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Date of birth: March 18, 1937
Date of death: April 13, 2021
Place of birth: Bakersfield, California
Hometown: Oildale, California
Married to: Janice Pettichord
Children: 5
GrandChildren: 13
Religion: Roman Catholic
  • H.S. Garces Memorial (Bakersfield, CA), 1955
  • B.A. San Francisco State, 1963
  • M.A. San Francisco State, 1965
  • Ph.D. Union Institute (Cincinnati, OH), 1980
    Also attended:
  • Bakersfield [Junior] College
  • Sacramento State College
  • Washington State University
Academic Appointments:
  • Instructor of English, San Francisco State College, 1966-67
  • Professor of English, Sonoma State University, 1967-1997
  • Adjunct Professor, The National Faculty, 1984-date
  • Adjunct Professor, Union Graduated School, 1984-date
  • Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University, 1997-date
  • Adjunct Professor, Fromm Institute, University of San Francisco, 2001-2015
Other Appointments:
  • Commentator, "The California Report," KQED-FM, 1997-2004
  • Contributing Writer, West (Los Angeles Times magazine), 2006-2008
  • Adjunct Professor, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 2003-2015
  • Columnist, This World (San Francisco Chronicle magazine)
  • Contributing Writer, Sacramento Bee (2012-date)

Literary Honors

  • 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for Legacy Fiction, (for Grace Period)
  • 2015 "Recommended", US Review of Books, (for Leon Patterson: A California Story)
  • 2013 Award of Merit from American Association of State and Local History for In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa
  • 2013 Hayakawa Book Prize from The Institute of General Semantics for In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa
  • 2006 Josephine Miles National Literary Award from PEN Oakland for Haslam's Valley
  • 2004 Certificate of Commendation, California Arts Council
  • 2001 Western States Arts Federation's Fiction Award for Straight White Male
  • 2001 ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award, Second Prize General Fiction, for Straight White Male
  • 2000 Ralph J. Gleason Award from Rolling Stone, BMI, and New York University, for Workin' Man Blues
  • 1999 Coming of Age in California named one of the 20th century's 100 best non-fiction books from the West by San Francisco Chronicle readers' poll
  • 1994 Award of Merit from the Association of State and Local History (for The Great Central Valley)
  • 1994 Commonwealth Club Medal (for The Great Central Valley)
  • 1993 Honorable Mention (finalist) PEN USA West Non-fiction Book of the Year (for The Great Central Valley)
  • 1993 Non-fiction, Bay Area Book Reviewers' Association Award (for The Great Central Valley)
  • 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award from Publisher's Marketing Association (for Many Californias)
  • 1993 "Outstanding Book" (for The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland) from Arts Council of Kern
  • 1993 "Outstanding Literary Artist" from Arts Council of Kern
  • 1990 Josephine Miles Award from PEN Oakland (for That Constant Coyote)
  • 1988 Honorable Mention, Spur Best Short Fiction Award from Western Writers of America (for "The Estero")
  • 1985 Bernard Ashton Raborg Award (for "William Saroyan and the Critics")
  • 1983 Special Mention, Pushcart Prize (for "The Man Who Cultivated Fire")
  • 1978 Honorary "Okie" from the State of Oklahoma (for Okies and Masks)
  • 1971 Honorable Mention, Joseph Henry Jackson Award (for mss. of Okies)
  • 1969 Arizona Quarterly Award (for "The Subtle Thread")
Other Honors:
  • N.D. San Francisco State University, "Alumni Hotshot"
  • 2013 Bakersfield College Centennial "100 Stars"
  • 2008 Garces Memorial High School, Hall of Honor
  • 2007 Bakersfield College, Track/Cross-Country Hall of Fame
  • 2005 Delbert and Edith Wylder Award (for "Exceptional Service") Western Literature Association
  • 2003 Sequoia -- Giant of the Valley Award, The Great Valley Center
  • 2001 Carey McWilliams Award from the California Studies Association
  • 1999 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association
  • 1998 Bakersfield Centennial Literature Award
  • 1998 Laureate of the San Francisco Public Library
  • 1992 Friends of the SSU Library Faculty Award
  • 1989 Creative Writing Fellowship from California Arts Council
  • 1986-87 Fulbright Senior Lectureship, Madrid
  • 1983-84 President, Western Literature Association


  • Haslam's Valley (Heyday Books, 2005; E-book, Devil Mountain Books, 2013)


