San Diego Mesa College Creative Writing Program
An exceptional community college writing program
near the Pacific Ocean
The Creative Writing Program at San Diego Mesa College offers a Creative Writing Certificate of Performance and range of classes for transfer credit and personal enrichment including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The main program goals are personal enrichment and to prepare students for upper division writing programs by offering courses that guide the development of writing skills. In this process, we provide writing workshops, individualized critiques of students' manuscripts, craft lectures, and exercises that encourage development of students as writers.
Additionally, we offer Honors Creative Writing 249: Staff of Mesa Visions, the Mesa College Art and Literary Magazine. As students learn to write poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, they collectively judge writing, selected art, and design the magazine. The semester ends with a celebration of the publication, an awards ceremony, and reading of selected works.
Scott T. Starbuck, Creative Writing Coordinator and
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Drive
San Diego, CA 92111
Bonnie ZoBell, Creative Writing Coordinator, Intermediate
Fiction Writing, Fundamentals of Fiction Writing, and Intro to Creative
Bonnie ZoBell's Web site
Scott T. Starbuck, Creative Writing Coordinator, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Fiction, Intro to Creative Writing, and World Literature
Sometimes in the first week, students ask if I published anything. Yes, I published over 300 pieces but I agree with William Stafford who wrote "I would trade everything I have ever written for the next thing." One of my newest activist poems, "What I Can’t Say at My Neighbor’s Party Looking at a Map of the United States," is at Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks. My poem "Enlightenment for $19.99" is at Festival Writer. I have "Five Seabeck Poems" at Pacific Call. Two recent audio-poems about my life partner the artist Shura Young are in the anthology The Burden of Light.
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. I maintain a Webpage at Poets and Writers Directory. My blog Trees, Fish, and Dreams is at riverseek.blogspot.com Eco-poetry blog posts include "Manifesto from Poet on a Dying Planet" in the September 2014 Split Rock Review; "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.
My previous poetry book, River Walker, a collection of Pacific Northwest fishing poems, was published in October 2012 by Mountains and Rivers Press (donated to the San Diego Public Library, and the San Diego Mesa College Library). My activist chapbook, The Other History, or unreported and underreported issues, scenes, and events of the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries, was published in October 2013 by FutureCycle Press, and was also donated. My anti-nuclear clay-poem “Napali” appeared in the Washington and Oregon chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Particles on the Wall Exhibit in Portland, Oregon (May and June 2013) about the “lasting impacts of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the nuclear age."
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 is being reprinted in Being: What Makes a Man anthology forthcoming in 2014 from the University of Nebraska Gender Programs.
Recent poems have appeared in Carbon Culture Review, Clerestory Poetry Journal : Poems of the Mountain West, Split Rock Review, The Monarch Review, Cobra Lily, Poetry 24, Teaching English in the Two-Year College (TETYC) Special Issue on Creative Writing, Turtle Island Quarterly, Manifest West -- Different Roads, CSHS, Amsterdam Quarterly (which also reviewed The Other History), The Los Angeles Review, About Place Journal, The Release, From the Depths, The Moon Magazine, rfishc.com, Typehouse Literary Magazine, South 85, Elohi Gadugi, Shark Reef, Cascadia Review, OccuPoetry, Work Literary Magazine, Otis Nebula, Untitled Country Review Issue 6, cur.ren.cy, Blue Lotus Review, The Oregonian, Heart Journal Online, Western Press Books’ Eccentricities of Geography, Two Thirds North (Stockholm University), Cream City Review's theme issue, "Dispatches from the Front: Labor and the Fight For Worker’s Rights," Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination,Unnatural Acts: Crimes Against Mother Nature Art Show at the Milepost 5 Gallery, North Coast Squid, San Francisco Peace and Hope,and A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (Anthology).
I have work forthcoming in Confrontation, Painted Bride Quarterly, Subprimal Poetry Art, San Diego Poetry Annual 2014 - 2015, Two Hawks Quarterly, Hermes Poetry Journal, Tidal Basin Review's 2084 Theme Issue, The Screaming Sheep, Centrifugal Eye, and R.kv.r.y Quarterly Literary Journal.
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 Portland, Oregon, and in San Diego, and return to the Pacific Northwest when I can.
Ron Israel, Intermediate Fiction Writing, Fundamentals of Fiction Writing, and Intro to Creative Writing, American Literature
If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that destinations are far less important than journeys. This moment on this path is what matters most.
For those seeking the typical background information: I joined the Mesa College English department in the Spring of 1997, after spending the previous six years as an adjunct instructor, teaching throughout San Diego County. At Mesa, I have taught composition, creative writing, and American Literature. Most of my current teaching load consists of humanities courses, though I continue to teach at least one English course each semester, including creative writing, American Lit, and Honors English 101, which is offered every fall semester. I earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts degree in English from San Diego State University. I am in final stages of completing a Master of Arts degree in humanities from CSU, Dominguez Hills.
Pianta, Poetry, Intro to Creative Writing
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, Terrain.org, 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.
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
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