Department of Creative Writing
The Department of Creative Writing at UCR offers the only Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing in the University of California system and the MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. It is a growing and dynamic program made up entirely of established writers and poets. Courses at UCR are designed for all students in the language arts, and they emphasize developing each student's skills and talents. Through writing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and/or drama, students examine language and meaning both as practitioners and as readers as they develop and hone essential writing techniques.
Every writer needs to develop a critical sense to augment creative ability. For this reason, the Creative Writing Department offers two types of courses. Workshop courses are seminars that focus on writing and on the discussion of student work. Reading courses for writers focus on aspects of literature presented from a writer's point of view. Frequently, they employ writing in imitation as one of several approaches to understanding the craft of writing. Upper-division workshop courses are offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Several reading courses link two genres such as fiction and poetry, and poetry and drama.
Susan Straight's Mecca (2022) is named to the Washington Post's !0 Best Books of the Year list.
Allison Hedge Coke was named one of four finalists for the National Book Award for Look at This Blue (2022).
Reza Aslan's An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville was published by W.W. Norton.
Susan Straight's Mecca (2022) is a finalist for the Kirkus Prize.
Allison Hedge Coke has been named to the longlist for the National Book Award for Look at This Blue (2022).
Juan Felipe Herrera has been honored by the Fresno Unified School District by naming its latest new school Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary. He also received a Pegasus Award from the Poetry Foundation and was named Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor at UCR.
Steve Erickson published American Stutter (2022), a diary of the Trump years. Also, Conversations with Steve Erickson, edited by Matthew Luter and Mike Miley, was published by the University Press of Mississippi. It contains 24 interviews done between 1986 and 2017; the interviewers include Michael Ventura, Michael Silverblatt, Alec Baldwin, Yoshiaki Koshikawa, Rick Moody, Joshua Cohen, Daniel Olivas, Larry McCaffery, and Takayuki Tatsumi.
Allison Hedge Coke’s latest book, Look at This Blue: An Assemblage Poem (2022), is out from Coffee House Press.
Tom Lutz published Portraits (2022), a collection of photographs and mini-essays with Rare Bird Lit, and The Kindness of Strangers (2021) with the University of Iowa Press. His new novel, Archipelago, is coming out in 2024.
Charmaine Craig’s My Nemesis (2023) is in galleys for publication early next year by Grove Press.
Jane Smiley has published Dangerous Business (2022), The Strays of Paris (2021), and Charles Dickens (2021).
Laila Lalami's Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America (2021) was named A New York Times Editors' Choice, a finalist for the California Book Award, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Best Book of the Year: Time, NPR, Bookpage, Los Angeles Times
Emily Rapp Black’s Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg was published in June of 2021.
None at this time.