Monona Wali has taught writing and literature at SMC Emeritus since 2008. She is an
award winning filmmaker and writer. Her debut novel, My Blue Skin Lover, won the 2015 Independent Book Publishers award for multicultural fiction. The story
of its publication is featured in Behind the Book (University of Chicago Press, 2017). In 2015, she was awarded a residency at Hedgebrook.
Many of her stories and essays have been published in literary journals including
The Los Angeles Review of Books, Santa Monica Review and Catamaran. One was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Prior to writing fiction, she was a filmmaker.
She got her MFA in Film Production from UCLA Film School in 1984. Richard Brody wrote
in the New Yorker of her film Grey Area (1984) “With its combination of theatrical vigor and visual intensity, political analysis
and constructive exhortation, it reminds me of films by the seminal black American
director Oscar Micheaux.” In addition, her documentary “Maria’s Story” was aired on
PBS and was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and won the American
Film Festival Blue Ribbon Award.