Meet Our Teachers

Hugo House teachers are at the core of our goal to help writers become better writers. Our teachers are writers; they are selected on the basis of their active engagement in the literary world as well as their love of teaching.

If you are interested in teaching at Hugo House, please see our guidelines here.

  • Current Teachers
  • Previous Teachers
Rebecca Agiewich
Kathleen Alcala
Steve Almond
Rae Armantrout

Daemond Arrindell
Roberto Ascalon
Tara Atkinson and Katie Ellison
Quenton Baker

Quenton Baker and Emma Törzs
Stephanie Barbe Hammer
Colleen Barry
Natalie Baszile

Emily Bedard and Erich Schweikher
Jeff Bender
Amee Bhavsar
Bill Carty

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Ted Chiang and Karen Joy Fowler
Richard Chiem
Cara Diaconoff

Nicole Dieker
Sarah Dowling
Steven Dunn
Suzanne Edison

Jeff Encke
Jeff Encke and Cassandra Hunter
John Englehardt
Tarfia Faizullah

Karen Finneyfrock
Karen Finneyfrock and Jane Wong
Waverly Fitzgerald
Amber Flame

Gail Folkins
Katie Ford
Laurie Frankel
Angela Garbes

Elizabeth George
Clelia Gore
Natalie Graham
David Lasky, Greg Stump

Lauren Groff
Brett Hamil
Tara Hardy
Nicole Hardy

Christine Hemp
Johnny Horton
University of Iowa International Writing Program
Ramon Isao

Nalini Iyer
Sonora Jha
Ruth Joffre
Amanda Johnston

Irene Keliher
Anne Liu Kellor
JP Kemmick and Samar Abulhassan
Gloria Kempton

Rachel Kessler and Corinne Manning
EJ Koh
Keetje Kuipers
Chaney Kwak

R.O. Kwon
Sonya Lea
Ben Lerner
Corbin Lewars

Priscilla Long
Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum
Alex Madison
Becky Mandelbaum

Sarah Manguso
Corinne Manning
John Marshall
J.W. Marshall

Frances McCue
Wryly McCutchen
Ross McMeekin
Susan Meyers

Dante Micheaux
Jarret Middleton
Kristen Millares Young
JM Miller

Rebecca Morris
Suzanne Morrison
Peter Mountford
Charles Mudede

Sabina Murray
Eileen Myles
Shankar Narayan
BJ Neblett

Sierra Nelson
Theo Nestor
Diana Khoi Nguyen
Nicholas O'Connell

Kevin O'Rourke
Madeline Ostrander
Ruth Ozeki
Michelle Peñaloza

Cody Pherigo
Joe Ponepinto
Mary Potter
Diana Raab

Nancy Rawles
Anastacia Renee
Ingrid Ricks
Judith Roche

Laurel Saville
Erich Schweikher
Erich Schweikher and Sierra Nelson
Kascha Semonovitch

Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman
Maria Semple
Joni Sensel
Nisi Shawl

Jim Shepard
Michael Shilling
Lora Shinn
Judith Skillman

Beth Slattery
Kim Stafford
Katherine E. Standefer
Anca Szilágyi

Sarah Thaller
Cherie Tucker
Jodie Vinson
Anna Vodicka

David Wagoner
Jeanine Walker
Emily Warn
The Writer's Welcome Kit

Lisa Wells
Derrick Weston Brown
Joshua Marie Wilkinson
L. Lamar Wilson

Terri Witek
Jane Wong
Deborah Woodard
Deborah Woodard and Elizabeth J Colen

Chavisa Woods
Carolyne Wright
Diana Xin
Wancy Young Cho

Evelynn

Rebecca Agiewich

Rebecca Agiewich is a writer, writing teacher, and the author of BreakupBabe: A Novel, which was a finalist for the 2007 Lulu Blooker Prize (a literary prize for books based on blogs). It was based on her popular dating blog of the same name, which won her many fans and scared off many potential boyfriends. She’s published essays and travel articles in a wide variety of publications, including Lonely Planet and MSNBC, and is currently at work on a middle-grade novel.

