Scott T. Starbuck, Creative Writing Coordinator and World Literature Coordinator
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Drive
San Diego, CA 92111 

Meet the Faculty

Bonnie ZoBell, Creative Writing Coordinator, 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

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

I'm Scott Starbuck. 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, 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, Exquisite Corpse,  Clackamas Literary Review, Green Mountains Review,  Northwind, Avatar Review, 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 to the books The Walking Dead Psychology and Star Wars Psychology.

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."  My newest activist poems are "When Monkeys Learned to Write" at The Screaming Sheep and "Intoxicated by Purple Lupine" at  Blue Lotus Review.  Industrial Oz, a 93 page book of my activist poems, is forthcoming from Fomite Press in Vermont.

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

Fall 2015 I will be a writer-in-residence at Playa near Summer Lake, Oregon.

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 eco-poetry blog Trees, Fish, and Dreams is at  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. 

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 Confrontation, Clementine Poetry Journal, Subprimal Poetry Art, Tidal Basin Review's 2084 Theme Issue, Festival Writer, 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,, Typehouse Literary Magazine, South 85, Shark Reef, Cascadia Review, OccuPoetry, Otis Nebula,, Heart Journal Online, Western Press Books’ Eccentricities of Geography, Two Thirds North (Stockholm University), Unnatural Acts: Crimes Against Mother Nature Art Show at the Milepost 5 Gallery, North Coast Squid, San Francisco Peace and Hope, A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (Anthology), and San Diego Poetry Annual 2014 - 2015.

I have work forthcoming in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Painted Bride QuarterlyTwo Hawks Quarterly, Hermes Poetry Journal, Centrifugal Eye, Oregon English Journal, Rain Magazine, 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

I’m Ron Israel. When I’m not teaching, grading essays, or doing other school related work, I spend my time with my wife and two kids. In rare spare moments I practice tai chi and plunk around on the guitar. I also write short fiction, having been most recently published in SDSU’s Pacific Review.

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,, 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

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.


Tracy Walker, Intro to Creative Writing, World Literature

Tracey Walker, a native of San Diego, has been teaching at Mesa College since 2004. She earned her MA in English, with an emphasis in American Literature, from San Diego State University and is a fellow of the San Diego Area Writing Project. She also has an ESL certificate and minored in French. She currently team teaches the English 249 course, Introduction to Literature, that creates Mesa Visions. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, enjoy San Diego culture, read, watch movies, and travel. 

This page was updated March 26, 2015.

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