Staff + Board


Youth Programs Coordinator: Keliko Adams


Keliko Adams (she/her) is an educator, artist, bibliophile, and pit bull enthusiast. She received her BA in English literature from Linfield College and her M.Ed in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on equity in education, from Lesley University. She has been working with youth and for youth for over 20 years in Hawaii (her home); Albuquerque; Washington, D.C.; Japan; and the Pacific Northwest. She believes in the power of words and stories and recognizes how these are used to influence future generations. Therefore, she spends much of her free time drafting manuscripts and paper illustrations for her future career as a children’s book writer and illustrator.

Program Director, Events: Rob Arnold


Rob Arnold has spent the past decade in publishing and literary advocacy, co-founding the online magazine Memorious and holding editorial roles at Ploughshares, Fence Books, The National Poetry Series, Grid Books, and Aevitas Creative Management. He was also a digital marketing specialist at Beacon Press, and associate director of PEN New England. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Hyphen, Poetry Northwest, Yes Poetry, and The Ocean State Review, among others.

Program Director, Education: Margot Kahn Case


Margot Kahn Case received her MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University. Before rejoining Hugo House as program director, she spent nearly a decade freelancing. Prior to that, she managed SAL’s Writers in the Schools program and directed youth programs at Hugo House. Her books include the award-winning biography Horses That Buck and the New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice anthology This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home. Her next collection, Wanting: Women Writing About Desire, is forthcoming in 2021. Margot’s writing has appeared in the Rumpus, Lenny Letter, Tablet, BUST, Publishers Weekly, and elsewhere. In 2019, Jericho Brown chose her poem “Winter” for the Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize.

Registrar & Program Associate: Lily Frenette


Lily Frenette (she/her) was once told she read too many books and should do something else with her time. She ignored that and added writing to her repertoire. Graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, she studied creative writing, photography, and environmental issues. She previously interned at The Loft Literary Center and The Center for Fiction. When not writing or reading, she can be found hiking, taking photos, listening to podcasts, or talking about her home state of Minnesota.

Marketing Assistant: Megan Gallagher


Megan Gallagher studied creative writing at Western Washington University. Before joining the Hugo House team part-time in January 2019, she interned at Bellevue Arts Museum, KCLS, and Artist Trust. She also currently works as the Communications Coordinator at BAM and as a library page. Outside of work, she likes to run, cook, and play with her dog.

Special Development Officer: Louise Kincaid


louisekincaidLouise Kincaid has worked in nonprofit management and development for over 25 years. Prior to joining Hugo House, she was the Development Officer at the Institute of Flight, Executive Director for Mercer Island Center for the Arts, and Director of Development for Village Theatre. From 1992 to 2002, Louise was the Executive Director of Northwest Chamber Orchestra, where she led the organization to a 10-year period of remarkable organizational growth, fiscal stability, and artistic excellence. She graduated from the University of Michigan with two graduate degrees in Musicology and Music Performance.

Development Director: Nicole McCarthy


Nicole McCarthy received her MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell. Before coming to Hugo House, Nicole worked as a bookseller at King’s Books, a happy helper at Wave Books, and as the managing editor for a few local literary journals. Her work has appeared in Glass: a Journal of Poetry, The Shallow Ends, Ghost Proposal, the 2018 Best American Experimental Writing Anthology, and others. She also occasionally teaches for the Write253 program, offering classes in experimental creative writing to youth in Tacoma.

Finance Director: John Peterman


John Peterman graduated from UW Business School and worked as a senior analyst in financial forecasting and analysis. A little while ago, he moved to a little ski town in Colorado to write and fly down mountains. His first novel died in the silence when it met the world. His second novelette earned an honorable mention in competition. This will likely alter humankind forever…is a phrase he often whispers at 2 a.m. after he closes his laptop and looks to the stars. He returned to the coast knowing that the power of storytelling would be at the core of any and all future endeavors. He is happy where he landed.

Marketing Director: Katie Prince


Katie Prince has worked in writing, editing, and design for more than eight years, in fields ranging from journalism and publishing to corporate and nonprofit marketing. Prior to joining Hugo House, she served as the marketing coordinator at the Nordic Museum during its rebrand and transition to a new facility. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she taught classes in publishing and book design, worked as a designer for Ecotone, and interned at Lookout Books. She has been a named a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the St. Lawrence Book Award, and the Philip Levine Prize. Her work has been published in Electric Literature, Fugue, The Adroit Journal, and Poetry Northwest, among others.

Executive Director: Tree Swenson


Photo by Rosanne Olson

Tree Swenson has been the executive director of Hugo House since early 2012. She previously spent ten years as executive director of the Academy of American Poets in New York, where she launched the Poem-a-Day program and started the annual Poetry & the Creative Mind event at Lincoln Center. Swenson was the executive director and publisher at Copper Canyon Press, which she co-founded, for twenty years. The Press produced books from poets including Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize–winners, and garnered numerous national awards. She also served as director of programs at the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is a former board president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). She holds an MPA degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard.

Program Assistance, Front Desk, and Bartenders

Mickee Cheung, Thomas Ianelli, Sarah Johnson, Amy Lin, and Eric Roper

A/V Tech

Jason Glover


Dick GemperleDick Gemperle (President) is a retired architect currently on the Board of Seattle Opera, where he chairs the Facilities Committee, which recently oversaw completion of the Opera Center, adjacent to McCaw Hall. He has been Manager of the King County Architecture Division and chair of the building committees for St. Joseph School and Jubilee Women’s Center. He is a member of two book clubs, subscribes to REP, ACT, and OSF, and has taken poetry classes at Hugo House. He came to Hugo House five years ago through the Facilities Task Force for the new home.

lynn-grantLynn Grant (Vice President) is a writer who lives on Capitol Hill. She works as a developmental editor.

Tim Shea (Treasurer) was born and raised in Montana and graduated from Montana State University as an accidental chemical engineer. Accidental because after six years and three colleges, chemical engineering fit his accumulation of credits. Moving to Washington immediately after graduation, he had a 42-year career as an engineer and economist. Now retired, he has the opportunity to pursue personal rather than professional interests. At one time retirement plans included climbing mountains, rafting rivers, visiting the great cities of the world, reading thought provoking books, and hopefully writing. Two knee replacements later, coffee shops and brew-pubs have replaced the mountains and rivers, but the rest of the retirement plans remain intact.

Mary Jo Newhouse (Secretary) is a longtime resident of Montlake. She practices as a healthcare attorney in Seattle, prior to attending law school she was a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. She grew up in Eastern Washington on the family farm which raised hops, fruit trees, and wine grapes. She and her husband have three adult children and she continues to dabble in the family wine business.

Allison Augustyn 2Allison Augustyn is an award-winning writer and editor. She was a rock music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and Seattle Times, and contributed to the book Kill Your Idols (Barricade Books, 2004). She is co-author of the PROSE award-winning Gems and Gemstones (University of Chicago, 2009), and opened five exhibits as a media writer at The Field Museum of Natural History. She has also worked as a marketing and development consultant for nonprofits in the U.S. and Africa. She is currently transitioning into writing fiction, and takes classes at Hugo House. In 2015, she was awarded a Washington State Artist Trust residency for fiction, and published stories in The Masters Review, Doll Hospital, and Whole Terrain.

Anne Payne Barker was an editor at Mademoiselle and Gourmet Magazines and an account manager at NW Ayer Advertising in New York. Upon returning to Seattle, she became a community volunteer, holding board positions with several nonprofits, including the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center; The Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS); and the Patrons of Northwest Civic and Charitable Organizations (PONCHO). Residing on Bainbridge Island for fifteen years, she managed marketing and fundraising projects at two Bainbridge independent schools, and served as Board Chair at one of them. She was also on the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council before moving to San Francisco in 2013 and returning to Seattle in 2017.

She has edited and written marketing materials for nonprofits, partnered in a small publishing company, and tutored high school students and ESL students in writing. Currently on the board of Copper Canyon Press, Anne is also a member of the Washington Women’s Foundation and has taken several classes at Hugo House.

She and her husband, Geof, have two adult children. 

Elizabeth DeNoma is a senior editor on the Amazon Crossing team. Elizabeth regularly leads panels at publishing industry events such as the London Book Fair, BookExpo, and the American Literary Translators Association. Elizabeth completed her PhD in Scandinavian languages and literature at the University of Washington and taught for several years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her dissertation focused on the intertextual relationship between the literary works of Selma Lagerlof and their film adaptations in the silent and sound eras. She lives with her family in Seattle, where she can be found in or on the water whenever the weather permits. She’s won several awards for her scholarship, including a Fulbright Award for dissertation research and a SWEA literary scholar of the year award from the Global Swedish Women Association.

BoardPics_DonteFDonte Felder is fueled and inspired by the students he teaches at Orca K-8, an alternative school in South Seattle. Besides exploring the formation of the United States and the philosophy of story, Felder is energized by the many possibilities that are presented when writing a screenplay. Felder is a graduate of Goddard College where he received his MFA in Creative Writing with a focus on screenwriting. Felder is happily married and has three wonderful children.

Bruce Funkhouser enjoyed a broad career in media as a musician, disc jockey, broadcasting educator, recording engineer, record company owner and CEO, and an executive responsible for operations, programming, licensing, and legislative outreach. He retired in 2013 from his position as VP—International, Distributions, and License Administration for Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). During his tenure with CCC, he also served as a director and vice president on the Board of the International Federation of Reproductive Rights Organizations (IFRRO), representing the interests of .S publishers, authors, and creators of intellectual property.

He recently completed his final term as vice president of the Board of Artist Trust of Washington State and has been a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for over 30 years.

