Meet the Faculty

Scott T. Starbuck, Creative Writing Coordinator, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Fiction, Intro to Creative Writing, and World Literature

I'm Scott Starbuck. I teach the Honors Climate Change Poetry Seminar, and Creative Nonfiction. My students' essays, poems, and/or creative work  received a 2009 cover story in the San Diego Reader, Notable designation for The Best American Essays 2010, a 2011 George A. Miller Scholars Award at UC Berkeley to design a creative arts program for children, a William Dickey Fellowship to attend the SFSU M. F. A. Program in 2014, a 2018 Environmental Studies Program Award -- Best Work in Environmental Justice -- in Toyon at Humboldt State University, and a Francis P. Akamine Poetry Scholarship in 2012.  After classes ended, my students published in Southern Review, The Journal, Natural Bridge,, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Exquisite Corpse,  Clackamas Literary Review, Green Mountains Review,  Northwind, Avatar Review, Mesa Visions, City Works Literary Journal, and other journals. They graduated from the Fiction Program at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi., Nonfiction M. F. A. Program at Pacific University in Oregon, and UC Santa Cruz's M. F. A. Program in Creative Writing. They taught creative writing in high school, and English at The University of Montana.  They contributed chapters or published the books Superhero TherapyThe Walking Dead Psychology , Star Wars Psychology, and Pound for Pound.

My forthcoming book is Carbonfish Blues (Fomite, 2018), a collaboration with English artist Guy Denning who will provide drawings, murals, and paintings of activism, refugees, human vulnerability, and realism. My recently published play is "The Dome" at The Coachella Review sponsored by the University of California, Riverside–Palm Desert Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts working with Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Sometimes in the first week, students ask if I published anything else.  Yes, I published 486 pieces but I agree with William Stafford who wrote "I would trade everything I have ever written for the next thing." Recent books include Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems (Fomite, 2017), and place-based Lost Salmon (MoonPath Press, 2016).  Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems (Fomite, 2017) was chosen from over 1,500 entries as a 2018 Montaigne Medal Finalist sponsored by Eric Hoffer Awards for "the most thought-provoking books." This book was also selected by as a July 2017 "Editor's Pick," and was featured at Yale Climate Connections.  More information about climate change is on my ecoblog Trees, Fish, and Dreams at My writing career highlights are on my Poets & Writers site

Here is the YouTube of my Hawk on Wire book launch sponsored by La Jolla Historical Society's project WEATHER ON STEROIDS: THE ART OF CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE, bringing scientists and artists together for exhibits and readings. In a related matter, in 2016 I was part of the UCSD Faculty Climate Change Curriculum Workshop and Networking Event.

My "Manifesto from Poet on a Dying Planet" is at Split Rock Review. I read anti-nuclear and climate change poems on April 26, 2016, in the Particles on the Wall Exhibit in the Mobius Art Gallery at Cascadia College in Washington.

I was awarded a second PLAYA residency in Art, Science, and Community Collaboration in July 2016. I worked alongside Greenland climatologist Jason Box; artists Carolyn Law, Joan Truckenbrod, Daniel Mayer, and Shelly White; authors Charles Goodrich, Karen McPherson, and Charles Hood; and visiting guest archaeologist Dennis Jenkins, poet Ellen Waterston; and socio-ecological planner Levi Old as I developed my third full-length collection Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems. My first book of climate change poetry/facts was Industrial Oz: Ecopoems.   

Students asked me to suggest books.  Here are three in Push Pull Books' blog, 3 Good Books.

July 3 through July 6, 2014, I was a Friends of William Stafford Scholar at the "Speak Truth to Power" FOR (Fellowship of Reconciliation) Seabeck Conference on Hood Canal in Washington. I was a 2013 Artsmith Fellow on Orcas Island, and a writer-in-residence at The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.  Eco-poetry blog posts include "3 Questions for Scott Starbuck" in the April 5, 2014 Miriam's Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond; "Metabolism of Stars" in the June 1, 2014 Marybeth Holleman's Art and Nature Blog; and "The Godfather Box" in the February 11, 2014 South 85 Literary Journal

Claywork is at The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy Untitled Country Review (cover art called Steelhead Harp) (plus 2, 3, 4),  and was shown at The Spirit of the Salmon Fund for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Columbia River Gallery, Solstice, The Gresham Arts Gallery, The Clackamas County Arts Alliance, and White Wolf Sanctuary.

My creative nonfiction essays appeared in the Sunday Oregonian, The Raven Chronicles, California Prose Directory, Drunken Boat, Front Range (formerly MO: Writings from the River), The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy, and The Owen Wister Review at The University of Wyoming. Part of my essay "Wild Salmon" in  The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy was reprinted in Being: What Makes a Man anthology from the University of Nebraska Gender Programs.

