A look at recently published works by UCR faculty, staff, and alumni
“Rooted and Winged”
By Luanne Castle, Ph.D. ’95
Finishing Line Press
September 2022, 68 pages
Castle’s poetry delves into the physical and emotional movement of flight and falling in a new collection full of golems, ghosts, birds, and angels. Embedded in land and weather, her work explores the connection between what we inherit and what we leave behind, and the endless striving for flight, even while rooted to the earth.
Castle earned a doctorate in English from UCR.
“Anti-Blackness at School”
By Joi Spencer and Kerri Ullucci
Teachers College Press
November 2022, 192 pages
Drawing on more than 44 years in equity work, Joi Spencer and Kerri Ullucci explore how schools in the U.S. continue to harm Black children, who are lacking necessary educational and personal support. The authors outline the ways anti-Blackness persists in American education systems, providing critical insight on how teachers and administrators can create Black-affirming spaces.
Spencer is the dean of the UCR School of Education.
“The Best American Mystery & Suspense 2022”
Edited by Jess Walter and Steph Cha
November 2022, 336 pages
Curated by guest editor Jess Walter and series editor Steph Cha, this collection offers the year’s best mystery and suspense short fiction, including stories by UCR’s Tod Goldberg and Alex Espinoza.
Goldberg is a professor of creative writing and director of the UCR Palm Desert low-residency MFA program. Espinoza is an associate professor and the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing.
By Nik Xandir Wolf, MFA ’19
November 2022, 353 pages
Wolf’s debut suspense thriller follows Heath and Rori, a young couple on a perilous journey from Santa Cruz communes to Baja cartel territory after the accidental death of a police officer. With a crooked police chief and the cartel on their trail, Heath begins to question if he’s any different than the men hunting them.
Wolf earned an MFA in creative writing and writing for the performing arts from UCR.
“Sex Depression Animals”
By Mag Gabbert, MFA ’13
Mad Creek Books
March 2023, 84 pages
Winner of the 2021 Wheeler Poetry Prize, “Sex Depression Animals” recasts Gabbert’s adolescent traumas while establishing paths towards linguistic and bodily autonomy as an adult. Through dreamlike imagery, Gabbert explores femininity and examines the origin of shame, inheritance, and myth.
Gabbert earned an MFA in creative writing and writing for the performing arts from UCR.
By Ben Stoltzfus
November 2022, 290 pages
Blending memoir and historical fiction, “Transgression” follows the escape of an American family from the Nazi-occupied Balkans during World War II. Set against a backdrop of destruction, Stoltzfus explores war, seduction, and coming-of-age in a time of social, political, and personal chaos.
Stoltzfus is a professor emeritus of comparative literature, creative writing, and French.