Allyson Allen uses traditional materials to create unique, dimensional textile art, quilts, dolls, and handmade books. She is a multiple California Arts Council grant award recipient, twice nominated for NEA National Heritage Fellowship consideration, and has been recognized for three decades as an award-winning Master African American Quilt and Doll Artist by the state of California. The characteristics of her unique, original story quilts are considered information art. Her quilts combine art, craft, research, original design,history, and culture in traditional and contemporary pieces exemplifying a cross-disciplinary approach to quilt making. Allen's work often references American history, social issues, African folklore, or Black history. Many of her quilts are created specifically for storytelling presentations. Her handmade quilted journals usually incorporate recycled materials, fabric, and stitched paper elements.
Lisa Alvarez was born in Los Angeles and came to Orange County as a grad student earning an MFA in fiction at UC Irvine. Her essays, stories and poems have appeared in Air/Light, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Huizache, [Pank], Santa Monica Review and elsewhere, including Santa Ana Literary Association’s Year in Poetry series and Breath of Fire’s COVID Monologues. Her work has been included in anthologies such as Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America. She has herself edited three anthologies, including Orange County: A Literary Field Guide and most recently, Why to These Rocks: Fifty Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers, both from Heyday. For nearly 30 years she has been a professor of English at Irvine Valley College, where she teaches writing and literature and co-directs the Puente program. During the summers she co-directs the workshops at the Community of Writers in the High Sierra.
Gustavo Arellano is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, covering Soutnern California everything and a bunch of the West and beyond. He is author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, Orange County: A Personal History, and !Ask a Mexican!, and co-author of A People’s Guide to Orange County.
carla joy bergman is a joyarchist who dabbles with poetry, writing, and storytelling, often opening realms of autonomy, art, creativity, and challenging empire. carla has spent the past two decades creating intergenerational multi-media projects with community that are rooted in trust, and with youth autonomy and undoing adult supremacy at the heart of all she does.
Lisa Black was born in Los Angeles but found her most influential theater mentors in Orange County: Lee Shallat-Chemel and Jerzy Grotowski. She earned her MFA at UC Irvine in Drama, and has worked on new plays with Chicago’s Theater Oobleck; toured in original solo and ensemble-devised performances throughout Europe and North and South America; and considers North American Cultural Laboratory in Highland Lake, NY, a theatrical home. She is soon off to help create some theatrical shenanigans to celebrate NACL’s 25th anniversary. Until its untimely demise, she proofread Orange County Weekly’s dead-tree edition and wrote the arts column "Paint It Black." Lisa’s first work of short fiction appeared in the Santa Monica Review last spring. She is working on a longer nonfiction version of The Grotowski Notebooks and hopes to finish a short performance early in 2023.
Dawn Bonker was born and raised in Orange County-adjacent Whittier and studied journalism at California State University, Fullerton. She wrote for the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times, and had other work included in the humor anthology Sand in my Bra: Funny Women Write from the Road (Travelers’ Tales, Inc.) and short fiction in Wild Edges: Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode and Sierra (Manzanita Press). Newly retired from Chapman University’s marketing department, she is returning to the novel in the drawer and watching for those coyotes who also like early morning walks along suburban greenbelts.
Kathryn Campo Bowen is a Salvadoran American writer and second-year MFA student at the University of California, Irvine. Her stories have appeared in Salt Hill Journal, Issue 47, and have been selected as finalists in annual contests by the Sewanee Review and STORY Magazine.
Mary Camarillo’s novel The Lockhart Women, published in June 2021 by She Writes Press, won first place in the Next Generation Indie Awards for first fiction. Her work has appeared in publications such as 166 Palms, The Sonora Review, Lunch Ticket, and The Ear. She lives in Huntington Beach, California.
Jaime Campbell is the managing editor of Citric Acid. Her fiction has appeared in Sonora Review, Santa Monica Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Angel City Review. She was the runner-up for Sonora Review’s 2020 Fiction Contest, a semi-finalist for the American Short Fiction 2019 Halifax Ranch Fiction Prize, and the winner of the 2018 JuxtaProse Fiction Prize. You can track down some of her work at jaimecampbell.com. She lives in Modjeska Canyon, a rural oasis tucked within Southern California suburbia.
