Certificate alum Ron Dowell recently published a poetry collection, Watts UpRise. Ron says of the work, “Mention ‘California,’ and most people think of sun-kissed beaches, star-studded glamour, and Hollywood success or the Silicon Valley. However, the poems and prose in Watts UpRise expand the narrative to compositions about other Californians—each piece reveals a different facet of the South [Central] Los Angeles community and its inhabitants. Ron sings about a suite of sociopolitical realities in an honest, smart way—a way that challenges stereotypes and humanizes people.”

Of his experience in the Writers’ Program he says, “Around 2011, I stumbled across the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. I started with short stories and branched into poetry under Lou Mathews, Laurel Ann Bogen, Suzanne Lummis, Rick Bursky, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, and Rachel Kann. It was there that I found my true calling: writing prose and poetry. I’ve not looked back.”

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