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Hosted by Sam Pierstorff, MFA

Fee: $200.00 for *10 sessions.

*Hours/days to be arranged by student (s)

Widely-published poet and current MJC English and creative writing instructor Sam Pierstorff is now offering private one-on-one poetry workshops for serious writers who want to improve their poetry, learn new and more effective writing techniques, and discover useful strategies for publishing contemporary poetry.

Specific curriculum and course content will be based on the individual needs of each poet.

To arrange a schedule or to obtain more information, please contact Sam Pierstorff at (209) 238-3855 or (209) 575-6183.



California State University, Long Beach
Master of Fine Arts: Poetry, GPA: 4.0
Summa Cum Laude, May 1999

California State University, Long Beach
Bachelor of Arts: English, GPA: 3.7
Cum Laude, May 1997
Selected Outstanding Graduate, College of Liberal Arts

Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA
Associate in Arts, May 1995
Technical Writing Certificate, December 1999


Pearl Poetry Book Prize, Finalist, Judge: Ed Ochester
Pushcart Prize Nominee, 1999
Phi Kappa Phi, national honor society for superior scholarship
Phi Delta Gamma, national graduate student academic honor society
Best Thesis Award: Honorable Mention
Nominated to Graduate Dean’s List of University Scholars and Artists
Selected Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts, CSULB 1997
Featured Interviewee in In-Touch Magazine. Vol. 6, No. 1: Fall/Winter 1997.
President’s List, CSULB Fall 1995, Fall 1996, Spring 1996, Spring 1997
Frank Weir Memorial Scholarship, presented by OCC’s Literature and Languages Department, 1995


“the man that drinks in the dark.” Riprap. May 1995.
“fishing lines” and “freezer burn.” Standard Deviations. August 1996.
“it smells of smoke” and “walking.” Heeltap. Issue 1, Winter/Spring 1997.
“unemployed.” Poetry Motel.
“Prolapsed Rectum.” Bender. Vol. 1, Issue 1, Fall 1997.
“how I quit smoking,” “a janitor for mom,” and “another fish.” Chiron Review. Issue #51, Summer 1997.
“home-field advantage.” Eclipse. Vol. 1, Number 15, Winter 1996.
“my father’s bookcase.” Poetry in Motion. Vol. 4, Issue 1, November 1996.
“Customer Service” and “Four Tanka.” Sink Full of Dishes. Vol. 3, Issue 12, Spring 1997.
“Fourteen.” White Crow. Vol. 3, Issue 1, December 1996.
“a surprise then as now.” Pittenbrauch Press.
“My Mother’s Back,” and “basic training.” Pearl #27 Fall/Winter 1998.
“it took weeks.” [sic].Vol. 3, Issue 5, May 1997.
“the one that got away.” Riprap. May 1997.
“wrong number” and “a poem for the girl downstairs.” Sheila-na-gig. #12. December 1997.
“Prolapsed Rectum.” Slipstream, Bathroom Issue. No. 18, 1998.
“my cat” and “when you know you’re a pig.” Pearl, 25th Anniversary Edition.
“a letter to the cockroach under my refrigerator.” Bender. Vol. 1, Issue 2, Spring 1999.
“keep moving forward.” Long Beach Union. September 29, 1997.
“someone has to be better.” Nerve Cowboy. No. 5, Spring 1998.
“but will it pass smog?” and “a long nine months.” One Dog Press.
“My Sister’s Plane.” Sidewalks. No. 14, Spring/Summer 1998.
“the things i learn in class.” Mama Yama. Vol. 1, Issue 1, Vernal Equinox 1999.
“Until he can pray himself.” Al-Kalima. Vol. 1, Issue 2, Spring 1998.
“The line is fading.” Music From a Farther Room. Spring 1998.
“After watching too many spy movies.” Rattle. Vol. 4, Issue 10, Winter 1998.
“Spontaneous Aloneness,” and “Why I don’t write love poems.” Plain Brown Wrapper. No. 42, Fall 1998.
“Growing up in someone else’s shoes.” Sheila-na-gig #13, 1999.
“I visit my Sister.” Spillway #9 Spring/Summer 1999.
“Praying for Change,” and “I Walk Away.” Al-Talib, UCLA. January 19, 1999.
“Shopping for a Hat.” Riprap. May 1999.
“Dishwasher.” (Fiction) Riprap. May 1999.
“A Brief Sonnet,” and “Practical Applications.” ZZZ Zyne #XXV.
“Dog’s Eye View,” “Paper Cut,” and “Convalescent Hospital, 1998.” Simple Vows.
“Triple A is on Speed Dial,” “The house outside our homes,” and “Out of Sight.” Music From a Farther Room.
“A letter to my neighbors who are missing a fish.” Rattle Vol. 5, Issue 12, Winter 1999.
“Unemployed.” ZZZ Zyne #XXVI.
“After Watching too Many Spy Movies.” Poet’s Market. Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest, 2000. 353.
"Death's Inevitability," Quercus Review, 2001.
"Missing My Uncle," Lousiana Review (Forthcoming).
"Toe to Toe," and "Tangled in a Website," Al-Talib, UCLA, Nov. 20.
"Famished," "Irregular," and "Purple Heart," Chiron Review (Forthcoming).
"The Sound of Marriage," and "Romance Kills," Bender (Forthcoming).
"After an MFA," Bathtub Gin (Forthcoming).
"The Dodge that Can't Dodge," and "Driving Sharon Olds to the Airport," Staplegun (Forthcoming).
"The Stairs were a Cinch at Ten, "The GAP was Filled," and "Frozen Yogurt," Liquid Ohio (Forthcoming).
"The Ugly Couple," "Newlyweds," "The Legend of Lillian," In the Grove (Forthcoming).


