Gregory Michael Orfalea, MFA
Adjunct Faculty Member
Gregory Orfalea was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and educated at Georgetown University and the University of Alaska. He is the author of eight books, the most recent of which are the short story collection The Man Who Guarded the Bomb (2010) and Angeleno Days (2009), called by Richard Rodriguez "delightful and wise." Orfalea is a seminal historian of the Arab American community. His The Arab Americans, A History (2006) is the most comprehensive work on the subject. In recent years he has been teaching Middle Eastern American Literature at Georgetown University.
The recipient of many awards for his writing, Orfalea's Angeleno Days has won the 2010 Arab American Book Award and has been named a Finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction.
In addition to his work at CLU, Orfalea is teaching a seminar in Fiction Writing at the Claremont Graduate University. Once director of the writing program at Pitzer College, he has also taught at George Washington University and Santa Barbara City College.
MFA, Creative Writing, University of Alaska, Anchorage, AK
B.A., English, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
HS Diploma, Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino, Ca
Orfalea is a noted scholar on Arab American history and literature. He has been interviewed for or quoted by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Diane Rehm Show, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the National Catholic Reporter, KOCE-TV Public Television, and many others.
He has guest lectured at many universities, including MIT, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest, Johns Hopkins, UC Davis, and Westmont College, and has spoken at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Archives, the Arab American National Museum, the City Museum of New York, the American Center in Amman, Jordan, and others.
His chief areas of expertise and practice in literature are the short story and creation nonfiction/memoir writing. He also is known as a commentator on California life and culture. In a review of Angeleno Days, James Fallows, the national correspondent for The Atlantic, places Orfalea in line with Southern California's "distinct literary voices, from Nathanael West and Joan Didion to Walter Mosley and Michael Connolly." He goes on, "Gregory Orfalea is the next in this series, with his moving essays."
Many of his short stories have been anthologized, including "The Chandelier." His work has been translated into three languages: Arabic, Polish, and German.
The Man Who Guarded the Bomb, Stories, Syracuse University Press, 2010
Angeleno Days: An Arab American Writer on Family, Place, and Politics, UArizona Press, 2009
Obama’s First 150 Days: Perspectives from An Arab American Writer, Georgetown, 2009
The Arab Americans: A History, Olive Branch Press/Interlink, 2006
Up All Night: Practical Wisdom from Mothers and Fathers, w/B. Rosewicz, Paulist Press, 2004
Grape Leaves, A Century of Arab American Poetry (ed. with Sharif Elmusa), Interlink Publishers, 2000, (reprint of University of Utah Press 1988 edition)
Messengers of the Lost Battalion (The Heroic 551st and the Turning of the Tide at the Battle of the Bulge), The Free Press/Simon and Schuster, 1997
Before the Flames: A Quest for the History of Arab Americans, University of Texas Press, 1988
The Capital of Solitude (poems), Ithaca House, 1988
Memoirs and Essays
Washington Post, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Baltimore Sun, Antioch Review,
Michigan Quarterly Review, American Studies International, MELUS, Journal of American Ethnic History
Fiction and Poetry
Antioch Review, Banipal, California Quarterly, Christian Science Monitor, Greenfield Review, Kansas Quarterly, Jewish Currents, Mizna, Northwest Review, Poet Lore, Triquarterly, 2Plus2
Textbooks and Anthologies
In Thyme: Middle Eastern American Literature, Syracuse University Press, forthcoming 2011
Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy, Rutgers U. Press, 2010
Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, U. of Arkansas, 2008
Etching Our Own Image: Arab American Art Movement, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007
Multiculturalism in the United States, Greenwood Press, 2005
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2000
The Norton Introduction to Poetry, W.W. Norton, 1995
New Worlds of Literature: Writing from America’s Many Cultures, W.W. Norton, 1994
The Oxford Companion to Women’s Literature, Oxford University Press, 1994
Visions of America: Personal Narratives from the Promised Land, Persea Books, 1993
American Mosaic: Multicultural Readings in Context, Houghton Mifflin, 1991
Imagining America: Tales from the Promised Land, Persea Books, 1991
Triquarterly’s Best Fiction of the 1980s (1990)