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Class Catalog

Browse Summer & Fall Classes!

Hugo House: Your best source for writing classes in Seattle.

For more information on the schedule, scholarships, the various formats of our writing classes, and cancellation policies, check out our About page. Or, go meet our talented instructors.

For help finding classes, contact our registrar or call us at 206.322.7030.

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Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: August 12
Member Registration: August 13
General Registration: August 20


Early Bird Pricing Aug. 12 through Aug. 26:

  • $10 off one-session classes
  • $20 off classes that are two to six sessions
  • $35 off classes that are eight sessions or more

Early bird pricing will automatically apply at checkout. 

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Advanced Poetry Workshop

Advanced | The aim of this poetry workshop will be to help the students, regardless of age or previous experience, work toward writing the best poems they can write. The instructor will offer examples from poetry of the past and…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: David Wagoner

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Start Date: 09/22/2019 – 10:00 am
5 seats available

David Wagoner

David Wagoner has published 17 books of poems and 10 novels. He is professor emeritus at the University of Washington and was writer-in-residence (2005-2008) at Hugo House.

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Poetry and Publishing Part 2

Intermediate | In this class, we’ll continue the in-depth exploration of the publishing process and identify and send to three new markets (perfect for the fall, when many re-open for submissions). We’ll also dive deeply into the process of revision…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jeanine Walker

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Start Date: 09/24/2019 – 7:10 pm
1 seats available

Jeanine Walker

Jeanine Walker was a 2015 Jack Straw Writer and has published poems in Cimarron Review, Narrative, Pleiades, and Web Conjunctions. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and teaches for Writers in the Schools.

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Ten Approaches to the Image

We will write back to images. The course will activate creative, political, emotional, somatic, synesthesiac, analytical, attentional, and game-like responses to images. We will create images with which to create words. We will talk about the difference between words and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anne Lesley Selcer

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Start Date: 09/26/2019 – 6:00 pm

Anne Lesley Selcer

Anne Lesley Selcer is an art writer and a poet in the expanded field. Blank Sign Book is a collection of essays moving though the tensions and potentials between art and politics. Sun Cycle, winner of the CSU Poetry Center First Poetry Book Prize will be out September 2019. Named for the star that makes vision possible, it investigates image, power and gender. She is author of from A Book of Poems on Beauty, winner of the Gazing Grain prize, a chapbook emerging from her multidisciplinary research into Western beauty. Anne Lesley’s art writing includes Banlieusard, a commissioned book-length text on media and sense memory for Artspeak and Untitled (a treatise on form) for 2nd Floor Projects, a limited edition pamphlet in tandem with an exhibition. Critical writing appears in Fillip, Art Practical, Hyperallergic, The Capilano Review, Open Space, the anthology New Media Art 2017: Back to Nature, as well as in several exhibition catalogs, the most recent forthcoming this Fall for the Mills College Art Museum. Poetry appears in Fence, The Chicago Review, and Action, Yes! among several other small magazines. Anne Lesley wrote a column for Jacket2 on “art resistant to the transformation of social life into a frontier market” and a series of essays for SFMOMA’s Open Space on language and the moving image. In Vancouver BC, she created the Chroma Reading Series for creative research, artists working in language, and poetry; she was an initiating and contributing editor there to the Public Works anthology of art writing. Her language-based video, sound and text pieces have exhibited at the Krowswork, Visible Verse Festival, Southern Exposure, T-10 Video festival, and on Gauss PDF. Anne Lesley’s practice has been supported by residencies at Krowswork, Mildred’s Lane and Southern Exposure, and in tandem with the Nonsite collective, by The Headlands Center for the Arts and SFCameraworks.

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Say it Loud!

