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Centre for New Writing

Cathleen Miller

Cathleen Miller

Cathleen Miller is honoured to serve as Distinguished Chair of the Humanities during her term as a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Manchester. She is a bestselling author and her biography of UN leader Nafis Sadik, Champion of Choice, was named one of the top ten biographies of 2013 by the American Library Association. She wrote Desert Flower, the life story of Somali nomad Waris Dirie, which has been translated into 55 languages and adapted as a feature film. Her memoir, The Birdhouse Chronicles, recounts her life living in rural Pennsylvania amongst the Amish, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Cathleen wears many hats at San Jose State University where she is a professor of English: she teaches creative nonfiction in their MFA program; she’s the director of the Center for Literary Arts, where she has presented nationally renowned authors, including a Pulitzer Series last season with three Pulitzer Prize winners. And since 2012 Cathy’s been the editor-in-chief of 150-year-old Reed Magazine. She was named a 2017 Silicon Valley Artist Laureate for her influence on the region’s literary community.