Teaching philosophy: Reward people with chocolate.

Writers I always return to: Since I’m writing for middle-grade, I like to read books for that age. I keep returning to old favorites like Judy Blume even though I should be studying current authors! One more recent middle-grade novel that blew me away was Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I also really liked Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, which was written in 1987 but has a timeless feel. I also really enjoy reading craft books. Three new favorites for me are Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, and The Third Act: Writing a Great Ending for your Screenplay by Drew Yanno.

Favorite writing advice: “Lower the bar from ‘bestseller’ to ‘would not make someone vomit.’” -Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing month, in his book No Plot, No Problem, on how to write a rough draft of your novel in only four weeks.

Past Student Feedback:

“Rebecca was very instructive while also encouraging and she fostered what I felt was an inspiring and motivational environment, which was perfect given the volume of out-of-class writing. I came away from each class feeling encouraged as well as educated.” (Spring 2014)

“Rebecca was helpful, enthusiastic, and able to manage a variety of levels. Bravo!” (Spring 2014)

“The class made me work hard and get my butt in the chair! It also helped me ignore my inner editor long enough to keep writing each day without sabotaging myself.” (Spring 2014)

“This is the most I’ve written in years! I have been able to start my novel and plan to finish it in the upcoming months.” (Spring 2014)

“I really liked being pushed to just write – it’s such an important part of any project (duh!) but often so hard to find that motivation. Having the class put such an emphasis on the writing really helped me get my act together, and by the end I actually had a routine!” (Winter 2015)

“I loved every aspect. Rebecca does a great job of teaching while making the class fun.” (Winter 2015)

“The work on outlining especially helped me think about my own story. Also – great class participation!” (Winter 2015)

" I love that [Rebecca] treated a room full of sheepish would-be novelists as if our work, lives, and thoughts counted just as much as anyone else’s, and as if we are just as deserving of respect for our efforts. It helps enormously to be taken seriously and to be encouraged with such goodwill." (Winter 2016)

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Kathleen Alcala

Kathleen Alcalá is the author of a short story collection, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico and the Southwest, and a collection of essays based on family history. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. She received her second Artist Trust Fellowship in 2008, and was honored by the national Latino writers group, Con Tinta, at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in 2014. She has been designated an Island Treasure in the Arts on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen's latest book is The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, by the University of Washington Press. In it, she explores our relationship with food and the land through research and numerous interviews with the people who bring us our food on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen has a B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. Kathleen has a great affinity for the story-telling techniques of magic realism and science fiction, and has been both a student and instructor in the Clarion West Science Fiction Workshop.

Kathleen was a faculty member at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island until it closed in 2016. She still lectures and gives readings and workshops in creative writing.

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Steve Almond

Steve Almond spent seven years as a newspaper reporter in Texas and Florida before writing his first book, the story collection My Life in Heavy Metal. His non-fiction book, Candyfreak, was a New York Times Bestseller. His short fiction has been included in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and his most recent collection, God Bless America, won the Paterson Prize for Fiction. Almond writes commentary and journalism regularly for The New York Times Magazine and The Boston Globe. A former sports reporter and play-by-play man, Almond lives outside Boston with his wife and three children.

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Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout has published thirteen books of poems. Her most recent books are Itself and Just Saying, both from Wesleyan. Versed (Wesleyan, 2009) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle award in 2010. She is professor emeritus at UC San Diego.

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Daemond Arrindell

Daemond Arrindell is a writer and teaching artist. Adjunct Faculty at Seattle University and Cornish College for the Arts; a 2013 Jack Straw Writer; and a 2014 VONA/Voices Writer’s Workshop fellow.
He has performed across the country and has been repeatedly commissioned by Seattle and Bellevue Arts Museums.

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Roberto Ascalon

Roberto Ascalon is a poet, writer, arts educator, and spoken-word performance artist who lives in the historic Youngstown/Cooper School in West Seattle. The recent recipient of the 2013 Rattle Poetry Prize, Ascalon has taught at Nova High School and participated in Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the Schools program. He currently works as a teaching artist and mentor for Arts Corps, Youth Speaks Seattle, and the Service Board.

