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08-0619Thomas Wallin Larson

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Masters of Arts in English and American literature from the University of California, San Diego, 1986.

Graduate courses in music at the University of California, San Diego, 1982 and 1983.

Bachelor of Music, University of New Mexico, 1982.

Current Teaching:

Faculty, Ashland University Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing, 2010 - present: classes, thesis advisor, post-graduate seminars.

Writing Overview:

"On Medical Authority." Guernica, August 6, 2015.

"Hobby Lobby, Steve Green, and the New Bible Empire." Free Inquiry, April/May 2015.

"Mysteries of the Heart." Psychology Today blog. Ongoing.

Essay series, "The Social Author," Guernica, 2013-2014.

Staff writer, San Diego Reader, 1999 - present. Investigative articles, narrative nonfiction, and profiles.

Contributing writer, University of San Diego Magazine, 2004 - 2007. Profiles.

Freelance writer and book reviewer, 1988 - present.

Music critic, Santa Fe New Mexican, 1980 - 1983.

Major Publications:

The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease. Hudson Whitman / Excelsior College Press, 2014.

"Disenthralled: An End to My Heart Disease." River Teeth. Volume 13, No. 2. Spring 2012.

The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." Pegasus Books, 2010.

The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative. Ohio University / Swallow Press, 2007.

Fifty-one cover stories and ten inside features for the San Diego Reader, 1999 - present.

Editor: A Year in Ink: San Diego Writers’ Ink Anthology. San Diego Ink Spot Press, 2008

Hundreds of essays, reviews, articles, and memoir pieces published, 1980 - present. Among the names of literary journals, magazines, and newspapers: Brevity, Oxford American, Missouri Review, Puerto del Sol, The Rumpus, Chicago Reader, New Letters, Cimarron Review, Boulevard, American Music, The Santa Fe New Mexican, The San Diego Union-Tribune, AWP Chronicle, Counterpunch, Free Inquiry, and Gettysburg Review.


The Sanctuary of Illness. 2014 Indiefab Finalist: Autobiography & Memoir


Book Review Editor, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.

NPR "On the Media" interview: "The Digital Bible." November 22, 2013.

"How I Want To Be in That Number." Dispatch from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival, May 20, 2013, Oxford American online.

"Writing While Ill: Pathography, Then & Now." Shenandoah. Online issue 62.2., February 2013.

"The Shifting Self. On Donald Morrill's The Untouched Minutes."The Oxford American. Issue 78, August 2012.

"Music, Memory, and Prose: On Joan Didion's Memoirs. Puerto del Sol. Volume 47, No. 1, Summer 2012.

"This Is Your Brain Reading: On Books. On Screens." The Rumpus. February 22, 2011.

"Driving Cars in Clown Suits: David Shields Terrifies Novelists." Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields. AGNI Online. June 11, 2010.

Special Focus Editor: American Book Review issue, "Memoir Now." Vol 30, No. 3, March/April 2009: Introduction: "A New Kind of Narrative Truth."

"Mrs. Wright’s Bookshop." New Letters. Vol 74, No. 3, Summer 2008. Winner: Reader’s Award for Nonfiction.

"The Son Not Taken." Tampa Review 36. Winter 2009.

"Identity Crisis: What Is a Memoir Anyway?" Etude: New Voices in Literary Nonfiction. Winter 2009.

"Is the Unexamined Life Worth Voting For? Memoirs of Clinton, Edwards, and Obama." / Shorts, 2008.

"The Woman on the Corner." / Shorts, 2007.

"Beguiled by Mozart's Image." Cadillac Cicatrix. Winter 2008.

"Our Samuel Clemens: Mark Twain in the Age of Personal Disclosure." Southern Humanities Review, Spring 2004.

"Almost Beautiful: A Life of Nathanael West." The Gettysburg Review, Winter 2001.

"‘In Spite of Everything’: The Definitive Indefinite Anne Frank." Antioch Review, Winter 2000.

"Skull and Roses—Reflections on Enshrining Georgia O’Keeffe." Southwest Review, Volume 83, No. 1, 1998.

"Freshman Comp, 1967." The Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997, ed. Philip Lopate, Doubleday.

Teaching & Lecture Experience:

Reading: AWP, February 11, 2017, Washington DC. "Fifth Year Anniversary of Hudson-Whitman Press. The Sanctuary of Illness."

