Curriculum Vitae

Mark Harrison 


M.F.A. Creative Writing, Poetry

Syracuse University, New York, 2003 

Writing workshops with New Yorker contributors Mary Karr, George Saunders, and Brooks Haxton; additional workshops with Michael Burkard and Malena Morling; thesis advisor, National Book Award nominee Bruce Smith. Thesis: The Nature of Vice, a book-length collection of poems. 

M.A. English, Creative Writing

San Francisco State University, California, 1999 

Writing workshops with Under the Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes, Michael Palmer, Toni Mirosevich, Nona Caspers, and Daniel Langton.

B.A. Human Biology

Stanford University, California, 1986

Attended Stanford-in-Florence, Italy, winter and spring quarters, 1985.


Cañada College, Redwood City, California

Adjunct English Instructor, Fall 2006-present

Teach a variety of writing courses, including transfer composition, writing about literature, developmental writing, and creative writing to a culturally, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse group of students, many who speak English as a second language.

Mission College, Santa Clara, California

Adjunct English Instructor, Spring 2007-present

Teach a variety of writing courses, including transfer composition and writing about literature to a culturally, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse group of students, many who speak English as a second language.

Writing Center Instructor, Spring 2007-present

Assist students one-on-one with all elements of essay writing, including brainstorming ideas, revising draft, reviewing grammar, and answering questions about MLA citation. 

Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California

Adjunct English Instructor, spring 2006-present

Teach writing about literature to a culturally, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse group of students, many who speak English as a second language.

San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, California

Adjunct English Instructor, summer 2005-present

Teach a variety of writing courses, including transfer composition, developmental writing, and creative writing to a culturally, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse group of students, many who speak English as a second language.

University of Alaska Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula College, Soldotna, Alaska

Adjunct English Instructor, spring 2004

Taught college composition to seniors at their rural high school campus in Nikiski, Alaska. One of the first college courses offered at the campus in hopes of encouraging more students to continue on to higher education. 

Syracuse University, New York

Writing Studio Instructor, 2002-2003 

Designed and taught two sections of an introductory composition course in fall, and one section of a research-based composition course, modeled on magazine feature article writing, in spring.

Teaching Assistant, 2001-2002

Assisted Professor Sanford Sternlicht with English Textual Studies 252, Drama Theory on Film, a lecture course attended by one hundred fifty students, fall and spring semesters. 

Teaching Pools

University of California, Santa Cruz

Creative Writing, fall 2005-present

Selected to join the pool of part-time instructors qualified to teach creative writing at UC Santa Cruz.

Honors & Awards

“Discovery”/The Nation Poetry Prize

Semi-finalist, 2007

Comstock Review Poetry Contest

Finalist, Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award, 2006 

Nimrod/Hardman Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry

Semi-finalist, 2005

Mudfish Poetry Prize

Runner-up, awarded by Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman, 2005

Delmore Schwartz Poetry Prize

Syracuse University’s highest graduate student award in poetry, best group of poems, 2003

Harriet Collins Jaycox Poetry Prize

Best poem by a Syracuse University graduate student, 2001

Creative Writing Fellow

Syracuse University, 2000-2001 and summer 2003

Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition 

Finalist, 2000

The Loft National Prize in Poetry

Finalist, 1998

Creative Writing Publictions


Letterhead, Vol. 1,2007, Buffalo, New York

"If You've Ever Lived"

Minnetonka Review, Issue 1, Summer 2007, Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

"The Girl Down the Hall"

Mudfish, No. 15, 2007, New York, New York

“The Banana” 

Alimentum, Issue 3, Winter 2007, New York, New York

“Dirty Dishes”

Comstock Review, Fall/Winter 2006, Syracuse, New York

“Orgy of the Blue Chairs”

Saranac Review, Issue 2, 2006, SUNY Plattsburgh

“The Thief”

North American Review, Jan/Feb 2006, University of Northern Iowa

“The Most Selfish Desire”

Manzanita, Vol. 5, 2006, San Andreas, California

“Careful Lips”

