Ivy Pochoda wins LA Times Book Prize

Author: Sandra Baltazar Martinez
April 24, 2024

Ivy Pochoda, author and visiting assistant professor with UCR’s Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program, has won the 2023 L.A. Times Book Prize’s mystery/thriller award.

Ivy Pochoda (courtesy of Pochoda)

Pochoda’s book, “Sing Her Down,” received the recognition Friday, April 19, at USC’s Bovard Auditorium during the 44th annual awards, held on the eve of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.  

“Sing Her Down” is Pochoda’s sixth novel.

“I am beyond excited to have won this prize, especially this year when all of the books nominated were incredible,” Pochoda said. “It means so much to me, especially because my book is about difficult women in a difficult time doing difficult things. It is so amazing to have a book about women’s power and about disenfranchised communities be recognized.”

According to an L.A. Times article, the judges, including Alex Segura, Wanda Morris and mystery fiction critic Oline Cogdill, wrote, “Pochoda brilliantly explores her characters and this setting, while sifting through myriad literary tropes, including allusions to Macbeth, mythology, even a bit of a Greek chorus.”

Other UCR Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program faculty, student, and alums who participated in Los Angeles Times Festival of Books were:

  • Alex Espinoza, faculty
  • David Ulin, faculty
  • Elizabeth Crane, faculty
  • Emily Rapp Black, faculty
  • Heather Scott Partington, alum
  • Jesenia Chavez, student
  • Mag Gabbert, alum
  • Natashia Deon, alum
  • Tod Goldberg, faculty and Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program director