Peter Carr (1925-1981) taught in the Department of Comparative Literature at CSULB and co-founded the grassroots anti-nuclear organization, the Alliance for Survival. He was the author of self-published books and pamphlets, including Aliso Creek and In the Summer We Go to the Mountains, and produced thousands of drawings, paintings, posters and illustrations. He lived in Laguna Beach with the community activist Jeanne Bernstein. A posthumous showing of his work was organized by the late Mark Chamberlain at BC Space in 2016. Both the Jeanne Bernstein and Peter Carr papers are held at the libraries of the University of California Irvine.
Nathan Cayanan is a writer, illustrator, and college professor. He attended the University of Southern California, Cal State Long Beach, and Cal Poly Pomona, where he studied fiction, screenwriting, filmmaking, and business. Being Filipino-American, he has written about the Asian diaspora, evolving
AAPI identities, and the struggles of the perpetual foreigner. He has taught in Taiwan, China, and the United States at USC International Academy, UC Irvine, and Irvine Valley College, where he is currently a part-time associate professor. He is currently participating in the DC Comics’ Milestone Initiative talent development program as a writer and continues to develop his art skills with the hopes he will draw his own graphic novel.
Jonathan Cohen's short stories and creative nonfiction have been published in the Community of Writers' Omnium Gatherum Quarterly and the Santa Monica Review. He is a 2004 alumnus of the CoW. For eighteen years, he and his wife Beth have been the proofreaders of the Santa Monica Review. Jonathan is a private tutor specializing in AP U.S. History and has been a volunteer literacy tutor at Orange County's two public library systems, for which he received the Excellence in Volunteerism award from Orange County in 2015.
Chris Davidson's poetry has appeared in Zyzzyva, Mockingbird, Cultural Weekly, Ekstasis, Zocalo Public Square, Alaska Quarterly Review, and many other publications, including the anthologies Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poems from the Community of Writers and Orange County: A Literary Field Guide. His chapbooks include Easy Meal (2020, Californios Press) and Poems (2012, Canvas Shop Press). He was born in Orange County and now lives in Long Beach.
Thuy Vo Dang is Curator for the University of California, Irvine Libraries Southeast Asian Archive and Research Librarian for Asian American studies. She has a Ph.D. in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and is co-author of the books, A People's Guide to Orange County and also Vietnamese in Orange County. Thuy serves on the board of directors for Arts OC and the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association.
Lorene Delany-Ullman teaches composition at UC Irvine and is the author of Camouflage for the Neighborhood. In collaboration with artist Jody Servon, their book Saved: Objects of the Dead, a photographic and poetic exploration of the human experience of life, death, and memory, arrives in January
Edward (Ted) Fowler, a Californian from the age of five months, spent his youth in Los Angeles County and the past three decades in Orange County, where he taught for twenty-two years at UC Irvine. Best known for his San’ya Blues: Laboring Life in Contemporary Tokyo, he is the author of or contributor to half a dozen books on Japan. He is also a 2019 alumnus of the Community of Writers. In retirement, he has written a memoir about his first wife, a Japanese national, from which “A View from the Ridge” is excerpted.
Sarah Rafael García is an author, community educator, curator, and performance ethnographer born in Brownsville, Tejas and raised in Santa Ana, California. She’s the founder of Barrio Writers, LibroMobile and Crear Studio — all art programs initiated as a response to build cultural relevance and equity for BIPOC folks in Orange County.Sarah Rafael García is an author, community educator, curator, and performance ethnographer born in Brownsville, Tejas and raised in Santa Ana, California. She’s the founder of Barrio Writers, LibroMobile and Crear Studio — all art programs initiated as a response to build cultural relevance and equity for BIPOC folks in Orange County.
Peter Gerrard grew up in Southern California, and ended up “Behind the Orange Curtain,” specifically Irvine. While he attended UCI for graduate school (which he never finished), his wife Kim and two sons are Anteaters with degrees. He likes to ski, and ride bikes that are embarrassingly expensive but at least environmentally justifiable. Classes and seminars at IVC and Chapman keep his interest in writing fresh.
