The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Ex-rocker and creative writing professor on life, time at SBCC

Desiree Erdmann
David Starkey outside of the Garvin Theater on the City College campus on Oct. 3 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Starkey is looking forward to his retirement this spring, he said that he will continue to write creatively, and is excited to do so in ways outside of his teaching positions.

City College professor David Starkey used to jam out on the guitar and bass late at night in high school.

Now at age 58, he’ll be retiring this June and hopes to spend more time on his writing career.

As a creative writing professor, Starkey teaches the concepts of poetry, fiction writing, non-creative, non-fiction.

“I think I would probably consider myself a poet,” says Starkey.

Story continues below advertisement

Starkey was raised by two public school teachers in a working-class area of Northeast Sacramento. His mother taught kindergarten and his father taught sixth grade.

The schools he attended as a kid didn’t provide the necessary resources for students to be successful. He was expected to do well in school and get a good job but was unmotivated by the poor learning conditions.

Starkey received a bachelor’s degree at UC Davis, a master’s at UCLA, and a master of fine arts in creative writing at Louisiana State University. 

Starkey has also taught five years in South Carolina and six years in the suburbs of Chicago.

Starkey played in a band in high school and college. The main two instruments that he played are bass and guitar, but can also play basic drums and keyboard.

Although he knew about music, Starkey chose writing as a career. 

“I always liked to write since I was a little kid,” said Starkey.

He is also currently a book reviewer for The Santa Barbara Independent.

Many students take his class to fill their schedule but don’t plan on doing the work.

“If I am putting in more work than the student…that is not very rewarding,” said Starkey.

He prefers all types of genres of writing as long as the writing is good.

“Always be open to hearing criticism, even if you don’t take it,” he said.

More to Discover