What are your origin stories? What are the textures of your world? Whose voices do you carry? What futures are you reaching for? Who will hold your stories? In this generative workshop, we will play and explore these questions by…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ching-In Chen

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Start Date: 09/28/2019 – 1:00 pm

Ching-In Chen

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic: a novel in poems (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009), recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017; 2018 Lambda Literary Award Winner for Transgender Poetry); to make black paper sing (speCt! Books, 2019) and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters (forthcoming from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs). Chen is also co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011; AK Press 2016) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). Born of Chinese immigrants, they have received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Callaloo, Can Serrat, Storyknife and Imagining America and are a member of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. A community organizer, they have worked in Asian American communities in San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Autumn 2019, they will join the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell as an assistant professor. www.chinginchen.com

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Monsters I Will Be: Experimental Poetics & Politics

How do we, through poetry, take the monstrosities of modern life and politics and compost them into something new? In this workshop you’ll learn the “frankenpo” (Frankenstein poetry) method, which takes existing bodies of text, smashes them, and sews them…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kenji Liu

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Start Date: 09/28/2019 – 10:00 am

Kenji Liu

Kenji C. Liu is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Apogee, and elsewhere, including two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of Kundiman, VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Angeles.

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The Free Verse Line

Introductory | For centuries the poetic line was defined by meter, but early in the 20th century poets began to look for rhythms that would better convey American speech. Free verse is any poem not written in meter. If you’re…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sharon Bryan

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Start Date: 10/03/2019 – 7:10 pm

Sharon Bryan

Sharon Bryan received her BA in Philosophy and an MA in Anthropology before she began to write poetry, and then received her MFA from the University of Iowa.

She has published four books of poems: Sharp Stars, Flying Blind, Objects of Affection, and Salt Air, which won The Governor’s Award from the State of Washington. She received the Isabella Gardner Award for Sharp Stars. Her other awards include two NEA Fellowships in Poetry, an Academy of American Poet’s Prize, the Discovery Award from The Nation, an Artist Trust Grant from the Washington State Arts Council, a Senior Fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a grant from the Utah Arts Council for the film collaboration Eureka, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission, among others. She was Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

She is also the editor of two collections: Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition, and, with William Olsen, Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life.

She taught at the University of Washington for seven years and at Memphis State University for six. Since then she has taught as a visiting poet in almost twenty writing programs around the country, including Dartmouth, the University of Houston, Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Ohio University, Wichita State, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, San Diego State, and Fresno State. She has also been on the faculty of low-residency MFA Programs at Pacific Lutheran Universitiy, Warren Wilson, Pacific University, and Fairfield University.

She is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Online Class | Marketing for Writers

All Levels | Need to increase your visibility as a writer? If you’re not an influencer, it’s time to become one! Learn how to connect with different media outlets (print and digital); the pros and cons of trending online channels;…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rachel Werner

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Start Date: 10/03/2019

Rachel Werner

Rachel Werner is the Content Marketing Specialist for Taliesin Preservation—a National Historic Landmark and the home, studio, school and 800-acre estate of Frank Lloyd Wright. She is also guest faculty at The Highlights Foundation; a 2018 We Need Diverse Books mentorship finalist; and a 2017 World Food Championship judge. Formerly the digital editor at BRAVA (a Wisconsin-based publication created by women for women), she enjoyed overseeing culinary, arts, style and live event coverage while working in the media in addition to contributing print, photography and video content to BLK+GRN, Madison Magazine, Entrepreneurial Chef, Hobby Farms Magazine and Urban Farm. She is equally grateful to have presented this year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writer's Institute and Write to Publish at Portland State University on digital marketing and social media strategy for writers.

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Narrative Reclamation: Using Stories to Heal

All Levels | This class is dedicated to the role of storytelling in finding relief from distress in life. Students in this course will learn how storytelling can be used for personal and communal reclamation, including the confrontation of historical…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Zain Shamoon

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Start Date: 10/05/2019 – 1:00 pm

Zain Shamoon

Dr. Zain Shamoon completed his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies in Fall 2017 at Michigan State University. He also completed a Master's degree in Couple and Family therapy in 2011. He is dedicated to the creation of spaces where people can tell their personal stories on route to their own wellness. In his clinical work, he has served a range of clients, including those wrestling with high anxiety, relational conflict, and severe depression.