Daniel Glasser is a writer and satirist who has been an active member of Hugo House since 2015. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, his passion for writing has been stoked by a series of gifted teachers, starting in high school when he studied with Frank McCourt. He has lived most of his adult life in the Seattle area, where he previously worked as an engineer and engineering manager at Microsoft, specializing in developing software for real-time communications and social networking. He is the holder of more than twenty US patents. In addition to reading and writing, he enjoys traveling with his family and driving and cycling on back roads. He has a BS in computer science from Yale University and a certificate in literary fiction writing from the University of Washington. 

Dottie Hall is an aspiring writer who has benefited from multiple Hugo House courses. With her husband JJ Leary, she has co-authored a cookbook, Cooking with Your Snooks, to share the joy and rewards of cooking with your loved one. She is a retired high-tech marketing executive with over thirty years’ experience. The quintessential startup junkie, she led marketing at companies including Symantec, Tesla Motors, and Microsoft. She holds an MS in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in journalism from Georgia State University. She has served on other nonprofit boards including the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation (current), New American Schools, and the Arizona Software Association as well as on various for-profit boards.

Elise Holschuh built her career in general management and marketing, working in product management and marketing strategy for General Mills, US Communications, and Foote, Cone and Belding. Her nonprofit experience has focused on utilizing her professional training on behalf of organizations that matter to her. Most recently she served several years as Board Chair for Path with Art, an organization whose mission is to help transform lives of people in recovery by harnessing the power of creative engagement. Her personal passion in the arts takes the form of writing, a pursuit that brought her to Hugo House for the rich opportunities offered, and then, for the opportunity to serve on the board.

Gary Luke held editorial and executive positions in the book publishing industry over four decades. He recently retired as the publisher at Sasquatch Books in Seattle. Gary worked as an editor of fiction and nonfiction books at Dell/Doubleday, Penguin USA, and Simon & Schuster when he lived in New York. Authors he has worked with include Shawn Wong, Brenda Peterson, Bruce Barcott, Nancy Pearl, Kate Lebo, Jonathan Raban, and Eric Liu. A fourth-generation Seattleite, he received a BA in English from Western Washington State College. He is a past board member of Artist Trust.

Georgia S. McDade, PhD, is a retired English professor who spent most of her career teaching at Tacoma Community College but also taught at Seattle Community College, University of Washington, Renton Vocational Technical School, and Lakeside School. She has volunteered at a number of elementary and high schools as both teacher and tutor and conducted writing classes for all ages. A prolific writer, McDade published Travel Tips for Dream Trips, questions and answers about her six-month solo trip around the world; Outside the Cave I, II, III, and IV, volumes of her poetry; and Observations and Revelations, a collection of stories and essays. Her writing can be found in Leschinews and South Seattle Emerald. Much of her time today is spent organizing events for twenty-eight-year-old African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA); McDade was a charter member.

Shahina Piyarali is a book reviewer for the Seattle-based publication Shelf Awareness and serves on the National Council of Graywolf Press. She is qualified as a barrister in England & Wales, and earned her Juris Doctorate at the University Of Washington School of Law. Retired from the legal profession, Shahina still deploys her legal training to assist nonprofits. She is board president of Tasveer, a South Asian arts and social justice organization committed to showcasing thought provoking, intellectually stimulating South Asian cinema and literature in Seattle. Her interest in writing led her to attend classes at Hugo House. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Ali, and they have two grown sons.

Sharyn Skeeter was fiction/poetry/book review editor at Essence and editor-in-chief at Black Elegance magazine. She’s taught at Emerson College, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and elsewhere in the Northeast. She participated in panel discussions and readings at universities in India and Singapore. Sharyn has published magazine articles, poetry, and fiction. In addition to being on the Hugo House board, she’s on the board of trustees at ACT Theatre. Her debut novel Dancing with Langston (Green Writers Press) won Gold in the 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards in multicultural adult fiction. 

Garth Stein is the author of four novels, including the international bestseller, The Art of Racing in the Rain, which spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list and will soon be released as a major motion picture by Fox 2000. He has also written four children’s picture books and a full-length play. Garth is the cofounder and co-executive director of Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit collective of ninety Northwest authors whose mission is to energize readers, writers, booksellers, and librarians. He is also a founding board member of Seattle City of Literature, which is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Garth lives in Seattle with his wife and three sons, and is currently working on a new novel and a graphic novel, both to be released in 2019. His website is garthstein.com.

Michael Trickey was born in Kansas but grew up on the Eastside of Lake Washington. He recently retired after twenty-two years as a trial and appellate court judge. He practiced law as a public defender and in a small North Seattle law firm before joining the bench. He now works for Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS) in Seattle. He has a JD from the University of Washington School of Law and an AB from the University of California, Berkeley. He also attended Claremont McKenna College. He is a lifelong reader with a particular interest in history and biography. He is excited to participate in the literary culture of Hugo House.

Tree Swenson, Hugo House executive director (see above), serves as an ex officio member of the Hugo House Board of Directors.