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Tara Atkinson and Katie Ellison

Tara Atkinson is the author of two books– Bedtime Stories (alice blue books) and Boyfriends (Instant Future). Her work has appeared in Hobart, City Arts Magazine, Fanzine, HTML Giant, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She co-founded the independent literature festival, APRIL, and served as Managing Director from 2011 to 2016. She holds a BA in English from The University of Iowa and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.

Katie Ellison is an author for a Penguin Random House childrens biography series, and she is currently working on a memoir tentatively entitled Everything We Wanted, pieces of which are published in Shenandoah, Crab Creek Review, Arcadia, Jewish in Seattle, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in English Lit from Wellesley and an MFA from the University of Idaho. She moved to Seattle in 2015, was a 2016-2017 Hugo House Fellow, a 2017 Centrum Fellow, and is a 2018 alum of the TENT program at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA.

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Quenton Baker

Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is the fact of blackness in American society. His work has appeared in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Pinwheel, Poetry Northwest, The James Franco Review, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He was a 2015-2016 Made at Hugo House fellow and is the recipient of a James W. Ray Venture Project award from Artist Trust. He is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books, 2016).

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Quenton Baker and Emma Törzs

Quenton Baker is a poet and teacher. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in anthologies such as Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has a chapbook, Diglossic in the Second America from Punch Press, and is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books). He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine, and he writes poetry reviews for Poet by Poet.

Emma Törzs is based in Minneapolis. She is the recipient of a 2015 O. Henry award, and her stories have appeared in journals such as Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, Narrative, the Cincinnati Review, and Salt Hill, among others.

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Stephanie Barbe Hammer

Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 4 time nominee for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in Pearl, Hayden’s Ferry, the Bellevue Literary Review and S/tick among other places. She was a comp lit scholar for many years, but then decided she wanted to make creative work, rather than just talk about it. Born in New York City she now lives on Whidbey Island where she writes flash fiction, poetry, and occasional essays and teaches creative writing at community colleges and non-profits. She is the author of a novel The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior (Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015), a poetry collection How Formal? (Spout Hill Press, 2014), and a chapbook, Sex with Buildings (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). She’s working on a new novel about a repentant drug dealer and a new poetry collection about being a city dweller attempting to deal with nature.

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Colleen Barry

Colleen Louise Barry is an artist and writer. Her work appears in The Rumpus, jubilat, H_NGM_N, and other places. She is the author of the chapbooks Sunburn / Freezer Burn (2014) and The Glidden Poems (2015). Come say hi: www.colleenlouisebarry.com.

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Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile is the author of the novel, Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for TV by writer/director, Ava DuVernay, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Winfrey’s cable network. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Buzzfeed, LennyLetter, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco.

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Emily Bedard and Erich Schweikher

Emily Bedard holds and MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana. She has taught for the Henry Art Gallery, Hugo House, and Writers In The Schools. Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Raven Chronicles, The Seattle Review of Books, The Indiana Review, Swivel, and elsewhere. Bedard lives in Seattle with her husband, two kids, and rescue dog who might actually be a deer crossed with a bird.

Erich Schweikher recently returned to Seattle after seven years of teaching and writing in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the co-founder and editor of the annual poetry/poetics journal Northside Review. (He finds that it is often more enjoyable to publish others’ work than write his own.) His poems and essays have appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, Action Yes, and 42opus, among others. Born and raised in Arizona, he has always had a fondness for the sea. He still dreams of being a tugboat captain.

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Jeff Bender

Jeff Bender is a graduate of Davidson College and Columbia's School of the Arts. His fiction and humor have appeared in McSweeneys.net, Electric Literature, Okey-Panky, The Iowa Review, City Arts, Guernica, and elsewhere. He's a former Writers-in-the-Schools Resident and winner of Hugo House's New Works Competition.

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Amee Bhavsar

With roots in the great state of Iowa, Amee is a global traveler and bookworm, disciple of dance and lover of secret gardens. She currently directs the Washington Lawyers for the Arts, with prior positions in government, non-profit, corporate, media and entertainment organizations, focusing on public relations, project management, and bridging partnerships. A dreamer and doer, she is affectionately known as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Curious George, with strong passion for gender equity and female empowerment, youth education and food justice. Amee is also an avid writer and freelance photographer, specializing in the arts, literature, food culture, recipes, and the overall social zeitgest. Amee holds a B.A. in English Honors from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Media Studies and M.S. in Media Management from The New School in New York City.

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Bill Carty

Bill Carty has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Artist Trust, and Hugo House. He is the author of Huge Cloudy (forthcoming, Octopus Books). His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, and other journals.

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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of the collection Cenzontle (2018), which won the 2017 A. Poulin Jr. prize, and the chapbook Dulce (2018). His memoir, Children of the Land, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020. His work has appeared or been featured in The New York Times, PBS Newshour, People Magazine en Español, The Paris Review, Fusion TV, Buzzfeed, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, New England Review, and Indiana Review, among others. He currently teaches in the Low-Res MFA program at Ashland University.

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Ted Chiang and Karen Joy Fowler

Ted Chiang was born in Port Jefferson, New York, and holds a degree in computer science. In 1989 he attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Workshop. His fiction has won four Hugo, four Nebula, and four Locus awards, and he is the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Stories of Your Life and Others has been translated into ten languages. He lives near Seattle, Washington.

Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. Her 2004 novel, The Jane Austen Book Club, spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, was listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize, and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. Her most recent novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and was short-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

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Richard Chiem

Richard Chiem is the author of You Private Person (Sorry House Classics) and the novel King of Joy (Soft Skull Press, 2019). His work has appeared in City Arts Magazine, NY Tyrant, and Gramma Poetry, among other places. His book, You Private Person, was named one of Publisher Weekly's 10 Essential Books of the American West. He lives in Seattle, WA.

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Cara Diaconoff

Cara Diaconoff is the author of Unmarriageable Daughters: Stories (Lewis-Clark Press) and a novel, I’ll Be a Stranger to You (Outpost19 e-books). She teaches writing and literature at Bellevue College.

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Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer, the editor of The Billfold, and the host of the Writing & Money podcast. Her work has also appeared in Boing Boing, Popular Science, The Toast and numerous other publications. Nicole regularly speaks on or facilitates panels about the intersection of art and money, and her practical, actionable freelance advice is available at The Freelancer's "Ask A Freelancer" column and The Write Life's "Pitch Fix." Nicole's debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People, was published in May 2017.

Teaching philosophy: I have two jobs, as a teacher. First, I need to ask the questions that uncover the real problems you are having in your writing. Then, I need to ask the questions that help you solve them.

Writers I return to: Lev Grossman, L.M. Montgomery, Cheryl Strayed—I read about a book a week, and there are a lot of books and writers I love, but these are three of the writers I consistently re-read. Online, I'll always click on a new piece by Nicole Chung, Ann Friedman, Roxane Gay, Meghan O'Connell, or Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Favorite writing advice: "Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." —Neil Gaiman

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Sarah Dowling

Sarah Dowling is the author of two books of poetry, DOWN (Coach House, 2014) and Security Posture (Snare, 2009), which received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Sarah has also published three chapbooks, US (The Elephants, 2018), Entering Sappho (above/ground, 2017), and Birds & Bees (TrollThread, 2012). Her writing appears in numerous literary journals. Sarah's scholarly book, Translingual Poetics: Writing Personhood under Settler Colonialism, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. She teaches at the University of Washington Bothell.

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Steven Dunn

Steven Dunn is the author of two novels, Potted Meat (Tarpaulin Sky 2016) and water & power (Tarpaulin Sky 2018), and a chapbook, Our Migrations (Business Bear 2018). His first novel was a Colorado Book Award Finalist, and shortlisted for Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Some of his work can be found in Columbia Journal, Granta Magazine, and Best Small Fictions 2018.

