Joan McMillan

(831) 335-9012

Author's Bio

I am a creative nonfiction and fiction writer, as well as a poet. My memoir of my Italian-American childhood, The Strega's Story, has just been finished. It took me seven years to write and two years to edit! Man, what a project! My second book, The Pleasure Palace,near completion, is a romantic comedy based on my life in Santa Cruz and my career as a bellydancer and a professor of English. It is a first in a trilogy; subsequent novels will be given their first drafts in nanowrimo 2010 and 2011. I currently have an essay forthcoming in Santa Clara Review and a poem in Santa Fe Literary Review during the Fall/Winter season of 2008. Here is the opening paragraph to my memoir, The Strega's Story: In 1988, when I was a grown woman, every artifact of my childhood vanished without a trace. The architecture of this loss wasn’t due to any common tragedy: fire, flood, a jealous spouse laying waste to the entire contents of a house. Instead, the physical evidence that I had once been a child became like greased coins in my mother Kathleen’s hands, slipping away when she lost the ability to keep a watchful eye on them....

Publications and Prizes

Catholic Girls
(Penguin/Plume, 1992)
, Love's Shadow
(Crossing Press, 1993)
, Touching Fire
(Running Press, 1998)
Americas Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blue Mesa Review, Chattahoochee Review, Common Journeys, Comstock Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Monterey Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, New Virginia Review, On the Bus, Oyez Review, Paterson Literary Review, Poetry, Porter Gulch Review, Portland Oregonian, Quarry West, Santa Fe Literary Review, Saranac Review, West Branch, Writing for Our Lives
Prizes Won: 
Mary Lonnberg Smith Poetry Award, Cabrillo College James Phelan Award, San Jose State University Virginia de Araujo Award, Academy of American Poets Mary Lonnberg Smith Award (Creative Nonfiction), San Jose State University

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now: 
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Virago Book of Fairy Tales by Angela Carter
Fruitflesh by Gail Brandeis
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Italian American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Los Angeles
Raised in: 
Sepulveda, CA
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Last updated: Mar 02, 2018