Press Releases

Mills English Department Welcomes Achy Obejas
as Distinguished Visiting Writer

Oakland, CA–May 28, 2013 The Mills College English Department is proud to announce the appointment of award-winning writer Achy Obejas as the new Mills distinguished visiting writer.

“The Mills College distinguished visiting writer position brings writers with acclaimed careers in writing, teaching, and the creative arts to the English Department,” said Cynthia Scheinberg, chair of the English Department and dean of graduate literary studies at Mills. “Achy will teach three classes per year and engage in the life of the English Department, working closely with students.”

Obejas will arrive at Mills in August and her appointment will run from 2013–15. She studied journalism at Indiana University, Bloomington, before earning a master of fine arts in creative writing from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ruins and Days of Awe, among other books of fiction. Her best-selling poetry chapbook, This Is What Happened in Our Other Life, was a critical favorite. Her other fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies.

In addition, Obejas, a Cuban American who moved to the United States from Havana, Cuba, at the age of six, is a well-known translator. She edited and translated into English Havana Noir, a collection of crime stories by Cuban writers on and off the island. Obejas’ translation into Spanish of Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was a finalist for the Esther Benítez Translation Prize from Spain’s National Translators’ Association. Her newest translation is Diáz’s most recent book, This Is How You Lose Her, which was released this year. She is a founding member of the creative writing faculty at the University of Chicago, a member of the editorial board of In These Times, a member of the editorial advisory board of the Great Books Foundation, and a blogger for

Since 1999, she has developed writing workshops and taught writing classes at the University of Chicago and DePaul University. In 2005 and 2006, respectively, she was a distinguished writer in residence at the University of Hawai’i and Wichita State University. She has lectured at many colleges and universities.

Obejas has earned nearly two dozen national and international awards for her fiction, poetry, and journalism. In addition, she has written thousands of articles for publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, In These Times, Village Voice, Vogue, Ms., Playboy, and the Los Angeles Times.

“We are thrilled to have Achy Obejas join Mills as our distinguished visiting writer for two years,” said Mills College Provost Sandra C. Greer. “With her wide array of published work and her diverse life experiences, Obejas’ presence on campus—both in the classroom and out—will enhance our long history of collaborating with writers who have powerful voices.”

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 377 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit


Last Updated: 10/16/14