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Suzanne Edison

Suzanne Edison, MA, is a poet, educator and former therapist. She has led workshops for parents and medical professionals on the effects of chronic illness on families at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), NIH, and at national conferences for the Cure JM Foundation. She created a writing group for parents of kids with chronic illness at SCH, and the workshop “Teens Writing from the Heart of Illness & Healing” at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, with grants from City of Seattle Youth Arts and 4Culture of King County, WA. She has taught poetry workshops for kids and adolescents. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Her chapbook, The Moth Eaten World, from Finishing Line Press, was published in June 2014. Suzanne was interviewed on KUOW’s Weekday radio show January 28, 2013 and several poems aired on January 30th and 31st , 2013.

Some of Suzanne’s work can be found in the following journals and anthologies: Ars Medica, Spillway, EDGE, The Healing Art of Writing, The Examined Life: A Literary Journal of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, and Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening. Her work can be read online at dermanities.com, literarymama.com, and washingtonpoets.org

seedison.com

Writers I Return To: Louise Gluck, Wislawa Szymborska, Rachel Zucker, Seamus Heaney, Galway Kinnell

Favorite Writing Advice: Read, write, read, write

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Jeff Encke

Jeff Encke taught writing and criticism at Columbia University for several years, serving as writer-in-residence for the Program in Narrative Medicine while completing his PhD in English. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, and Salt Hill. In 2004, he published Most Wanted: A Gamble in Verse, a series of love poems addressed to Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi war criminals printed on a deck of playing cards.

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Jeff Encke and Cassandra Hunter

Jeff Encke has taught reading courses at Hugo House since 2004. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, Salt Hill, and elsewhere.

Cassandra Hunter teaches, runs programs, and provides treatment to King County’s most vulnerable residents at Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC). She earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.

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John Englehardt

John Englehardt is a fiction writer, editor at Pacifica Literary Review, and a former Made at Hugo House fellow. He won the 2014 Wabash prize in fiction, the Conium Review's 2014 Flash Fiction Contest, and The Stranger's A&P story contest, judged by Sherman Alexie and Rebecca Brown. He holds an MFA from University of Arkansas, and his writing has appeared in Sycamore Review, The Stranger, Seattle Review of Books, and The James Franco Review.

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Tarfia Faizullah

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf 2018) and Seam (SIU 2014), winner of a VIDA Award, GLCA New Writers’ Award, Milton Kessler First Book Award, Drake University Emerging Writer Award, and other honors. Her poems appear in periodicals and anthologies both in the U.S. and abroad, have been translated into Persian, Chinese, Bengali, Tamil, and Spanish, featured at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry Magazine, and other honors. In 2016, she was recognized by Harvard Law School’s Women Inspiring Change. Faizullah currently teaches in the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program as the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor in Poetry.

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Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock's debut young adult novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, was published by Viking Children’s Books in 2013. Her second book of poems, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, was released on Write Bloody press in 2010. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. A member of four National Poetry Slam Teams, Karen traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State to perform and teach poetry and in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the US Embassy.

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Karen Finneyfrock and Jane Wong

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of the young adult novel The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door (Viking Children’s Books, 2013). Her second book of poems, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, was released on Write Bloody press in 2010. She is a former Hugo House writer-in-residence and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. A member of four National Poetry Slam Teams, Karen traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State to perform and teach poetry and in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the US Embassy.

Jane Wong's poems can be found in anthologies and journals such as Best American Poetry 2015, Best New Poets 2012, Pleiades, Hayden's Ferry Review, Third Coast, and others. Awarded The American Poetry Review's 2016 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, she is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Squaw Valley, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Along with three chapbooks, she is the author of Overpour (Action Books). She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.

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Waverly Fitzgerald

Waverly Fitzgerald loves research as much as writing, which is sometimes a problem. She has written one non-fiction book, Slow Time (2007) and fourteen novels, of which nine have been published by publishers as diverse as Doubleday and Kensington. Her essays and poems have appeared in Facere and Raven Chronicles. For her essays on urban nature, she has been awarded a fellowship from Jack Straw Cultural Center, a grant from Artist Trust and residences at Hedgebrook and the Whiteley Center. She has presented at international and national writing conferences and taught for various continuing education programs including the UCLA Writers Program and the University of Washington Extension. She currently teaches online for Creative Nonfiction magazine.