My poems appeared in The San Diego Reader, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Confrontation, The Invisible Bear (Duke University), Oregon English Journal, Rivers Issue of  Elohi Gadugi Journal, Clementine Poetry Journal, The Monarch Review, Teaching English in the Two-Year College (TETYC) Special Issue on Creative Writing, Two Hawks Quarterly, and The Los Angeles Review

In addition to serving as Creative Writing Coordinator, I am the World Literature Coordinator.  World Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry Seminar are my favorite classes to teach as a Professor of English at San Diego Mesa College.  I live in Vancouver, Washington, and in San Diego, and return to the Pacific Northwest when I can.

Pianta, Creative Writing Coordinator, Poetry, Intro to Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Originally from Hawai’i, Pianta lives in San Diego but still considers Hilo home. She has a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language and a Bachelor’s degree in English. She’s studied with a range of writers such as James Wright, Galway Kinnell, Diane Wakoski, Oakley Hall and others. Her poems have appeared in Ekphrasis,, Bamboo Ridge Press, Bloodlotus, Istanbul Literary Review, Pyrta Journal, Cirque, Yuan Yang: Journal of Hong Kong and International Writing, and others. She also experiments with incorporating poetry with music, dance, stage, and film.

Bonnie ZoBell, Intermediate Fiction Writing, Fundamentals of Fiction Writing, and Intro to Creative Writing
Bonnie ZoBell's Web site

Bonnie ZoBell's new linked collection, What Happened Here: a novella and stories, was published in 2014. Her fiction chapbook collection, The Whack-Job Girls, was published in 2013. She's received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and fellowships at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. Visit her at

Christie Allred, Poetry, Intro to Creative Writing

Christie Allred, a native of San Diego, has been teaching at Mesa College since 1995. She earned her MA in English with a Creative Writing Certificate from San Diego State University. She also has a MS in Educational Technology. In her free time, she likes to play with her two sons and her dog and has recently rediscovered the joy of Leggos!


Joe Safdie, Poetry, Intro to Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction, British Literature

Joe Safdie has been teaching English in community colleges in Washington and California since 1994, after three years of teaching English overseas in the Czech Republic in the early nineties. His books of poems are Wake Up The Panthers (1974), Saturn Return (1983), Spring Training (1985), September Song (2000), Mary Shelley's Surfboard (2006) and in 2014, a full-length collection called Scholarship from Blaze Vox Press. Safdie’s most recent reviews are about Ben Hollander’s In the House Un-American (in the Los Angeles Book Review), Bill Mohr's history of Los Angeles poetry, Hold-Outs (O Magazine) and Dear Oxygen, the Selected Poems of Lewis MacAdams, in Big Bridge 2012. He received his MA in English from the University of Colorado, where he studied with the great American poet Edward Dorn.


Jill Moreno Ikari, Intro to Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction

Jill Moreno Ikari is a writer from Southern California. She has written and edited for newspapers, magazines, and literary journals. Notable publications include poem “Quiet for a Sunday,” published in the Connecticut River Review, “Maria Felíz: The One-Woman Threat to Los Angeles,” published in Artistic Proof, and “The Handmade Object,” published in Expression Magazine. Moreno Ikari was also Fiction Editor for The Southern California Anthology, Volume XX published by USC Master of Professional Writing Program. Moreno Ikari has studied with notable non-fiction writers Noel Riley-Fitch and Kenneth Turan; fiction writers Shelly Lowenkopf, Gabrielle Pina, and Aram Saroyan; and poet James Ragan. Moreno Ikari makes time to run, read, write, garden with native plants, and stand-up paddle board when she is not spending time with her family or teaching at San Diego Mesa College.

Jorge Villalobos

Jorge Villalobos, Intro to Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction

Jorge Villalobos  is is originally from Mexico and moved to the US when he was 17 years old. He studied English as a Second Language (ESL) at Palomar College then transferred to California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM), where he earned his BA and MA degrees in Literature and Writing with an emphasis on Creative Writing. He published his first book, My Name is/Mi Nombre es: Developing Internal Voices in a Quest of an Identity in 2012. He loves reading and writing poetry, nonfiction narratives, and fiction short stories that convey the human experience and cultural identity. He is currently working on his first novella in Spanish.

This page was updated October 18, 2018.

Copyright © 2006 to 2076 Scott T Starbuck, All Rights Reserved |  No responsibility is assumed for external links as these frequently change.  This unofficial Web site is maintained and owned by Scott T. Starbuck at San Diego Mesa College. Content provided does not reflect the views or opinions of the San Diego Community College District or San Diego Mesa College. Comments about the content on this site should be directed to the Web site owner at: