Literature

  • Photo of Kim Addonizio

    Kim Addonizio

    Poet/novelist

    A self-described "late-bloomer," she discovered poetry in her late 20s as a liberal studies undergrad. She went on to earn an M.A. in creative writing -- and critical acclaim. "Tell Me," her third collection of poetry, was a finalist for a 2000 National Book Award.

    Read more at: http://www.kimaddonizio.com
  • Photo of Rae Armantrout, photo courtesy Kevin Walsh

    Rae Armantrout

    Poet

    For "Versed," her ninth volume of poetry, she received both a National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

  • Photo of Po Bronson

    Po Bronson

    Novelist

    He gave up a lucrative career as a bond trader to study creative writing at SF State, where his best-selling novel "Bombardiers" began life as a writing assignment for a class.

    Read more at: http://www.pobronson.com/
  • Photo of Kelly Corrigan

    Kelly Corrigan

    Writer

    This author of the bestselling memoir, "The Middle Place," recalls SF State as a great school where she was humbled by 1,000 page-a-week reading assignments and privileged to have professors like Michael Krasny and Bruce Avery.

    Read more at: http://www.kellycorrigan.com/
  • Photo of Ernest Gaines

    Ernest J. Gaines

    Novelist

    This MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant recipient and author of the bestselling "A Lesson Before Dying" says the biggest thrill of his career remains the day that an SF State literary journal published his story "The Turtles" in the '50s.

  • Photo of Gerald Haslam

    Gerald Haslam

    Writer

    After earning a B.A. and M.A. in English at SF State, he achieved critical acclaim for his fiction focused on rural California, including the Western Literature Association's Distinguished Achievement Award.

    Read more at: http://www.geraldhaslam.com/
  • Photo of devorah major

    Devorah Major

    Poet/novelist

    This San Francisco Poet Laureate's father was the first director of the Educational Opportunity Program at SF State. She arrived on campus right after the student strikes and found her home in the Black Studies department where she devoured the curriculum.

  • Photo of Frances Mayes

    Frances Mayes

    Author

    This alumna returned to SF State to teach literature but after the success of "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "Bella Tuscany," she said arrivederci so she could write full time.

    Read more at: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/mayes/
  • Photo of Michael McClure

    Michael McClure

    Poet

    One of the Beat period's most accomplished poets, he's well-known for authoring the controversial poem "The Beard" but less known for co-writing Janis Joplin's 1971 hit, Mercedes Benz.

    Read more at: http://www.michael-mcclure.com/
  • Photo of Janice Mirikitani

    Janice Mirikitani

    Poet/activist

    She marched in demonstrations at SF State during the turbulent '60s and went on to become San Francisco's 2000 poet laureate and executive director/president of the Glide Foundation.

  • Photo of Carol Muske-Dukes

    Carol Muske-Dukes

    Poet/novelist

    This creative writing graduate was inspired by instructors Stan Rice, Nanos Valoritis and Kay Boyle. Now a professor at the University of Southern California, the former Poet Laureate of California continues to do some inspiring of her own.

    Read more at: http://www.carolmuskedukes.com
  • Photo of Anne Rice

    Anne Rice

    Novelist

    She and her late husband, Stan -- the inspiration for the vampire Lestat in "Interview With the Vampire" -- earned BAs together in 1964. She stayed on for a master's program, and to teach and run the Poetry Center.

    Read more at: http://www.annerice.com
  • Photo of Philip Schultz

    Philip Schultz

    Poet

    "Failure," the title of his sixth collection of poems, is a bit ironic considering it won this English graduate the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

  • Photo of Cole Swensen

    Cole Swensen

    Poet

    One of five writers whose poetry collections were nominated for a 2004 National Book Award, she says former professors including Nanos Valaoritis and Frances Mayes helped her hone her craft.

  • Photo of Gail Tsukiyama

    Gail Tsukiyama

    Novelist

    She had her eye on a film career when she started at SF State but fell in love with language instead and now writes such bestsellers as "Women of the Silk" and "Dreaming Water."

  • Photo of Thomas Watkins

    Thomas Watkins

    Writer/teacher

    This late environmental writer edited the Wilderness Society's magazine and served as the first Wallace Stegner Distinguished Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University. His numerous publications include a Harold Ickes biography, a finalist for the National Book Award.