Teaching philosophy: My only goal as a teacher is to make sure my students learn what they want to learn. So I provide accountability, offer feedback and encourage writing. I set up interesting situations where writers can practice either craft skills or generate new material on subjects of their own choosing. Although I bring in examples of writing from other writers, I encourage students to choose their own models. I’m as open to genre writing as I am to literary writing. Having found the workshop model of teaching (critique from the entire group of one manuscript at time) both inefficient and sometimes damaging, I rarely use it though I do encourage camaraderie in the classroom because second to writing I think participating in a writing community is an ingredient necessary for writerly success.

Writers I return to: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Goudge, Anthony Trollope, William Lashner, Timothy Hallinan, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Dunnett, Ellis Peters, Jorge Amado, D. J. Waldie, Robert MacFarlane, Jay Griffiths, Rebecca Solnit, Lia Purpura.

Favorite writing advice: Consider the reader.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Amber Flame

Amber Flame is a writer, composer, and performer whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and YEFE NOF. Flame’s original work has been published in diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, FreezeRay, Redivider Journal, and more. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Jack Straw Writer, and recipient of the CityArtist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Amber Flame’s first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, was recently published through Write Bloody Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.

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Gail Folkins

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a Pacific Northwest memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016), and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007), which was a popular culture finalist in ForeWord Review’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. Folkins’ essay “A Palouse Horse” was a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Her essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as River Teeth Journal - Beautiful Things, North Dakota Quarterly, Wisconsin Life, Texas Highways, and Wildflower Magazine. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), and Austin Community College.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is to further understanding of craft while also encouraging expression of students’ unique voices. Students have praised my workshop format and student-centered approach. Students learn to not only share a narrative, but to also explore their experiences and discoveries. I encourage students to read as writers, meaning focusing on elements of craft in addition to literary themes.

Writers I return to: Edward Abbey, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Dennis Covington, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Hemingway, Pico Iyer, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Favorite writing advice: Find the extraordinary in the everyday.

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Katie Ford

Katie Ford is the author of If You Have To Go, Blood Lyrics, Colosseum and Deposition. A recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Prize, her work has been printed in The Norton Introduction to Literature, The New Yorker, and Poetry.

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Laurie Frankel

Laurie Frankel is the bestselling, award-winning author of three novels, This Is How It Always Is, Goodbye For Now, and The Atlas of Love. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Lit Hub, Publisher's Weekly, People Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, and other publications. A former college professor, she now writes full-time.

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Angela Garbes

Angela Garbes is the author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy. She was the staff food writer at The Stranger, and her work has been featured in New York Magazine's The Cut and on NPR's Fresh Air.

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Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George is a New York Times and internationally best-selling author of twenty British crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his unconventional partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. She also authored a young adult series that takes place on Whidbey Island where she lives and a best-selling book on the writing craft, Write Away.

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Clelia Gore

Clelia Gore is a literary agent who heads the children's division of the Seattle-based agency, Martin Literary Management. Clelia represents authors of fiction and nonfiction picture, middle grade and young adult books. Prior to her career as an agent, she worked as an attorney in Manhattan.

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Natalie Graham

Native of Gainesville, Florida, Natalie J. Graham earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Her first, full-length poetry collection, Begin with a Failed Body (University of Georgia Press, 2017), was chosen by Kwame Dawes for the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. This collection is rooted in the landscape of the U.S. South and centers on the body as a site for retelling stories to reveal persistent, complex humanity. Her poems and articles have been published in Callaloo, New England Review, Valley Voices: A Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, Transition, and Phylon. Her research interests include Hip Hop Culture, Food Culture, and Identity Performance. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and currently associate professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Find her online @NatalieJoGraham or nataliejgraham.com.

