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

June 8-14, 2019


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.

Brennen Belogorsky

Brennen Belogorsky is a freelance writer with a BA and MFA from Dominican University of California. She is one of the founding members of the writing group, “The Band of Poets” and is currently working on two different poetry manuscripts. Brennen lives in Western Sonoma County where she tends her half acre of fruit trees and roses. During the week, she works for St Joseph Medical Group, where she is actively working on creating a writing group for both patients and care providers. Her poetry has been published in the Mosiac, and the Monterey Library Poetry Contest while her medical articles have been published in the St. Joseph newsletter.

Christina Bougas

Christina “Bogie” Bougas is a proud member the of the first graduating class of Dominican’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She lives and works in the Northern California mountains as a professional artist and sees her writing as another art form, where words paint pictures and ideas create the soundtrack of a story. With a B.A. in Drama, an M.A. in Humanities and past careers in theatre, film, marketing and toy design, Bogie brings a lifetime of experience to her writing. Currently, she is working on a novel and submitting short stories for publication, having various pieces already published in Surprise magazine and Dominican’s The Tuxedo literary magazine.

Chris Brecheen

Chris Brecheen is just this guy who loves to write. He's been doing it for thirty years, and even got a degree in Creative Writing that now covers a hole in his drywall. These days he tries to write a novel when he’s not working on the pretentious, hackneyed tripe in his blog, Writing About Writing or managing his Facebook page of the same name. He likes to brag that writing pays the bills, but he does a lot of pet sitting and wrangling of a five-year-old and newborn to be able to afford brand-name peanut butter and health insurance.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of the collection Cenzontle(2018), which won the 2017 A. Poulin Jr. prize, and the chapbook Dulce (2018). His memoir, Children of the Land, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020. His work has appeared or been featured in The New York Times, PBS Newshour, People Magazine en Español, The Paris Review, Fusion TV, Buzzfeed, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, and the New England Review, among others. He currently teaches in the Low-Res MFA program at Ashland University.

Catharine Clark-Sayles

Catharine Clark-Sayles graduated with an MD from the University of Colorado in 1979. As an Army doctor she arrived in San Francisco planning for a short stay to complete internship and residency but liked the San Francisco area so well that she never left. She left the Army for private internal medicine and geriatrics practice in 1990 and resumed her writing career soon after, focusing on poetry. She has two books of poetry published by Tebot Bach Press: One Breath in 2008 and Lifeboat in 2012. Finishing Line Press published a chapbook, Brats in 2018.

Katherine Crawford

Kat Crawford is a native of San Francisco and grew up hearing the Beat poets and as a teenager was inspired by E.E. Cummings and Dylan Thomas. She’s been writing ever since. At the University of Denver she continued to nurture her love of language and communication with a focus on French and Art. She enrolled in the MFA program at Dominican and the ‘Band of Poets’ (her cohort) was born. Kat’s work has been published in Creative Woman, Nomad’s Choir, Spillway, The Marin Poetry Center Anthology and Tuxedo. Her first book A Particular Heaven came out in 2014.

Jasmin Darznik

Jasmin Darznik’s debut novel Song of a Captive Bird is a fictional account of Iran’s trailblazing woman poet, Forugh Farrokhzad. It was selected as a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” and appeared on several “Best Of” lists in 2018, including Booklist, Reader’s Digest, and Newsweek. Jasmin is also the author of The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Jasmin was born in Tehran, Iran and came to America when she was five years old. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. Now a professor of English and creative writing at California College of the Arts, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Her next book, a historical novel set in 1920s San Francisco, is forthcoming from Ballantine.

Rebecca Foust

Rebecca Foust has published five books of poetry, most recently Paradise Drive, reviewed in venues including the Times Literary Supplement, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Her poems, essays, short stories, and reviews appear widely. Recent Recognition includes the James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Jane Hirshfield, American Literary Review’s Fiction Prize judged by Garth Greenwell, fellowships from MacDowell, Sewanee, and the Frost Place, and recent appointment as Marin County Poet Laureate. She is the poetry editor and writes a weekly column for Women's Voices for Change, and an assistant editor reading fiction for Narrative Magazine.

