Amber West

Professional Bio 

Amber West is a writer, educator, theater maker, and nonprofit-Jill-of-all-Trades originally from California with roots in Tennessee. West’s intersectional feminist scholarship has been published in the Journal of Research on Women & Gender, Puppetry International, Episodes from a History of Undoing: The Heritage of Female Subversiveness, and The Routledge Companion to Puppetry & Material Performance. Her plays and “puppet poems” have been performed on the east and west coasts. West’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, Calyx, The Feminist Wire, and Furies: A Poetry Anthology of Women Warriors. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Daughter Eraser, in 2015 and her full-length poetry collection, Hen & God, is forthcoming this year from The Word Works. West is co-founder and artistic director of a bi-coastal artist collective called Alphabet Arts and creator of Puppets & Poets, a hybrid arts festival that she directed annually in NYC from 2011-2015. She earned her BA in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, MFA in Creative Writing at New York University, and PhD in English at University of Connecticut. She teaches writing at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Area of Expertise 

I am an interdisciplinary thinker and an intersectional feminist scholar and artist. I have developed an expertise in blending approaches from the humanities, arts, and social sciences in order to further our understanding of how social structures and related identity categories (e.g. gender, race, class) interact on multiple levels, and how socially-engaged art can help us to overcome limitations put upon us by heteropatriarchal capitalism. For example, my dissertation was a hybrid work blending poetry, puppetry, feminist theory, critical race and performance studies in order to illuminate and respond to the ways in which entrenched Western binaries separating “high” arts like poetry from “low” entertainments like puppetry are deeply entwined with dualistic constructions of gender, race, and sexuality (e.g. man as superior to woman). Areas of interest and expertise include: Popular Culture Studies, Race & Gender Studies, Poetry, Puppet Theater, Performance Studies, Intersectionality, Whiteness Studies, Hip-Hop, Mass Incarceration, Multiethnic-American Literature, Women in American Popular Music.

Workshop Locations 
Institutional Affiliation 
Professional Title 
Writer & Educator