Writers in residence are distinguished writers who upon being invited for semester-long teaching residencies at CCA work with students through intimate workshops, classes, readings, and individual meetings. Students benefit immensely from the unique learning experience.

Al Young

Spring 2010

Al Young's many books include novels, collections of poetry, essays, memoirs, and anthologies. His work has appeared in Paris Review, Ploughshares, Essence, the New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature, Chelsea, Rolling Stone, Gathering of the Tribes, the Norton Anthology of African American Literature, and the Oxford Anthology of African American Literature.

Young has taught poetry, fiction writing, and American literature at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, Bowling Green State University, Foothill College, the Colorado College, Rice University, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, the University of Arkansas, San Jose State University (where he was appointed the 2002 Lurie Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing), and Charles University in the Czech Republic under the auspices of the Prague summer programs.

Among his honors: Wallace Stegner, Guggenheim, Fulbright National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the PEN-Library of Congress Award for Short Fiction, the PEN-USA Award for Non-Fiction, two American Book Awards, two Pushcart Prizes, two New York Times Notable Book-of-the-year citations, an Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship, the Stephen Henderson Achievement Award for Poetry, Radio Pacifica's KPFA Peace Prize, the Glenna Luschei Distinguished Poetry Fellowship, and the Richard Wright Award for Excellence in Literature.

In 2005 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Poet Laureate of California.

Born in Mississippi on the Gulf Coast near Biloxi, Young grew up in villages and small towns of the rural South, as well as in urban, industrial Detroit.


Daniel Alarcón

Fall 2009

Daniel Alarcón is the associate editor of Etiqueta Negra, an award-winning magazine published in his native Lima, Peru, that features histories, chronicles, profiles, essays, and stories. He is also a visiting scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley.

Alarcón has authored such works of fiction as "Lost City Radio" (PEN USA Award 2008), El rey siempre está por encima del pueblo, a story collection published in Mexico, and others. He has won numerous literary prizes, including a Whiting Award, a National Magazine Award, and Guggenheim and Lannan fellowships.

Dodie Bellamy

Spring 2008


Dodie Bellamy grew up in the Calumet region of Indiana and studied at Indiana University. Her work is innovative and cross the boundaries of genre. She is the author of The Letters of Mina Harker (1990); Real: The Letters of Mina Harker and Sam D'Allesandro (1995); Feminine Hijinx (1990); Cunt-Ups ( 2002), which won the 2002 Firecracker Alternative Book Award for Poetry; Chance (2004); Pink Steam (2004); and Academonia.

Bellamy's writing has appeared in, among others, the anthologies Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache, Best American Erotica 2001, High Risk, The New Fuck You, and Big Book of Erotic Ghost Stories. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in the Village Voice, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bookforum, Out/Look, the San Diego Reader, and Nest. Bellamy is currently working on The Fourth Form, a multidimensional sex novel.

Bellamy has won the San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award for Literature, has served as director of the seminal San Francisco writing lab, Small Press Traffic, and currently is an associate faculty member in the MFA program at Antioch Los Angeles and a lecturer in the Creative Writing Department of San Francisco State University.

Lisa Robertson

Fall 2007

Lisa Robertson is celebrated as one of the most innovative young poets and essayists writing in English today. She frequently works collaboratively with artists and is currently developing a video script for the Vancouver-based artist Allyson Clay.

Her multiple academic positions include Roberta C. Holloway lecturer in the Practice of Poetry, University of California, Berkeley, fall 2006; visiting poet, American University of Paris, spring 2005; visiting poet, University of California, San Diego, spring 2003; Judith E. Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellow, Cambridge University, spring 1999.

In 2003 Clear Cut Press published Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture, a collection of prose texts written in Vancouver to document the shifting economies, surfaces, and sites of that city in relation to some minor histories of architecture and decorative art.

Robertson's books of poetry include The Men: A Lyric Book (BookThug, 2006), Rousseau's Boat (Nomados, 2004), The Weather, awarded the ReLit Poetry Prize in 2002, XEclogue, and Debbie: An Epic, which was nominated for the Governor General's Award in 1998.

Master of Architecture, Graduate Program in Fine Arts, MFA Program in Writing, and Critical Studies, Studied, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Colombia

Michael Palmer

Spring 2007

Michael Palmer was born in New York City in 1943 and has lived in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Company of Moths (2005), which was short-listed for the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize; Codes Appearing: Poems 1979–1988 (2001); The Promises of Glass (2000); The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995 (1998); At Passages (1996); Sun (1988); First Figure (1984); Notes for Echo Lake (1981); Without Music (1977); The Circular Gates (1974); and Blake's Newton (1972).

He is also the author of a prose work, The Danish Notebook (1999).

