I attended CSU East Bay between 2010-2012 for my major in English with an option in creative writing. One of my favorite professors and writing mentors was Steve Gutierrez, who is a wonderful human being and a great creative writing teacher. I remember sitting in a circle with other classmates during his class in the Spring of 2012. We were taking turns reading our short fiction assignment and giving each other feedback. One of my classmates read her work aloud and then admitted that her “fiction” was actually a true story. She was afraid of “lying” to her readers. Steve smiled and said that all writers are professional liars. He then looked up at the rest of the class, smiled mischievously, and said “let’s hear our next liar.” Steve inspired me to improve as a fiction writer, exposed me to the wonderful world of Russian literature, and shook my hand when I told him about publishing my very first short story in an online journal.
Steve continues to write and recently published a deeply personal and moving confessional about his life as a man, as a writer, and the many flaws and joys of being human.