Panel: AWP, February 9, 2017, Washington DC. "On Richard Selzer."

"On the Poetry of Stephen Haven." Ashland U MFA lecture, July 22, 2016.

"What My Father Came Here To Get Away From." Ashland U MFA program reading, July 18, 2016.

"Load, Lessen, Level." Talk at River Teeth Nonfiction Conference, June 1, 2016.

Reading: Fresno Community College, April 4, 2016. "Fifteeen Years of Feature Writing for the San Diego Reader."

Panels: AWP, March 31-April 2, Los Angeles, CA. "Writing the Spiritual Memoir." "Who Reads Us?"

Panels: NonfictionNow. October 29-31, 2015, Flagstaff, AZ. "Music & Writing." "You Lived Through It, Do We Have To Read About it?" "Looking for Real-Life Humberts: The Unreliable Narrator."

Panel: "Writing the Spiritual Memoir." RMMLA "Life Writing," October 8, 2015.

"James Agee & Music." Madame Sembrich Museum, Bolton Landing, NY, August 26, 2015.

"Eliot & Faith." Ashland U MFA program reading, July 29, 2015.

Memoir Workshop & Reading, Arapahoe College Writing Festival, April 18, 2015.

Reading @ College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, CA, March 25, 2015.

"The Sanctuary of Illness." Multimedia program, several dates, 2014.

"Falling Back to Earth." Ashland U MFA program reading, July 24, 2014.

"Writing About Illness" workshop. San Diego Writers' Ink, October 26, 2013. Several dates around U.S., 2014.

"This Shining Night," on James Agee. Ashland U MFA program reading, August 4, 2013.

Video Essay premiere: "I'm Sorry / What For." AWP, Boston, LIR, March 8, 2013.

Panel: "Looking for Real-Life Humberts: The Unreliable Narrator in Creative Nonfiction." AWP Conference, Boston, March 7, 2013.

"And Titanic's Band Played On: 100 Years of a Musical Mystery." Multimedia performance, summer/fall 2012, five dates.

"I Like To Have My Say." Ashland U MFA prgram reading, August 5, 2012.

Panel: Persona in CNF and Poetry. Ashland U MFA program, August 2, 2012.

Panel: "The Persona in Personal Narrative: On Donald Morrill's The Untouched Minutes. AWP Chicago, March 2012.

"Disenthralled: An End to My Heart Disease." Ashland U MFA program reading, August 3, 2011.

"The 'Author' in the Digital Age." Multimedia talk. San Diego Writers & Editors Guild, March 21, 2011.

"Now, Where Was I: Subtext in Maggie Nelson's Bluets." Nonfiction Now Conference, Iowa City, IA, November 6, 2010.

"Saddest Music" multimedia presentation, Fall 2010 National Tour, thirty presentation dates.

"What We Mean When We Say a Memoir's Narrative is Personal." Ashland University MFA program lecture, August 5, 2010.

"Saddest Music" multimedia presentation, Ashland U MFA program, August 4, 2010.

Post-Thesis consultations in creative nonfiction: Ashland University MFA program, August 1 - 7, 2010.

Daylong & Weeklong seminars in memoir writing, The Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, MN, 2009 & 2010.

"Writing the Memoir" & "Keep the Memoir Going" at San Diego Writers' Ink and at Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, 2007 - 2010.

Featured speaker: Murry's Annual Dinner, a fundraiser for The Missouri Review, May 2, 2010.

Panel: "Memoir Form and Ethics in the Age of the Oprah Book Club." AWP Conference, Denver, April 2010.

Panel: "Must a Memoir Read Like a Novel?" AWP Conference, Chicago, February 2009.

Five tours: "Memoir Writing" workshops and lectures on memoir throughout the United States, 2007 - 2011.

Writing Instructor, San Diego Writer’s Cooperative, The Ink Spot, 2006 - present.

Memoir Writing Group Facilitator, 2004 - present. Private read-and-critique groups.

Writing Instructor, University of California, San Diego, Extension, 2003 - 2008. "Personal Narrative Writing" and "Memoir Writing."

Professor of English, 1990 - 2000, San Diego City College.


Judy Reeves, writer. 619-284-1343 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it