Meredith Gordon is the creator of The Shame Recovery Project, work devoted to healing the unwarranted shame of sexual and other traumas, and founder of The Writer’s [Inner] Journey, an award-winning site about the intersection of writing, creativity and depth. She is co-author of All the Love: Healing Your Heart and Finding Meaning After Pregnancy Loss. Her writing delves into universal themes through very personal storytelling. https://meredithresnick.com
Natalie J. Graham, a native of Gainesville, Florida, earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida and Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Since moving to Orange County in 2013, Natalie has coordinated art-centered community events, workshops, and readings for hundreds of participants. She is an award-winning author and performer who has toured nationally with her collection of poems, Begin with a Failed Body. Her poems and articles have been published in San Francisco Chronicle, PEN America: A Journal for Writers and Readers, Callaloo, Obsidian, New England Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, and Transition. In August 2021, she was appointed Poet Laureate of Orange County.
Gustavo Hernandez is the author of the poetry collection Flower Grand First (Moon Tide Press). His poems have been featured in Reed, Acentos Review, Sonora Review and The Slowdown podcast. He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and lives in Santa Ana, California.
Grant Hier was the first Poet Laureate of Anaheim, California from 2018-2020. Honors include Prize Americana, the Kick Prize, and the Courage Award. Books include Untended Garden, The Difference Between, and Similitude. A new book of poetry and instruction titled Practice: 394 Poems in 365 Days, is forthcoming. California Continuum Vol. One is a book of historical flash fiction he co-wrote with John Brantingham, the Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Grant has been entered for three Grammy Awards: as a writer for “Best Album Notes” (for the last two Los Lobos albums, Llegó Navidad and Native Sons) and as a Producer for “Best Folk Album” (for Joyride: Friends Take the Wheel). He recently wrote the liner notes to a forthcoming, special edition 5-LP box set (WAR—The Vinyl: 1971-1975). As a voice actor he contributed to the audio book of George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2018 Audie Award for Audiobook of the year. Grant is a Full Professor at Laguna College of Art and Design, and poetry editor for Chiron Review. More at www.granthier.com
Jimin Han was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Rhode Island, Ohio, and New York. Her writing can be found on NPR’s “Weekend America,” in Catapult Magazine, Poets & Writers Magazine, and elsewhere. A Small Revolution, her first novel, was among Entropy’s Best Fiction of 2017, Pleiades Editors’ Choice 2017, and Electric Literature's Ten Galvanizing Books About Political Protest. Her new novel, The Apology, is forthcoming from Little, Brown & Co. in 2023. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and Pace University.
Grant Hoskins is a self-taught artist who has been creating art from childhood onward. His art can be found locally and internationally ranging from galleries, zines, music album covers and pieces in the streets of Southern California.
Eugene Ipavec was born in what was at the time Yugoslavia and has lived in Orange County for thirty years. He has been published in the Santa Monica Review.
Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Zyzzyva, The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review, and has been included in several anthologies. Among her latest work is Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley’s California, a fictionalized account of the life of African American historian and scholar Delilah Beasley. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California. You can find out more about her work at https://danajohnsonauthor.com
Jesse La Tour is currently the editor of the Fullerton Observer newspaper, one of the last remaining independent local newspapers in Orange County. Prior to that, he was co-founder of Hibbleton Gallery, Bookmachine books + zines, The Magoski Arts Colony, and the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk (all of which are, sadly, on hiatus due to the pandemic). He has also taught English composition at Cal State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College. La Tour enjoys writing about local history, and is working on an in-depth history of Fullerton called The Town I Live In.
Elaine Lewinnek is professor of American Studies and chair of the Environmental Studies program at California State University Fullerton. She is co-author of A People's Guide to Orange County and also author of The Working Man’s Reward: Chicago’s Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl.
Tina Mai is a 16-year-old writer and the inaugural OC Youth Poet Laureate. Her writing has received recognition from the Library of Congress, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Poetry Society of the UK, Bow Seat, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the CSLA, among others. She is also the youngest recipient of the Atlanta Review International Poetry Award, in addition to being a Best New Poets nominee and a Scholastic National Gold Medal winner in poetry. Outside of writing, she finds passion in public speaking and computer science, including developing an app to aid writing accessibility through spoken word stories.
Flynn Mixdorf is a first-year fiction writer in the MFA Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He earned his BFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His arts journalism and creative nonfiction work have been published in F Newsmagazine. He hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, from which a building-sized mural of Kurt Vonnegut looms large in his psyche.
