Alumni Hot Shots {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State alumni

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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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 B.A.s together in 1964. She stayed on for a master's program, he to teach and run the Poetry Center.
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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.
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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. Now she 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.

 


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