On the Shelf

David Madden (M.A., ’58) is the author of 18 works of fiction and a new memoir about his mother, “Momma’s Lost Piano” (University of Tennessee Press). “I wrote my first and second novels while at San Francisco State,” Madden says. “So, after 55 years publishing 64 books, I am, at age 90, still riding a great crest of creative energy. Carpe diem.”

cover art of "Momma's Lost Piano" which shows a close up of a woman's face


Bill Issel (B.A., ’63; M.A., ’64) recently published “The War at Home,” a trilogy of historical novels about conflict, murder and politics in 1940s-era San Francisco. Each book — “Coit Tower,” “Traitors” and “Patriots” — takes readers into the war at home as all the usual conflicts over power, privilege and prestige intensify and new residents bring new challenges to the old order. Issel is a professor emeritus of History at SF State.


John Horgan (B.A., ’65) is the author of “Cradle of Champions: A Selected History of San Mateo County Sports.” It is available through the San Mateo County Historical Association. The book includes 161 pages, 75 stories, 130 photos, 35 lists, 500 names and 40,000-plus words.


Joey Tranchina (B.A., ’73; M.A., ’91) recently received a solo exhibition at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. The exhibition featured 70 of Tranchina’s little-known portraits of iconic poets from the Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, Amiri Baraka, Kenneth Rexroth and Michael Mcclure (B.A., ’55). “Beatitude: The Beat Attitude,” a book of Tranchina’s photographs, will be published by Steidl Verlag.

cover art that explicitly says "Beatitude The Beat Attitude" in a black background


Ken White (M.A., ’76) recently published “The Flatland Chronicles” (White and Wilkinson), a fictional memoir in the style of Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology.” Instead of poems, it is a collection of short, short stories about life in California’s Central Valley.


Margaret Power (M.A., ’77) is professor emerita of history at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is the author or co-editor of seven books. Her most recent are “Solidarity Across the Americas: The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and Anti-imperialism” (University of North Carolina Press, 2023) and “Transnational Communism Across the Americas” (University of Illinois Press, 2023).

cover art of Solidarity Across the Americas which shows a woman and man surrounded by police


Pamela Cranston (B.A., ’84) is the author of the poetry collection “The House of Metaphor,” an intoxicating blend of spirit, edginess, gravity, play and paradox.


Julia Park Tracey (B.A., ’86) wrote the historical fiction book “The Bereaved,” the story of a destitute widow who leaves her four children with an aid society on the eve of the Civil War only to find that the society has sent her children out on the Orphan Train. The book is based on the true story of her great-great-grandfather and his siblings, who were all Orphan Train children.

cover art of The Bereaved, which shows a wall of frame pictures and below a crowd of people in front of a train


Susannah Israel (B.A., ’86; MFA, ’00) published her debut book of fiction, “A Small and Distant Galaxy: The Fourth Quadrant” (Austin Macauley). Israel is an art critic and a renowned sculptor with a lifelong love of science fiction. She lives and works in Oakland.

Susannah Israel


Grant Faulkner (M.A., ’94) is the author of a new book on writing flash fiction, “The Art of Brevity” (University of New Mexico Press).


Rina Ayuyang’s (B.A., ’98) latest graphic novel, “The Man in the McIntosh Suit” (Drawn and Quarterly, 2023) presents a Filipino American take on the Great Depression. She also made a series of posters displayed at San Francisco bus shelters for Asian American Pacific Islander History Month in June. On the “Finding Filipino at SF State” poster, she shares her Gator story: “Here, I learned that I was more than a ‘model minority,’ that I could be an artist, a writer, an athlete — anything I wanted to be.”

a comic poster of "Finding Filipino at SF State" illustrating a bus-stop, lecturers, protest, and Malcolm X plaza


Mark Ernest Pothier (MFA, ’99) is the author of “Outer Sunset: A Novel” (University of Iowa Press). The San Francisco Chronicle writes: “Insightful and bittersweet, ‘Outer Sunset’ is — without qualification — a terrific novel.” He is a past winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award and former public information officer for the California Council for the Humanities.

cover art of Outer Sunset, which illustrates an abstraction of a horizon and linear lines in a vintage color palette


Paul S. Flores (MFA, ’00) recently published his debut poetry collection, “We Still Be” (El Martillo Press). He is among the most influential Latino performance artists in the country and a nationally respected youth arts educator, creating plays, oral narratives and spoken-word works that spur and support societal movements. His performance projects have taken him from HBO’s “Def Poetry” to Cuba, Mexico and El Salvador.

cover art of "We Still Be" displaying abstract art of Golden Gate Bridge and symbolism


Kenny Loui (B.A., ’05; M.A., ’08) has been promoted to associate professor in criminal justice at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Both of his graphic novels, “Life Lessons from a UFO Catcher: An Autobiographical Manga” and “There is No Shrimp ... And Other Lies My Mother Told Me,” received the Mom’s Choice Award.

cover art of two mangas, "UFO Catcher" and "UFO Catcher Ken" showing a man with a shrimp and girls


Sommer Schafer (MFA, ’13) has published her first book of short stories, “The Women” (Unsolicited Press).


Tiffany Yap, who did post-doctoral research in environmental science at SF State from 2015 to 2018, is the author of the children’s book “Tales of the Urban Wild: A Puma’s Journey” (Reverberations Books, ’23). Illustrated by Meital Smith, the book explores the many dangers faced by young mountain lions in central California.

cover art of Tales of the Urban Wild A Puma's Journey showing a young cage puma in shocked surrounded by a highway and forest


Scott Pribble (M.A., ’19) is a San Francisco-based historian specializing in 20th and 21st century Cambodia. His new book is “The Barter Economy of the Khmer Rouge Labor Camps” (Routledge). In the book’s acknowledgments, Pribble thanks SF State Professors Jessica Elkind and Eva Sheppard Wolf for their support and guidance.