ARC professor named best creative writer in Sacramento


Christian Kiefer was recently named best creative writer in Sacramento. (Photo courtesy of Christian Kiefer)

Jared Smith

English Professor Christian Kiefer loves to write. He was newly named best creative writer of Sacramento by the Sacramento News and Review (SNR). A modest man, Kiefer joked that the SNR has no taste.

Kiefer said that it was a wonderful feeling, and that you always want to be recognized by your community and that Sacramento is a wonderful one.

Kiefer feels that in some ways writing is the most important thing he does. He’s really interested in self identity and what makes people, people.

“What makes you, you and does your self, dictate decisions that you’ve made and the decisions that you will make,” Kiefer said. He is saying that he is most curious in what makes people tick, and how their past choices influence their future ones.

This thought process weaves through everything that he has written, because he feels that fiction writers are really only writing about the self. “Everything is people just trying to figure out what makes us human and why,” he said.

Along with writing, Kiefer also teaches English at American River College. Writing and teaching are both very time consuming tasks but Kiefer makes time for both

Kiefer said that it can be hectic, but he has become pretty good at managing his time so that he can make time for both.

Kiefer’s priority for writing can annoy his students, but it can also empower them. He said that he feels it empowers students to have a teacher that is active in their field, but students may get flustered when they don’t get their paper back when they want.

Along with writing, Kiefer enjoys teaching. He said that his favorite part of teaching is when his students teach him something. He said, “you become a teacher not because you want to teach but because you want to learn.” He only wishes that he didn’t have to grade.

“You want everyone to succeed,” he said. He doesn’t want to have anyone fail, and he doesn’t like having to fail people.

For those aspiring to be writers, Kiefer said finish, don’t plan out a long list of books, finish the first one, write many more drafts, then move one. Also be ready to fail, and read everything.

Outside of teaching and writing, Kiefer likes to birdwatch. He enjoys the mystery of the birds, and discovering new things that he’s never seen before. “There’s a whole web of meaning there that’s just waiting to be interpreted and puzzled out, just like language,” he said.