Third Coast, Fall 2004, Western Michigan University

“Living Room,” “Punk Rock Nightmare”

The Seattle Review, Vol. XXV: I, 2003, University of Washington

“Fairy Tale for a Rainy Day” 

Climate Controlled: An Electronic Anthology of Northern Literature, 2002

“If You’ve Ever Lived”

Carriage House Review, Vol. 1, Issue 2, 2002, Decatur, Georgia

“The Nature of Vice”

The California State Poetry Quarterly, 2000, California State Poetry Society, Orange, California & Bloodstone, 1999, California State University Stanislaus

“Cow Tao”

¡ZamBomba!, Stockton Arts Commission, Stockton, California 

“The Most Beautiful Thing,” “A Woman Who Drinks,” Fall 1998; “Death of a Taxpayer,” Summer 1997; “The Girl Does Not Go,” “Is Love Too Much Like A Word?” Winter 1998

The American River Literary Review, American River College, Sacramento, California

“When The Heater Gives,” “Suddenly She Would,” “The Most Beautiful Thing,” “Great Stuff,” 1996; “A Summer Below,” “Upstairs at the Dairy Queen,” “Being,” “A Warm Nothing,” 1995; “The Play,” “With Anyone or You,” 1994


Reporter and Photographer, Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, Alaska, 2003-2004

Wrote full-time for the daily newspaper with the third largest circulation in Alaska, including front-page news stories, feature-length human-interest pieces, entertainment articles, and editorial columns. Some of the pieces were picked up by the Associated Press and ran in the largest paper in the state, the Anchorage Daily News, as well as other papers around the country. Took photographs and processed in Photoshop. Edited business page. Online at

Contributing Writer 

Syracuse New Times

Cover Stories: “Jock Niche: After gaining glory on the gridiron, Bruce Smith finds fulfillment as a poet,” May 14,  2003 at;

“A Tale of Two Writers: Junot Diaz and George Saunders re-energize Syracuse University’s Creative Writing Program,” September 12, 2001 at;

Feature: “Poems Worth Waiting For: Christopher Kennedy’s debut collection, Nietzsche’s Horse,” April 24, 2002; 

Reviews: “Last of the Last: A new anthology showcases five newly discovered stories by the late Raymond Carver,” May 23, 2001; John Mayer, Room For Squares,” May 1, 2002;

Preview: “Live Poets Society: Mary Karr inaugurates this fall’s Raymond Carver Reading Series,” September 12, 2001

Syracuse Post-Standard

Preview: “Memoirs are for the Money: Three members of SU’s creative writing faculty will read from their works,” March 7, 2002


Editorial Staff

Salt Hill: Syracuse University’s literary magazine, Syracuse, New York, 2000-2003 

Fourteen Hills: San Francisco State’s literary magazine, San Francisco, California, 1998-1999


The American River Literary Review: American River College’s literary magazine, Sacramento, California, 1994-1995

Professional Development

Basic Skills Initiative Summer Institute, Newport Beach, CA, August 10-13

Attended four-day conference focused on how to improve teaching of basic skills in English and other disciplines. The institute was specifically designed for California Community College adjunct instructors.

Foothill Writers’ Conference, Los Altos Hills, CA, July 7-11, 2006

Attended poetry and prose writing workshops with Lesley Dauer, Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, and Floyd Salas, as well as faculty and student readings.

Hassayampa Institute for Creative Writing, Prescott, AZ, July 25-29, 2005

Attended week-long poetry writing workshop with Kim Addonizio, whose book Tell Me was nominated for the National Book Award in 2000.

Other Experience

Wine Lab Technician, 1995-1999 

Delicato Vineyards, Manteca, California

Analyzed wine during fermentation process to insure quality and consistency.

Staff Research Associate, 1989-1995 

California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis

Managed research projects; worked directly with primate subjects. 

Environmental Lab Technician, 1988-1989

American Environmental, Sacramento, California

Analyzed water and soil samples using gas chromatography and wet chemistry.