Maxfield Ney is a junior at the Orange County School of the Arts in the Acting Conservatory. He was born and raised in Orange County, California. A budding cinephile, he volunteers at The Frida Cinema in downtown Santa Ana. He enjoys backpacking, theater and seeing live bands and is a major history buff.
Jax NTP holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Long Beach. They currently teach critical thinking, literature, and composition. They are working on two poetry manuscripts: In Bones & Tentacles: Forgetting as Commodity and How to Pivot When You’re Paralyzed. Their words have been featured in Berkeley Poetry Review, Hobart Literary Magazine, Apogee Journal, Cordite Poetry Review and elsewhere.
Miles Parnegg is a graduate of the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He lives in Los Angeles and works as a bookseller.
Raised in Orange County, Victoria Patterson is the author of the novels The Peerless Four, The Little Brother, and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award, the 2009 Story Prize, and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. A second story collection, The Secret Habit of Sorrow, arrived in 2018. She lives with her family in Southern California and teaches at Antioch University’s Master of Fine Arts program.
Linda Purdy was born in 1943 and earned a BA in English from Whittier College and a Master of Library and Information Science from CSU Fullerton. Her poetry and prose appeared in Irvine Valley College's The Ear, Faultline, International Harvest, and the Santa Monica Review, and at the Smithsonian Photography Initiative. She died in October. A commemorative collection of her work, including short fiction and poems, is being published by a group of her fellow workshop participants, teachers and editors, all champions of her work
Erik Rangno teaches creative writing and literature at Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, CA. His fiction has appeared in The Santa Monica Review and nonfiction in The Atlantic. “San Domingo” is one of a series of prose poems set in Southern California.
Joel Robinson is Director & Senior Naturalist, Naturalist For You. He has guided interpretive nature walks, restored wildlife habitat, conducted biological surveys and organized environmental awareness classes, workshops, presentations and events for the public benefit since 2001. He worked for The Nature Conservancy, City of Santa Ana Parks & Recreation, Inside the Outdoors, The Wildlands Conservancy and California State Parks. His services are regularly appreciated by public agencies, schools, community groups, nonprofits, religious institutions and businesses throughout Southern California. He enjoys foraging wild foods, birding, barefooting, hiking and camping with his family and performing sea shanties in a pirate band.
Garrett Saleen is a writer and visual artist from Southern California. His fiction has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Funicular, The Collagist, and Data Epics with Studio Tilt at the University of Washington’s School of Art, Art History, and Design. He is a member of the PNW Collage Collective and his art has been featured in galleries around Seattle and in Holiday in Mar-a-Lago, a collage zine inspired by the Dead Kennedys. His art can be found @jan_homm on Instagram. He lives in Seattle, where he is editing his first collection of short fiction.
Gabriel San Román is a feature writer for TimesOC, a publication of the Los Angeles Times. He previously worked at OC Weekly – as a reporter, podcast producer and columnist – until the newspaper’s closing in late 2019. San Román just may be the tallest Mexican in O.C.
Jody Servon is an artist, curator and educator who creates socially engaged projects. Her work and collaborations have been in exhibitions, screenings, and publications in North America, Europe and Asia. She is a Professor of Art at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
Patty Seyburn has published five collections of poems: Threshold Delivery (Finishing Line Press, 2019); Perfecta (What Books Press, Glass Table Collective, 2014); Hilarity (New Issues Press, 2009), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). She has a Ph.D. from the University of Houston, an MFA from UC Irvine, and an MS and BS from Northwestern University. She is a proud professor at California State University, Long Beach. She likes the words “parabola” and “plum” in proximity to one another.
Virginia Shank writes, rides a velomobile, teaches at Irvine Valley College, and edits The Ear in Southern California, then summers in upstate New York. Poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, So It Goes, Rhino, and elsewhere.
Nicholas Schou is the former Editor-in-Chief of OC Weekly and an investigative reporter whose work has led to the release from prison of wrongfully convicted individuals as well as the indictment and imprisonment of a Huntington Beach Mayor. Schou's work has appeared in numerous publications including The Atlantic, Newsweek, Salon, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also the author of several books including Kill the Messenger, which was made into a 2014 Hollywood film starring Jeremy Renner, and Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and its Quest to Spread Peace, Love and Acid to the World.
