Raul Palma, Assistant Professor, Writing

Raul Palma

Associate Dean, Humanities and Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Sciences
Specialty: Creative Writing Studies, Fiction Writing

Raul Palma is the author of A HAUNTING IN HIALEAH GARDENS (forthcoming from Dutton), and IN THIS WORLD OF ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT (winner of the 2021 Don Belton Prize and forthcoming from Indiana University Press). He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska, with a specialization in ethnic studies. He was awarded a dissertation fellowship through Ithaca College’s diversity scholars program, which he used to complete his dissertation Manteca, a novel set in 1980s Miami in the shadow of Mariel and the killing of Arthur McDuffie by a Latino police officer.

Palma is a member of the fiction faculty. His research and teaching interests include creative writing studies, creative writing pedagogy, and composition studies, with a leaning toward topics in LatinX studies, women and gender studies, narratology, and transnationalism. Most recently, he has turned his attention to decolonizing the syllabus and the work that takes place in the creative writing classroom. In class, craft and creative writing lore are sites of excavation; he uses critical theory to see the situational factors that give rise to craft.

His work has also appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Chattahoochee Review, The Greensboro Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Smokelong Quarterly, and The Sonora Review. The first chapter of his novel Manteca was distinguished/notable in Best American Short Stories (edited by Junot Diaz), and his short fiction was included in Best Small Fictions 2018 (selected by Aimee bender). His work has been supported with fellowships and scholarships from the CubaOne Foundation, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, the Santa Fe Writer's Conference, Sewanee Writer's Conference, and Sundress Academy for the Arts.


    His classroom is a dynamic, interactive, experiential space. His students engage in creative, analytical, and interdisciplinary work, whether they're mapping out the geographies of fiction or building a collaborative long-form writing project or producing craft lectures. He is committed to nurturing the imagination through play and experimentation as a way of thinking about pressing global and social issues.

    • ICSM 10800: Miami Vice to Moonlight: The Making of a Global City
    • WRTG 17500: Introduction to Creative Writing
    • WRTG 20500: Personal Essay
    • WRTG 21500: Writing for the Workplace
    • WRTG 23600: Fiction I
    • WRTG 33600: Fiction II
    • WRTG 36500: Poetics
    • WRTG 41500: Creative Writing Pedagogy: Theory & Practice
    • WRTG 41500: Narrative Ethics
    • WRTG 43600: Writing the Novella

    Recent Activity:

    • Palma's novel, A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens, is forthcoming from Dutton (Penguin Random House).
    • Palma's short story "Stand Your Ground" is forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review.
    • Palma will teaching a course titled "Geographies of Fiction" in Chicago's Story Studio.
    • Palma won the 2021 Don Belton book prize for his story collection In This World of Ultraviolet Light.
    • Palma led a workshop for the LatinX community for the Community Arts Program, on writing about family.
    • Palma was invited to read an excerpt of his novel A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens by Ithaca City of Asylum, alongside Valzhyna Mort. 
    • Palma hosted an antiracist syllabus workshop at the Center for Cartoon Studies on March 11th. 
    • Palma was invited to join Ithaca College's Early Career Education Institute.
    • Palma delivered an invited workshop at Dartmouth's Leslie Center for the Humanities, on November 17th. His workshop was the first of a series that the Leslie Center will be hosting throughout the year on antiracism.
    • On October 24th, 2019, Palma delivered an invited lecture at the Tompkins County Public Library titled, "Lifting the Emotional Embargo: Traveling to Cuba as a Cuban-American Writer."
    • Palma's story "Never Through Miami" appeared in Greensboro Review, issue 106.
    • In the summer of 2019, Palma presented on the panel "Remapping Genre in the Creative Writing Classroom" at the Great Writing International Creative Writing 2019 Conference at Imperial College London, alongside Jack Wang and Jacob White.
    • "The World to Come" appeared in The Chattahoochee Review's Lost and Found issue, alongside his musings on the origins and inspiration
    • "Filthy, Polluted" was selected by Aimee Bender for inclusion in Best Small Fictions 2018--originally published in Smokelong Quarterly.
    •  Palma's collection In These Cities of Ultraviolet Light was a semi-finalist in the Iowa Short Fiction Award.
    • "Pica" appeared in Akashic Books' Terrible Twosday's column.
    •  In the summer of 2017, Palma was awarded a fully-funded seat on a literary trip to Havana, Cuba with inaugrual poet Richard Blanco and anthropologist/writer Ruth Behar, where he collaborated with contemporary Cuban artists to build bridges between US and Cuban artistic endeavors. The fellowship was sponsored by the CubaOne Foundation.
    • In the summer of 2017, Palma attended Las Dos Brujas Writer's Conference in San Francisco's Missions District, where he took part in Cristina Garcia's 'Cultivating Chaos' Workshop, and was able to mingle and learn from writers such as: Achy Obejas, Truong Tran, Chris Abani, Beth Nguyen, Denise Chavez, to name a few of the talented writers presenting and in attendance.

    Service to the Department, College, and Profession

    As a pre-tenure faculty member, Palma served as the faculty advisor to Stillwater Magazine, and he chaired the Development Committee. He was also the secretary on the Faculty Council Executive Committee, having served as a member-at-large in the 20-21 academic year, and he was a member of the H&S Senate.