Doing Donuts on the Road Not Taken. Cerritos, CA: The Syrup Press, 1996.
The Sauerkraut Burrito. Cerritos, CA: The Syrup Press, 1997.
Disco Balls. Cerritos, CA: The Syrup Press, 1999.


"Drop-In Poetry Workshops," Modesto Junior College. A bi-weekly seminar in poetry writing. 2000-current.
"Myths & Misconceptions of Arabs and Muslims," Our Response to Terrorism: A Teach-In. Modesto Junior College. Sept. 20, 2001.
“Responding to Writing: Reaching Middle School Students.” Mosaic Saturday Tutorial Program Tutor Training, sponsored by the office of University Outreach and School Relations, CSULB: Mar. 5, 1999.
“Contemporary Poetry: Writing and Publishing.” Yucaipa High School: Jan. 9, 1998.
“Career Planning and Development.” Goldenwest College: Feb. 23, 1998.
“Poetry: It Doesn’t Have to Rhyme.” Yucaipa High School: May 27, 1998.
Guest writing workshop leader: Imagineers Poetry Club. Yucaipa High School: May 27, 1998.
“Inspiration vs. Will: How Writers Write.” Yucaipa High School: Jan. 13, 1999.


Featured poetry reader at Coffee Break, Riverside CA, Nov. 1996.
Featured poetry reader at Coffee Tavern, Long Beach CA, Feb. 1997.
Featured poetry reader at “When Words Collide: The Long Beach Spoken Word Festival. Mum’s Cohiba Rooftop, 1998.
Featured poetry reader at Barnes and Noble, Long Beach CA, Oct. 19, 1999.
Featured reader at the "Los Angeles Poetry Festival," Rattle Publication Reading, CSUN, 1999.
Co-coordinator and poetry reader at the University Art Museum, CSULB Sept. 24, 1998.
Poetry reader at “First Annual Long Beach Poetry Festival.” Bay Shore Library, Oct. 8, 1998.
Poetry installation featured at “Safehouse: A Collaborative Interactive Exhibit.” Long Beach CA, Sept. 1998.
Featured poetry reader at Safehouse, Long Beach. Nov. 19, 1998.
Featured poetry reader at Borders at the Block, Orange CA, Apr. 26, 1999
Featured poetry reader at HERE #2, Portfolio’s Cafe, Long Beach, CA Nov. 13, 1999.
Featured poetry reader at Asian Awareness Day, Modesto Junior College, 2001.
Modesto City Poetry Slam, State Theatre, 1st Place Winner. 2001.
Dublin City Poetry Slam, Celebrities Cafe, 1st Place Winner. 2002.
Featured at "Poetry in Progress," The Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock CA, Feb. 15, 2002.
Featured poetry reader at Word Beat, Oakland, CA, Mar. 23, 2002.


Founding Editor, Quercus Review, a journal of literature & art at Modesto Junior College.
Developed and maintain, online poetry journal and resource for writers.
Board Member, State Theatre Poetry Arts Commission
Co-coordinator, Wordbreak, monthly poetry reading at Modesto Junior College
Poetry Editorial Staff, Riprap, CSULB’s literary magazine: Fall/Spring 1997.
Poetry Editorial Staff, Riprap, CSULB’s literary magazine: Fall/Spring 1998.
Featured writer at CSULB Odyssey program, “In Search of Self: A Collaborative Show of Visual Artists and Writers.” Nov. 7-12, 1998.
Organized poetry & art exhibit at Safehouse, Long Beach. Nov. 19, 1998.
Featured writer at CSULB Odyssey program, “In Search of Self: A Collaborative Show of Visual Artists and Writers.” Apr. 24-29, 1999.
Featured Artist, Xenophile Collective. Creative Events Group, Long Beach, CA.