In March 2015, he helped launch the Narratives of Pain project, which is a group emotional outlet of personal narrative and catharsis based in Metro Detroit, and now Seattle. Currently, Zain is a professor of Couple and Family Therapy at Antioch University Seattle.

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The Aeolian Post Office: Notebooks, Letters, Transcriptions and Prose Poetry from the Everyday

At what point does great poetry end and daily life begin? What happens when we erase that line? In this generative workshop, we will explore traditionally “disposable” prose forms to find new ways of following the lyric impulses that operate…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Daniel Poppick

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Start Date: 10/09/2019 – 6:00 pm

Daniel Poppick

Daniel Poppick is the author of Fear of Description (Penguin, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the National Poetry Series, and The Police (Omnidawn, 2017). He lives in Brooklyn, where he works as a copywriter and co-edits The Catenary Press with Rob Schlegel and Rawaan Alkhatib.

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Concept Album: Generating a Sequence of Poems

All Levels | Some of the most powerful albums feature a song cycle revolving around a central theme. Th e tracks work individually but build a larger meaning when the sequence is heard in full. In this class, we’ll explore…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rachel Kessler

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Start Date: 10/10/2019 – 5:00 pm

Rachel Kessler

Rachel Kessler explores landscape and community through writing and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Co-founder of Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, their book of collaborative poems, 100 Rooms, is forthcoming October 2019. She recently opened collective Wa Na Wari, a center for Black art in the CD, and is Artist-In-Residence at public housing project Yesler Terrace.

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The Joy of Syntax

In this hands-on workshop we’ll practice improvisational writing, using the often under-explored resources of syntax to draw our poems and stories into new territories.

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Catherine Barnett

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Start Date: 10/12/2019 – 10:00 am

Catherine Barnett

Catherine Barnett is the author of three collections of poems, Human Hours (a New York Times “Best Poetry of 2018” selection), The Game of Boxes (winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets), and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award). Her honors include a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches graduate and undergraduate students in the Creative Writing Program at NYU, is a Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College, and lives in New York City.

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Step on It! Building Velocity in Poetry

Discover how to increase the tension, extend the breath, and quicken the psychological and emotional pace in a poem utilizing elements of craft and technique. Instructors will share examples from the greats, distribute a takeaway “tip-sheet,” and carve out time…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Tina Schumann and John Sibley Williams

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Start Date: 10/12/2019 – 2:00 pm

Tina Schumann and John Sibley Williams

Tina Schumann is a pushcart nominated poet and the author of three poetry collections, Praising the Paradox (Red Hen Press, 2019) which was a finalist in the National Poetry Series, Four Way Books Intro Prize and the New Issues Poetry Prize, As If (Parlor City Press, 2010) which was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize, and Requiem. A Patrimony of Fugues (Diode Editions, 2016) which won the Diode Editions Chapbook Contest. She is editor of the IPPY-award winning anthology Two Countries. U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents (Red Hen Press, 2017). Schumann’s work received the 2009 American Poet Prize from The American Poetry Journal, finalist status in the Terrain.org annual poetry contest, as well as honorable mention in The Atlantic. She is a poetry editor for Wandering Aengus Press and Assistant Director at Artsmith.org. Her poems have appeared in publications and anthologies since 1999 including The American Journal of Poetry, Ascent, Atticus Review, Cimarron Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod, Parabola, Palabra, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and Verse Daily. You can read more about Tina at www.tinaschumann.com.

John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A nineteen-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a freelance poetry editor and literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Third Coast, and various anthologies.

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Metaphor in Theory and Practice

Introductory / Intermediate | To craft powerful metaphors, writers need a deep understanding of how metaphors work. In this co-taught course, we’ll discuss metaphor theory, asking questions like: How do readers experience metaphor? Is metaphor conceptual or ornamental? What is…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

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Start Date: 10/13/2019 – 1:00 pm

Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

Kascha Semonovitch’s poems and essays have appeared in journals including Quarterly West, The Bellingham Review, Zyzzyva, The Kenyon Review and others, and in the chapbook Genesis by Dancing Girl Press. She has a PhD in philosophy from Boston College, an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College. She has fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation, and her creative nonfiction was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kascha has edited two collections of philosophical essays on early twentieth century European thought, and published academic essays, mostly recently Attention and Expression in Simone Weil. She has taught philosophy at Boston College, Seattle University, and Hugo House in Seattle. She runs an art gallery in Seattle.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that we learn by reading – whether the work of our classmates, contemporary authors or canonical works. The work of a teacher lies in asking –and re-asking –questions that motivate us to pay attention to these texts. In class, we think together by articulating our interpretations. When we reach a conflict of interpretation – “Oh, I thought Robert Hass was talking about beauty” or “I thought Descartes meant his elbow”– then we inquire into the reasons for the conflict. After such careful reading, we are ready to re-read our own writing. We are better at paying attention to what is happening in syntax and semantics.

As a faculty member at Seattle University for over seven years, I taught the history of philosophy, critical thinking, and ethics. Philosophers pay attention to the history and internal consistency of systems and concepts. This type of paying attention is also invaluable to writers. For example, we might ask whether poet thought through the connections between the terms in a text and the deep history of texts that precede it? Does a fictional or poetic world hold together consistently? I love learning by reading with students.

Roger Gilman has a PhD in Philosophy from The University of Chicago. He taught interdisciplinary courses in the Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University in Chicago. He held positions as department Chair and Dean of the College. He is a former poetry editor of the Chicago Review and has published poems in various magazines, among them Poetry Northwest. He is a winner of the Boynton Prize in poetry and of a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship. His research concerns theories of metaphoric meaning-making and the role of metaphors in artworks and scientific explanations.

Teaching Philosophy: Good teaching, in my view, requires listening well. I design classes around a question or puzzle. And I start each class session with a question. The question may be one I’ve elicited from the students or one that I think helps unfold the issues presented by the overall course plan. I think all of us are naturally and intensely curious about the world and ourselves. And especially about all the dimensions of our craft that helps define us and gives meaning to our lives. When a student makes a comment and adds to our conversation, I follow up their line of thinking and feeling with questions that I hope help them unfold their own ideas and induces them to compare them with the ideas others have expressed in class. My classes usually deploy a mixture of mini-lectures and group discussion, the use of well-targeted texts and liberal use of the white board. I usually provide short texts of theoretical work and a generous supply of poems to analyze, and hope that these texts inform each other.

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Writing alongside Charles Baudelaire

All Levels | Read the poetry and prose of Charles Baudelaire. Called “a god” by Rimbaud, Baudelaire was a master of symbolism and Romantic verse, a chronicler of the underbelly of urban streets, and one of the pioneers of the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Deborah Woodard

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Start Date: 10/19/2019 – 1:00 pm
2 seats available

Deborah Woodard

Deborah Woodard's first full-length collection, Plato's Bad Horse, appeared in 2006 (Bear Star Press). Her new collection, Borrowed Tales, was recently published by Stockport Flats.

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Exploring Three Modern Poetic Forms

All Levels | Think of the American Sonnet, used by many contemporary poets; the Golden Shovel; and the Duplex as the evolution of three modern poetic forms. We’ll examine their effectiveness as containers for the evolving language of today. Participants…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Gary Copeland Lilley

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Start Date: 10/19/2019 – 1:00 pm

Gary Copeland Lilley

Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman's Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He is originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. He is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, The Swamp, Waxwing, the Taos International Journal of Poetry, and the African American Review. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.

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