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander’s poetry collection Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. The Pulitzer Prize Judges citation calls it, “A collection of elegies that grapple with sudden loss, and the difficulties of expressing grief and yearning for the departed.” Gander’s other poetry collections include Eye Against Eye, with photographs by Sally Mann; Torn Awake; and Science & Steepleflower. He is the author of the essay collection Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory & Transcendence, and two novels, As A Friend (2008) and The Trace (2014). A translator of international renown, his translations include Alice, Iris, Red Horse: Selected Poems of Gozo Yoshimasu; Then Come Back: The Lost Poems of Pablo Neruda; and Fungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alfonso D’Aquino; among several other publications. In 2008, Gander was named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, one of 50 artists to be recognized for artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their fields. He was the A.K. Seaver Professor of Literary Arts & Comparative Literature at Brown University where he taught with his late wife, the poet C.D. Wright, for more than twenty years. He lives and works now in Petaluma, California.

Joan Gelfand

Joan Gelfand is the author of You Can Be a Winning Writer: The 4 C’s of Successful Authors (Mango Press), three volumes of poetry, and an award-winning chapbook of short fiction. Her novel set in a Silicon Valley startup will be published in June by Mastodon/C&R Press. The recipient of numerous awards, nominations, and honors, Joan’s work appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Kalliope, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, the Toronto Review, Marsh Hawk Review, Levure Litteraire, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and many other lit mags and journals. Joan coaches writers on their publication journey by Skype and Zoom.

Molly Giles

Molly Giles had a distinguished career teaching Fiction Writing at San Francisco State University and the University of Arkansas. She has published a novel, IRON SHOES, and four award-winning collections of short stories: Rough Translations, Creek Walk, Bothered, and, most recently, All The Wrong Places, which won the Spokane Prize for Fiction.

Terry Glass

Terri Glass is the author of two books of poems—Unveiling the Mystical Light and The Song of Yes—as well as a chapbook of haiku titled Birds, Bees, Trees, Love, Hee Hee. Her most recent publication is The Wild Horse of Haiku: Beauty in a Changing Form, a history of haiku from its roots to modern day. Terri coordinates the California Poets in the Schools in Marin County and continues to work as a poetry teacher to K–12 students. She has presented workshops for educators and therapists for the River of Words program, the National Poetry Therapy Association, and the International ChildSpirit Conference. She received a BA in biology from Western Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. A former biologist, Terri worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service before devoting herself full-time to writing.

William Harms

William Harms’ comic book work includes the acclaimed vampire series Impaler (finalist for the International Horror Guild Award), 39 Minutes, and writing comics featuring Captain America, The Avengers, and Wolverine, among others. Bill currently works at Hangar 13 (a 2K studio) as Narrative Director. He was lead writer on Mafia III, which was released to wide acclaim for its story and writing in October of 2016. Mafia III was profiled in the New York Times, NPR, and other major media outlets, and was nominated for two BAFTAs, including for narrative.

Norm Hunter

After ten years of growing a manufacturing company, Norm Hunter sold it to pursue a lifelong interest in film production. He spent two years studying screenwriting, directing, editing, and producing, and then co-wrote, produced, and directed the feature film Her Best Move. The film won 1st place in three film festivals, was selected for exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in NYC, and won distribution with MGM, The Disney Channel and HBO. Norm currently oversees the expansion of Summertime Films as it becomes a leader in producing exciting, mainstream entertainment that moves our culture in a positive direction.

Frances Hwang

Frances Hwang’s story collection Transparency won the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and a PEN Open Book Award. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Colgate University, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been read as part of the Selected Shorts series at Symphony Space and has appeared in such publications as Best New American Voices, Glimmer Train, The New Yorker, and Tin House.

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.

Rachel Noel

Rachel Noel has spent the better part of a decade in and out of the gaming industry, going from a Quality Assurance analyst at Blizzard, to bonafide Narrative Designer at Obsidian--and many places since. She’s worked on a number of titles in various different capacities, from MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, to cinematic, story-driven games like Telltale’s second season of Batman and Minecraft: Story Mode for Netflix. She currently works at Riot as a Narrative Writer. She has also dabbled in writing supplemental material for strategy guides and tabletops. When she’s not writing for games, chances are good she’s playing them.

Erin Rodoni

Erin Rodoni is the author of two poetry collections: Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss (NFSPS Press, 2017), winner of the Stevens Award sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Cimarron Review, Poetry Northwest, Spoon River Poetry Review, and The Adroit Journal, among others. She has been the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a Ninth Letter Literary Award, and the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. She lives in San Rafael with her husband and two young daughters.

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.

Julia Flynn Siler

Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her most recent book is The White Devil's Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco's Chinatown (Knopf, May 2019) which the San Francisco Chronicle called "meticulously researched and inspiring..." Her other books are Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure. Her first book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, was a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting. A veteran journalist, Siler is a longtime contributor and former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and has been a guest commentator on the BBC, CNBC, and CNN. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their two sons.

Past Residency Guest Speakers

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