Bethia Sheean-Wallace has been working in the stacks in libraries from Florida to California for twenty-five years. She writes like a fiend about everything from poetry to politics and always has. She was born and raised in Los Angeles in a time when Orange County was considered the home of Disneyland, orange groves, and John Birch Republicans. She has been married for four decades to a fellow hippie and has three adult children, one daughter-in-law, and one wee grandbaby.
Alex Stanley is a graduate of Boston College, and he received his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He is a former sports journalist, and his sports writing has been featured in Sports Illustrated. His published poems have appeared in seventeen literary magazines. He is a recipient of the 2021 Academy of American Poets Award. He resides in Costa Mesa, California.
Kareem Tayyar’s collection The Revolution of Heavenly Bodies & Other Stories will be released by J.New Books in May, 2022.His work has appeared in a variety of literary journals, including Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, the Santa Monica Review, and The Writer’s Almanac. His novel, The Prince of Orange County, received the 2020 Eric Hoffer Prize for Young Adult Fiction, and he was a recipient of a 2019 Wurlitzer Poetry Fellowship.
Linda Thomas is a retired community college writing professor. She now volunteers for Sea and Sage Audubon as a birder and naturalist.
Andrew Tonkovich is the founding editor of Citric Acid and longtime editor of the Santa Monica Review. His fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Ecotone, Zyzzyva, Faultline, Juked, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. He wrote for both OC Weekly and the Orange County Register. With Lisa Alvarez, he co-edited the landmark Orange County: A Literary Field Guide, and is the author of two fiction collections, The Dairy of Anne Frank and More Wish Fulfillment in the Noughties and Keeping Tahoe Blue and Other Provocations. His review of A People's Guide to Orange County appeared recently in Alta online.
Daniel C. Tsang is Librarian Emeritus at University of California, Irvine, where he was a social sciences bibliographer for thirty years, and a union activist on campus. With decades of activism in queer, academic labor organizing, police watch, and alternative media, he was twice a Fulbright Research Scholars, in Hanoi and Hong Kong, where he was born and grew up. His reportage, op-eds or interviews have appeared in Hong Kong Free Press, South China Morning Post, Los Angeles Times, Critical Asian Studies, Subversity on KUCI, Far Eastern Economic Review, Michigan Free Press, OC Weekly, Fusion (Toronto), Covert Action Quarterly, Asian Week, AMASS, and Gay Community News. He blogs at Medium: https://medium.com/@dancal04. Past profile: https://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5142. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitsuye May Yamada is an acclaimed poet, essayist, educator, feminist and human rights activist. Yamada was one of the first and most vocal of Asian American women writers who wrote about the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. She is the author of Camp Notes and Other Poems (1976) and Desert Run: Poems and Stories (1988), both of which are available in the combined volume, Camp Notes and Other Writings (1998). At age 96, she released Full Circle: New and Selected Poems (2019). With a lifelong commitment to fighting for human rights, Yamada served on the Amnesty International USA National Board of Directors. She is featured in the documentary Mitsuye and Nellie: Asian American Poets (1981). Most recently, her life is depicted in the political biography Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake (2020) by Diane C. Fujino.
Yamada has received numerous awards including a MELUS award, a Vesta Award from the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, and a Jesse Bernard Wise Women Award from the Center for Women’s Policy Studies, Washington DC. She was a Women’s Day USA Honoree, has been designated a KCET Local Hero and was a Yaddo Fellow, Saratoga Springs, New York. Yamada received an honorary doctorate from Simmons College, Boston in 2009.
Gabriel Zacuto is a partner, parent, worker, artist, and writer surviving in Southern California. Anarchy lives in his heart.
Sara Zacuto is a former preschool teacher and parent educator who specializes in the Reggio approach. She cares deeply about the rights of children, and wants to see the world become a place where children's voices and ideas are lifted up and respected. She loves writing, thrifting, and collecting books. She lives in Orange, California, with her husband Gabe, two children, and four cats.
Tom Zoellner is a much-published journalist and author of six books, most recently The National Road: Dispatches from a Changing America. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire. Since 2016 he has served as politics editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is a professor of English at Chapman University in Orange, California.