Dr. Amber West is a full-time Lecturer in Writing Programs who joined the faculty in 2016. Her interests include poetry and poetics, puppet theater, race and gender studies, performance studies, intersectionality, and service learning.
West earned her B.A. in Literature & Creative Writing from University of California, Santa Cruz, M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University, and Ph.D. in English from University of Connecticut.
West’s scholarship has been published in the Journal of Research on Women & Gender, Puppetry International, Episodes from a History of Undoing: The Heritage of Female Subversiveness, and The Routledge Companion to Puppetry & Material Performance while her “puppet poems” have been performed nationally. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, Calyx, and Furies: A Poetry Anthology of Women Warriors. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Daughter Eraser, in 2015 and her full-length poetry collection, Hen & God, was published by The Word Works in 2017.
Dr. West is co-founder and director of a bi-coastal artist collective called Alphabet Arts and creator of Puppets & Poets, a hybrid arts festival that she directed annually in NYC from 2011-2015. She has taught writing, trained writing teachers, and fundraised for writing programs in underserved communities for nearly two decades, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and then with nonprofits including Brooklyn Public Library, America SCORES, and Girls Write Now. During the 18-19 AY, she is thrilled to serve as Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Writing Center. During 2019, she is also thrilled to be producing Whitmania, a constellation of cultural events honoring the radical optimism of Walt Whitman in celebration of the poet’s bicentennial and UCLA’s centennial. For more information about Dr. West, visit amberiwest.com.