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Creative Writing News

Rob Paravonian combined his love of writing and making people laugh to forge a career in comedy. Photo by Elia Lyssy.

To Wit

July 14, 2015

When Rob Paravonian opened 12 shows on comedy titan George Carlin’s final tour across the country, he waited until the seventh show before asking to take a photo together. Paravonian didn’t want to come off as a…

Poet Claudia Rankine is known for her commitment to social justice. Photo by John Lucas.

Claudia Rankine Joins English Department

July 6, 2015

USC Dornsife has recruited renowned American poet Claudia Rankine as Aerol Arnold Chair of English. She will teach a wide variety of literature and creative writing courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level starting…

Angela Flournoy, a Southern California native, has had a lifelong relationship with Detroit, where her father was raised. Photo by LaToya T. Duncan.

This Must Be the Place

June 23, 2015

Angela Flournoy can recall an early visit to Detroit with her father when she was a young girl. He drove Flournoy and her sister around the East Detroit neighborhood where he had grown up, pointing out the locations of…

Illustrations by Nigel Buchanan for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

The Great Explorers

June 1, 2015

Although born generations apart, Virginia Carter and Alexia Tsotsis let their passions be their guide and broke through in male-dominated fields. Carter earned her wings in the aerospace industry before taking an unexpected…

Alumnus Oscar Balderrama is a script coordinator on the popular television show <em>Arrow</em>. He earned his bachelor's degree in creative writing from USC Dornsife in 2005. Photo courtesy of Oscar Balderrama.

Write on Target

February 6, 2015

For five years, Oliver Queen was presumed dead. Unbeknownst to his family and friends, the billionaire playboy survived a shipwreck only to be stranded on a remote island in the Pacific. When he finally returns home, he finds…

The Moor's Account author Laila Lalami, who earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from USC Dornsife in 1997, speaks Arabic, Spanish and French in addition to English. Her linguistics training informs her writing. “When you’re a writer everything you experience goes into your writing,” Lalami said. Photo courtesy of Laila Lalami.

Estebanico’s Turn to Speak

July 29, 2014

In 1527, Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez led 600 men across the Atlantic Ocean to what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States. Their goal was to claim land for the Spanish crown. From the get-go, the…

Senior Lucy Tew, holding her American Girl doll Kirsten, took the initiative and landed an internship with the international American Girl doll company, which informed her senior capstone project. Photo by Erica Christianson.

She’s an American Girl

March 3, 2014

On Christmas Day, 6-year-old Lucy Tew opened a gift from her grandfather and discovered a doll — a young pioneer girl from the mid-1800s named Kirsten. This wasn’t just any doll, but an American Girl. Instantly…

Alumnus Anthony Marra's debut novel was longlisted for the National Book Award in fiction, among other laurels. Set in wartime Chechnya, the story was inspired by his study abroad in Russia, which exposed him to Chechnya and ignited a keen interest in the country, its culture and history. Photo by Smeeta Mahanti.

A Constellation of Accolades

December 17, 2013

It’s not bad when the fiction editor of The Washington Post names your first novel his favorite book of 2013. And when President Barack Obama is caught on camera purchasing said novel, that’s also pretty…

Dana Johnson, Judith Freeman and Richard Rayner, all USC Dornsife writers and faculty members, share the same muse: the city of Los Angeles. Photos by Cody Pickens.

Los Angeles by the Book

October 22, 2013

It was the 1970s and Judith Freeman was living in Sun Valley, Idaho, a ski instructor and horse wrangler by day, an aspiring writer by night. She’d never set foot in Los Angeles, yet she knew instinctively she needed to…

David Treuer, professor of English in the Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature program, joined the faculty in Fall 2011. A Pushcart Prize winner, he has written five books of fiction and nonfiction. He’s interested in Native American literature, the 20th-century novel, modernism and creative writing. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: David Treuer

May 7, 2013

Born to an Austrian Jewish father and American Indian mother, David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. His siblings range from a brother who has straight, jet black hair and dark…