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John Struloeff

Professor of Creative Writing and English
Director of Creative Writing
Humanities/Teacher Education Division, Seaver College
CAC 308


Dr. John Struloeff has been director of creative writing since arriving at Pepperdine in 2007 and is a professor of English and creative writing. He grew up in the mountainous rainforest of northwestern Oregon, the setting of his debut poetry collection, The Man I Was Supposed to Be, and has published individual poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, ZYZZYVA, PN Review (UK), and elsewhere. His most recent book is a collection of biographical poems about Albert Einstein entitled The Work of a Genius. He has also widely published fiction in magazines, anthologies, and literary journals. His awards include a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Sozopol Fiction Fellowship from the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (Bulgaria), and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Prior to Pepperdine, he taught at Stanford University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received both his MA and PhD in English. Since 2009 he has served as the Section Leader for Creative Writing at the Christian Scholars' Conference.


  • Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing, Stanford University, 2005-2007
  • PhD English, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, 2005
  • MA English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2000
  • BA English, Oregon State University, 1995


  • The Work of a Genius: Poems, 2021
  • The Man I Was Supposed to Be: Poems, 2008
  • Fiction and poetry in more than 50 literary journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, PN Review (UK), Western Humanities Review, Poet Lore, The Literary Review, Natural Bridge, Open Spaces, Rattle, Center, Descant, Vagabond (Bulgaria), Leaven, ZYZZYVA, and War, Literature & the Arts
  • "Loggers" in The Atlantic Monthly (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/06/loggers/303447/ )
  • Current projects include a new collection of poems and several biographical and historical novels
  • Poet Laureate of the City of Malibu, 2020-21
  • Sozopol Fiction Fellowship, EKF (Bulgaria), 2011
  • NEA Literature Fellowship, 2009
  • Dean's Medal for Excellence in Academic Leadership, Seaver College, 2008
  • American Book Award Nomination for The Man I Was Supposed to Be: Poems, 2008
  • Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship, Stanford University, 2005-2007
  • Weldon Kees Scholarship, Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference, 2005
  • Preparing Future Faculty Fellowship, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2004
  • Tennessee Williams Scholarship, Sewanee Writers' Conference, 2003
  • "Spiritual Crisis in the Short Fiction of Tobias Wolff" (with Tobias Wolff as Respondent), Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2018
  • "Wading into the Moment: The Poetry of Tracy K. Smith" (with Tracy K. Smith as Respondent), Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2018
  • "From the Kingdom: Marie Howe's Magdalene" (with Marie Howe as Respondent), Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2017
  • Lit Crawl L.A., featured reader, North Hollywood, CA, October 2016
  • "Re-Mapping Poetry," Christian Scholars' Conference, Abilene, TX, June 2015
  • "Local Truth in Peter Taylor's 'The Old Forest,'" Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2014
  • Poetry by the Sea, featured reader, Malibu, CA, November 2013
  • "Tobias Wolff and the Moral Story," Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2013
  • "Tolstoy and the Complexities of Reconciliation in Anna Karenina," Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2012
  • "Writing with Specific Details," lecturer and workshop leader, Camp David Gonzalez, LA County Juvenile Probation Facility, Calabasas, CA, January 2012
  • Rattle Summer Reading, featured reader, Santa Monica, CA, August 2011
  • "Poetry in the Age of Technology," Christian Scholars' Conference, Malibu, CA, June 2011
  • Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, featured fiction reader, Sozopol, Bulgaria, May 2011
  • Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, featured fiction reader, Sofia, Bulgaria, May 2011
  • "Riders on the Storm: Strategies for Getting (and Surviving) the Tenure-Track Job," panelist, Associated Writing Programs Conference, Washington, DC, February 2011
  • "The Ideas and Influence of Dana Gioia" (with Dana Gioia as Respondent), Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2010.
  • "Writing with Accountability," keynote speaker, Fiction Pedagogy Forum, Associated Writing Programs conference, Denver, CO, April 2010
  • Carnegie Art Center, featured reader, Arcade Reading Series, Oxnard, CA, March 2010
  • "The New Poets" (with Billy Collins), Christian Scholars' Conference, Nashville, TN, 2009
  • Stanford University, featured reader, Stanford, CA, May 2009
  • "Literary Terrain," lecturer and guest author, National Writers' Association meeting, Burbank, CA, April 2009
  • "Writing about Luminous Images and Memories," workshop, Raymond Carver Writing Festival, Clatskanie, OR, 2008
  • Raymond Carver Writing Festival, featured reader, Clatskanie Education Center, Clatskanie, OR, May 2008
  • One Book, One City – Malibu, featured reader at kick-off event, Malibu City Library, Malibu, CA, April 2008
  • ZYZZYVA Spring Reading, featured reader, San Francisco Main Library, San Francisco, CA, May 2007
  • Stegner Fellows Reading, featured reader, Stanford University, CA, March 2006
  • English Department Awards Reading, featured reader, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, April 2005
  • "Prosody" radio show on WYEP Pittsburgh, featured author (30-minute taped interview and reading) Pittsburgh, PA, aired simultaneously in Pittsburgh and Chicago on September 9, 2003
  • Gist Street Reading Series, featured reader, Pittsburgh, PA, August 2003
  • Sewanee Writers' Conference, Tennessee Williams Scholar reading, Sewanee, TN, July 2003
  • "On the Brink of War" (with Judith Ortiz Cofer and Jim Simmerman), Associated Writing Programs conference, moderator and panelist, Baltimore, MD, 2003.
  • "Reynold's Last Stand," Western Literature Association, panelist, Tucson, AZ, 2002
  • "Carnivalizing the Composition Classroom," Conference on College Composition and Communication, panelist, Chicago, IL, 2002
  • Prairie Schooner 75th Anniversary conference, featured reader, Lincoln, NE, October 2001
  • Cross-Disciplinary/Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Grant, 2023
  • Center for Teaching Excellence Pedagogy Enhancement Grant, 2020
  • Glazer Institute Teaching Grant, Pepperdine University, 2015-18
  • Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grant, Seaver College, 2016
  • Sabbatical Research Leave, Seaver College, 2014-15
  • Dean's Research Grant, Seaver College, 2012 (Research in Switzerland)
  • Dean's Research Grant, Seaver College, 2010 (Research in England)
  • National Endowment for the Arts, Literature Fellowship Grant, 2009
  • Dean's Research Grant, Seaver College, 2009 (Research in Russia)


  • Poetry Writing
  • Fiction Writing
  • Russian Literature
  • War Literature
  • Modern Jewish Literature
  • The Short Story
  • Faith and Spiritual Narratives
  • Historical Fiction
  • Leo Tolstoy


  • CRWR 480 Senior Project
  • CRWR 450 Form & Theory
  • CRWR 406 Advanced Poetry Writing
  • CRWR 405 Advanced Fiction Writing (The Novel)
  • CRWR 305 Intermediate Fiction Writing
  • ENG 380 Topics in Literature
  • ENG 370 World Literature
  • ENG 301 Spiritual Writing