For over 30 years Palmer has collaborated with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and he created the text for their piece Danger Orange. Visual artists he has collaborated with include Gerhard Richter, Micaëla Henich, Sandro Chia, Jess Collins, and Augusta Talbot.

Palmer has also translated work from French, Russian, and Portuguese. He edited and contributed translations to Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain: Twenty Contemporary Brazilian Poets (1997) and Blue Vitriol (1994), a collection of poetry by Alexei Parshchikov. He also translated Theory of Tables (1994), a book written by Emmanuel Hocquard, a project that grew out of Hocquard's translations of Palmer's Baudelaire Series into French.

In addition to the 2006 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, Palmer's honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Ryan Harty

Spring 2006

Harty's first short-story collection, Bring Me Your Saddest Arizona, won the 2003 John Simmons Award for Short Fiction. He has also received a Henfield-Transatlantic Review Award and his stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories 2003, The Pushcart Prize XXVII, Playboy, Tin House, The Missouri Review; they include Don't Call It Christmas, Ongchoma, What Can I Tell You About My Brother? and Skagway.

He has received fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. He has taught at California College of Arts, was a Helen Hertzog Zell visiting professor at the University of Michigan, and taught at Stanford University where he was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer.

Ryan Harty grew up in Arizona and Northern California and is a graduate of University of California-Berkeley. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow.

Julie Orringer

Fall 2005

Julie Orringer is a graduate of Cornell University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and she was a Truman Capote Fellow in the Stegner Program at Stanford. Her debut collection, How to Breathe Underwater (2003), won the Northern California Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book. She won an NEA grant in 2004.

Her stories include When She Is Old and I Am Famous, which won the 1998 Paris Review Discovery Prize and was reprinted in The Pushcart Prize XXV, and Pilgrims, which was selected for Best New American Voices 2001, New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2002, and The Pushcart Prize XXVII.

Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Ploughshares, Zoetrope: All-Story, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best New American Voices, and The Best American Non-Required Reading.

Julie is a Helen Hertzog Zell visiting professor in the Department of English at the University of Michigan. She was the recipient of a 2004–5 NEA grant for her current project, a novel set in Budapest and Paris in the late 1930s.

ZZ Packer

Spring 2005

ZZ Packer's short-story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, was included in the New Yorker's Debut Fiction issue in 2000, was a New York Times Notable Book, winner of a Commonwealth Club Fiction Award, and an Alex Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. She has received a Whiting Writers' Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

ZZ's work has also appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Zoetrope, Seventeen, Harper's, The Best American Short Stories (2000), New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, New York Times Book Review and Salon. Her work has also been anthologized in 25 and Under: Fiction. ZZ lives in San Francisco and is currently writing the novel The Thousands.

The well-traveled Packer was born in Chicago and raised in Atlanta and Louisville. She is a graduate of Yale University and a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. She has received masters degrees from Johns Hopkins and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Leslie Scalapino

Spring 2005

Leslie Scalapino is the author of 30 books of poetry, fiction, essays, and plays which have been widely anthologized. Her recent work includes Zither & Autobiography, The Tango, R-HU, The Public World/Syntactically Impermanence, and New Time. Her many awards include: the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, Poetry Center Award from San Francisco State University, and Lawrence Lipton Prize. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, Bard College, and elsewhere.

Her current book of poetry, Day Ocean State of Stars' Night, is a collection of the last eight years. She lives in Oakland with her husband, biochemist Tom White.

Rae Armantrout


Rae Armantrout's current work Next Life, was chosen by the New York Times as one of the most notable books of 2007; Up to Speed (2004), a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Poetry; Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001), also a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award; The Pretext (2001); Made To Seem (1995); and The Invention of Hunger (1979).

Armantrout's poetry has been widely anthologized, appearing in Language Poetries, (New Directions), In The American Tree, (National Poetry Foundation), Postmodern American Poetry (Norton), Poems for the Millennium, Vol. 2 (University of California), American Women Poets of the 21st Century (Wesleyan), and several editions of Best American Poetry. She is also the author of a prose memoir, True, which was published by Atelos in 1998.

Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, and grew up in San Diego. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree in creative writing. She has taught writing for almost 20 years at the University of California, San Diego.

Anne Carson

Fall 2001

Anne Carson's books of poetry include The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos (2001), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry; Economy of the Unlost (1999); Autobiography of Red (1998), shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize; Plainwater: Essays and Poetry (1996); Glass, Irony and God (1995), shortlisted for the Forward Prize; and Goddesses And Wise Women (1992).

Carson also is a classics scholar, the translator of If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (2002), and the author of Eros the Bittersweet (1998).

Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur Genius Award. Carson was the director of graduate studies in classics at McGill University and now teaches Classics, Comparative Literature, and English at the University of Michigan.

She was an Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin for fall 2007.

Carson grew up in Canada and received her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University of Toronto.

Back to top