Ruth M. Nolan, M.F.A., M.A. Professor of English, College of the Desert
Professor of English and creative writing at College of the Desert and former wildland firefighter, is editor of the critically-acclaimed anthology, No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts (Heyday Books, 2009) and author of Ruby Mountain (Finishing Line Press 2016.) Her book California Drive won the Mojave River Review’s 2017 flash nonfiction writing contest. Her short story, “Palimpsest,” was published in LA Fiction: Southland Writing by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press 2016), received an Honorable Mention in Sequestrum Magazine’s 2016 Editor’s Reprint contest, and was nominated for a 2016 PEN Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Ruth’s essays and poetry have been published in KCET/Artbound Los Angeles; Only Light Can Do That (Pen Center USA); Desert Magazine; The Desert Sun;James Franco Review; Angels Flight LA/Literary West; Rattling Wall; Desert Oracle; Women’s Studies Quarterly; News from Native California; Sierra Club Desert Report; Lumen; and Riverside Press Enterprise/Inlandia Literary Journeys. She is the winner of a 2017 California Writers Residency award, and is currently completing a creative nonfiction book, Fire On the Mojave: Stories from the Deserts and Mountains of Inland Southern California. Ruth holds her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside; her M.A. in English from Northern Arizona University; and her B.A. from California State University, San Bernardino.
Topic: No Place for a Puritan; The Literature of California's Deserts.
California Desert Literature
California’s Coachella Valley and Mojave Desert comprise an internationally treasured corner of California – 25% this state’s geography. This region also has a unique and compelling desert literary legacy, starting with stories from centuries-long desert Indian oral traditions and tracing a richly storied narrative arc through western settlement all the way to the present day. Come enjoy a close-up sampler of the literature of California’s deserts, presented by California desert literature scholar and author/College of the Desert English /creative writing professor Ruth Nolan, M.F.A., M.A., editor of the critically-acclaimed anthology, No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts, (Heyday Books 2009.) Works by beloved literary legends John Steinbeck, Mary Austin, Edward Abbey, Aldous Huxley, Sylvia Plath, Joan Didion, Juan Felipe Herrera, Susan Staight, Barry Lopez and many more will be discussed in this exciting, panoramic view of some of California’s finest desert literature. Nolan will also discuss the thematic layout of the Puritan anthology, her process in making selections, and a general lay of the land of the literature of this region.
ed, No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts (Heyday Books, 2009)
author, Ruby Mountain (Finishing Line Press, 2016)
author, California Drive (Mojave River Review, 2017)
firstname.lastname@example.org ; Rnolan@collegeofthedesert.edu