  • Okies: Selected Stories (New West Publications, 1973, 1974; Peregrine-Smith, 1975)
  • Masks: A Novel (Old Adobe Press, 1976)
  • The Wages of Sin: Collected Stories (Duck Down Press/ Windriver Books, 1980)
  • Hawk Flights: Visions of the West (Seven Buffaloes Press, 1983); E-book, (Devil Mountain Books).
  • Snapshots: Glimpses of the Other California (Devil Mountain Books, 1985); E-book, (Devil Mountain Books).
  • The Man Who Cultivated Fire and Other Stories (Capra Press, 1987)
  • That Constant Coyote: California Stories (University of Nevada Press, 1990; second printing, 1991; third printing, 1993)
  • Condor Dreams & Other Fictions (Univ. of Nevada Press, 1994)
  • The Great Tejon Club Jubilee (Devil Mountain Books, 1996); E-book, (Devil Mountain Books).
  • Manuel and the Madman (Devil Mountain Books, 2000)
  • Straight White Male (University of Nevada Press, 2000)
  • Grace Period (University of Nevada Press, 2006); E-book, Devil Mountain Books)

  • The Language of the Oil Fields (Old Adobe Press, 1972)
  • Voices of a Place: Social and Literary Essays from the Other California (Devil Mountain Books, 1987)
  • Coming of Age in California, (Devil Mountain Books, 1990; revised edition, 1992; second, enlarged edition, 2000)
  • The Other California: The Great Central Valley in Life and Letters (Capra Press, 1990; second, enlarged edition; University of Nevada Press, 1994)
  • The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland (University of California Press, 1993)
  • Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California, with Richard Chon and Alexandra Haslam (University of California Press 1999; Ee-book, 2013)
  • In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa, with Janice Haslam (University of Nebraska Press, 2011); E-book, (University of Nebraska Press).
  • Leon Patterson: A California Story, with Janice Haslam (Devil Mountain Books, 2014); E-book, (Devil Mountain Books, 2014)

  • (ed.) Forgotten Pages of American Literature (Houghton-Mifflin, 1970)
  • (ed.) Western Writing (University of New Mexico Press, 1974)
  • (ed.) Afro-American Oral Literature (Harper & Row, 1974)
  • (ed. with James D. Houston) California Heartland: Writing from the Great Central Valley (Capra Press, 1978)
  • (ed. with J. Golden Taylor, et al.) A Literary History of the American West (Texas Christian University Press, 1987)
  • (ed.) Many Californias: Literature from the Golden State (Univ. of Nevada Press, 1992; second edition, 1999)
  • (ed. with Alexandra R. Haslam) Where Coyotes Howl and Wind Blows Free: Growing Up In the West (University of Nevada Press, 1995)
  • (ed.) Jack London's Golden State: Selected California Writing (Heyday Books, 1999)

  • William Eastlake (Steck-Vaughn Southwest Writers' Series, 1970)
  • A Teacher's Guide to Forgotten Pages of American Literature (Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1970)
  • Jack Schaefer (Boise State University Western Writers' Series, 1976)
  • Voices of a Place: The Great Central Valley (California Academy of Sciences, 1986)
  • Baiting the Hook (Poets & Writers Inc., 1990)
  • An Instructor's Guide to Many Californias (University of Nevada Press, 1992)
  • Lawrence Clark Powell (Boise State University Western Writers' Series 1992)
  • Out of the Slush Pile (with Stephen Glasser, Poets & Writers Inc., 1993)
  • The Horned Toad (Thwack! Pow! Productions, 1995)
  • An Instructor's Guide to "Where Coyotes Howl and Wind Blows Free" (Univ. of Nevada Press, 1996)

Contributions to magazines and journals: Several hundred to such as The Nation, Los Angeles Times Magazine, This World, Sierra, Boom, Saveur, Zocalo and Poets & Writers.

Contributions to newspapers: OP-ED writer, Sacramento Bee; Contributing writer, Los Angeles Times, Bakersfield Californian.

Contributions to anthologies: As of September 2015, 142 selections in collections such as The St. Martin's Guide to Writing, Modern American Short Fiction, Discovering Literature, Contemporary American Satire, Highway 99, California Childhood, The Literature of California , California Shorts and Naked at Our Age.

Membership in Professional Organizations:
  • California Studies Association (Steering Committee; founding member)
  • Western Literature Association (Board of Directors; past-President)
  • CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association
  • MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States; founding member)
  • Friends of Steinbeck

Membership in Community Organizations:
  • St. James Catholic Church, Petaluma CA.
  • San Francisco State University Alumni Association (life member)
  • Union Institute Alumni Association (life member)
  • Sierra Club
  • Nature Conservancy
  • California Trout (Founding Member)
  • Save-the-Redwoods League
  • Yosemite Association (Board of Trustees)
  • Tulare Basin Archeology Group
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • The Environmental Defense Fund

Biographical references (partial list):

  • Who's Who in the World
  • Who's Who in America
  • Who's Who in the West
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
  • Contemporary Authors
  • Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series
  • International Authors and Writers Who's Who
  • Western Writers Series (Boise State University)
  • Updating the Literary West

Hobbies and Interests: bicycling, hiking, fly-fishing, napping, playing with grandchildren

If you would like more information, then feel free to contact us:

The Haslam Family
P.O.Box 969
Penngrove, CA, 94951

Or by email at: