DAVID STARKEY, Program Director, Professor of English, was Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara from 2009-2011. He has published seven full-length collections of poetry, most recently It Must Be Like the World (Pecan Grove, 2011), Circus Maximus (Biblioasis, 2013) and Like a Soprano (Serving House, 2014). In addition, over the past thirty-two years he has published more than 500 poems in literary journals such as American Scholar, Antioch Review, Barrow Street, Georgia Review, Poet Lore, Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Southern Poetry Review. His plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and elsewhere. With Paul Willis, he co-edited In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (Iowa, 2005), and he is the editor of Living Blue in the Red States (Nebraska, 2007). Keywords in Creative Writing, which he co-authored with the late Wendy Bishop, was published in 2006 by Utah State University Press. Bedford/St. Martin's published the fourth edition Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief, an introductory creative writing textbook, in 2021.
JOSHUA ESCOBAR grew up in the Inland Empire in southern California. He was the Dean’s Fellow in Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, as well as the Dean’s Fellow in Writing at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has received fellowships from Shandaken: Storm King and CantoMundo. He co-founded the zine, Orange Mercury, and currently co-edits the student magazine Open Fruit. He is the author of the chapbooks, Caljforkya Voltage and xxox fm. His experimental debut collection Bareback Nightfall, explores a queer dystopia through the eyes of a deejay. He is the incoming Director of Creative Writing at Santa Barbara City College.
MERYL PETERS, MFA, completed her undergraduate studies in Creative Writing at Vermont College in Montpelier, Vermont and received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her teaching has covered a range of writing classes including Academic and Research, Critical Thinking and Literature, Craft of Fiction, and Literary Theory. She has created such writing seminars as Reading for Craft: The Shape of the Story and Introduction to Creative Writing: A Day Trip with Words. Ms. Peters has received a variety of awards including University of Southern Indiana, RopeWalk Writers’ Scholarship in 2008 and was a Mary C. Mohr Short Fiction Finalist in 2007. She has participated in numerous writing workshops and conferences at the University of Iowa, Stanford University, University San Francisco, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Ms. Peters is a member of The Association for Women in Communications. Meryl teaches English 270 as her schedule allows.
EMMA TRELLES is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press) — winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and a finalist for Foreword Indies poetry book of the year. She is currently writing a second book of poems, Courage and the Clock. She has presented her poems at venues across the country, including The Bryant Park Reading Room in New York. The Poet and the Poem Series at the Library of Congress, Busboys & Poets in Washington D.C., the inaugural O’Miami Poetry Festival, the Miami Book Fair, the Ojai Art Center, the University of California-Santa Barbara, The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, the Milwaukee Public Library, and the Palabra Pura series at the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago. Emma's creative writing has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Best of the Net, Verse Daily, and others, and recent work appears in Terrain's Letter to America series, the Colorado Review, and Zócalo Public Square. She has received writing fellowships from CantoMundo and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and worked for many years as an arts and culture journalist in South Florida. She teaches at Santa Barbara City College and curates the Mission Poetry Series.