 over 50” feature. Her second book A GIRL GOES INTO THE FOREST is forthcoming from Dzanc Books in July 2019. Her work appears in many journals and anthologies, including RHINO, The Cortland Review, and Permafrost. She is the director and founder of the national reading series Why There Are Words, and of WTAW Press, a publisher of exceptional literary books. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos Rodriguez, MA is a poet and playwright with poetry in various small presses/journals, and his one-act play, "A Place You Can Go," was performed in San Francisco through the Playwright's Foundation. He has studied creative writing at three universities - University of Arizona, University of CA - Davis, and Stanford University - and has taught creative writing at both UC-Davis and Dominican University of CA, where he currently teaches. His interest in narrative / poetic medicine stems from his study of the psychoanalytic endeavor of "putting words to feelings."

Marianne Rogoff

Marianne Rogoff, PhD is the author of the memoir Silvie's Life, which has been translated into Portuguese, adopted to teach medical ethics, and optioned for film. Six stories in her 2016 collection Love Is Blind in One Eye: 7 Stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In 2017, a novella-in-flash was shortlisted for the international Bath Flash Fiction Award. Her travel stories have appeared in The Best Travel Writing and The Best Women’s Travel Writing, including a Solas Bronze Award. She has also published numerous essays and book reviews in The Rumpus, San Francisco Chronicle, and Bloomsbury Review.

Nina Schuyler

Nina Schuyler is the author of The Translator, which won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her first novel, The Painting, was nominated for the Northern California Book Award and was named a "Year's Finest Best Book" by the San Francisco Chronicle and a "fearless debut" by MSNBC. It’s been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Serbian. Nina’s stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Santa Clara Review, Fugue, The Meadowland Review, The Battered Suitcase, and other literary journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco and writing classes at Book Passage. She lives in Northern California, with her husband and two sons.

Ayako Takahashi

Ayako Takahashi is an Associate Professor of English at Nagaoka University of Technology in Nagaoka, Japan. She is the author of Reading on Gary Snyder (Shichosha 2018) and co-translator of Anthology of Contemporary American Women Poets: Anne Waldman, Diane di Prima, Joanne Kyger and Jane Hirshfield (Shichosha 2012). Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Comparative Literature Studies (PENN STATE PRESS).

Tony Vidal

Tony Vidal  (Producer, Director, Writer) studied screenwriting at USC and later became head story analyst at Orion Pictures and The Ladd Company. He was hired by Summertime Films to co-write Her Best Move, an indy feature about girls soccer that was distributed by MGM and aired on The Disney Channel. Tony then wrote The Prankster, a teen comedy/romance produced by his own production company, Prankster Entertainment. The Prankster was distributed by Strand Releasing on numerous platforms including Netflix and Hulu, and had a successful two year run on Showtime and Starz. Recently, Tony wrote and directed Baja, which was theatrically released by AMC Independent in 2018, and is currently on Amazon and all major platforms.

Ryoichi Wago

Ryoichi Wago is a poet and a high school teacher in Fukushima, Japan. He is the author of multiple books and a winner of Nakahara Chuya prize in 1998 and Baisui prize in 2006. His work Pebbles of Poetry (Shi no Tsubute) is a compilation of Twitter posts written while facing the 3.11 earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi power station accident. This work, translated into French by Corinne Atlan as Jets de poemes: Dans le vif de Fukushima, won Le Prix de poesie de la revue NUNC 2017.

Alexa Weinstein

Alexa Weinstein is a writer, editor, and teacher. She moved to the Bay Area in 1982, at the age of ten, and spent the next two decades living in Marin County, Berkeley, and San Francisco’s Mission District. After earning an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, she moved to Portland, Oregon in 2001. She now provides writing and editing support to graduate students, helps working academics publish their research, and facilitates workshops with Write Around Portland. Whenever possible, she hangs out with her rad kid and/or goes to the river. She is currently finishing her first book: an essay collection about finding a place in language where you can speak from all your parts.

Maw Shien Win

Maw Shein Win is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and works in the Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in many journals and several anthologies, including MARY: A Journal of New Writing, Cimarron Review, Poetry International, Fanzine, and others. She often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers. A collaborative book with paintings by artist Mark Dutcher, Ruins of a glittering palace, was published by SPA/Commonwealth Projects. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto and is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito. Win's poetry chapbook Score and Bone is on Nomadic Press. Her full-length collection Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in April 2018.

Past Residency Guest Speakers

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