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David Lasky, Greg Stump

David Lasky has been a published comics artist since 1989. His earliest success was a nine page mini-adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses (self-published), which was reviewed in the Washington Post’s “Bookworld” section in 1992. In the 90’s he became known for the solo comic Boom Boom, and then collaborated with Greg Stump on the Harvey-nominated Urban Hipster. His stories have appeared in countless anthologies over the years, including Kramers Ergot and Best American Comics. He has been an integral part of the Seattle comics scene, working at Fantagraphics in the late 90’s, volunteering at ZAPP, being a part of cartoonists groups such as Friends of the Nib, and contributing to The Intruder. David was also an early contributor to The Stranger, and as a freelancer has continued to create comics and illustrations for the weekly paper for over 20 years. With writer Frank Young, he co-created two graphic novels: Oregon Trail: Road to Destiny and The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song (Abrams). Carter Family won an Eisner Award (the comics industry’s equivalent to the Oscar) in 2013, in the category of Best Reality-Based Graphic Novel.
David has also been a graphic novel instructor at Richard Hugo House and various other venues in the Seattle area. Through Arts Corps, he taught after-school classes to elementary school students from 2008 to 2014. In 2013, he represented the United States at comics festivals in Serbia and Russia.

Teaching Philosophy: Creating comics is a powerful communication skill that anyone can learn, no matter their drawing ability.

Writers I return to: Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, Stacey Levine, James Joyce.

Favorite writing advice: Don't wait to get permission from anyone to create, just do it. You'll figure things out as you go.

Greg Stump was a regular contributor for more than a decade to The Comics Journal (as a journalist and critic) and The Stranger (as a cartoonist and illustrator). His work in comics includes the weekly strip Dwarf Attack and the comic book series Urban Hipster, a co-creation with David Lasky that was nominated for a Harvey and Ignatz award. Most recently, Fantagraphics released his graphic novel debut Disillusioned Illusions in 2015 through the publisher's FU Press imprint. An adjunct lecturer at Seattle University and a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts & Lectures, he has been teaching comics to students of all ages for close to two decades.

Past Student Feedback:
"I thought both David and Greg were awesome instructors. They made it a fun class."

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Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is the author of the novel The Monsters of Templeton, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, Delicate Edible Birds, a collection of stories, and Arcadia, a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award.

Her third novel, Fates and Furies, was a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kirkus Award. It won the 2015 American Booksellers’ Association Indies’ Choice Award for Fiction, was a New York Times Notable book and Bestseller, Amazon.com’s #1 book of 2015, and on over two dozen best-of 2015 lists. It also received the 2016 American Bookseller Association’s Indies’ Choice Award for Adult Fiction and, in France, the Madame Figaro Grand Prix de l’Héroïne. Rights have been sold in thirty countries.

Her work has appeared in journals including the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and five editions of the Best American Short Stories.

In 2017, she was named by Granta Magazine as one of the Best of Young American Novelists of her generation.

She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband, two sons, and dog.

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Brett Hamil

Brett Hamil is a standup comic and writer based in Seattle. He performs across the US and Canada and produces a monthly standup showcase at the Comedy Underground. He writes a humor column for City Arts Magazine along with interviews, essays and cartoons. His local politics webseries My YouTube Channel Where I’m the Big Important Guy Who Gets to Say What’s What garnered a local following and spun off into a live talk show at Northwest Film Forum, The Seattle Process. The Seattle Weekly called him “the city’s premier political comic.” He lives on Beacon Hill with his wife and two weird-looking dogs.

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Tara Hardy

Tara Hardy is the working class queer femme poet who founded Bent, a writing institute for LGBTIQ people in Seattle. She's taught creative writing for fourteen years, and she's served as the Hugo House writer-in-residence. Her first full length book of poems, Bring Down the Chandeliers, was published by Write Bloody Press in the spring, 2011.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Nicole Hardy

Nicole Hardy is the author of the memoir Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin and the poetry collections This Blonde and Mud Flap Girl's XX Guide to Facial Profiling — a chapbook of pop-culture inspired sonnets.

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Christine Hemp

Christine Hemp has aired her work on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and has performed in theater, music, and with her writing. Her literary awards include a Harvard University Conway Award for Teaching Writing, a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for Literature, an Iowa Review Award for Literary Nonfiction, and a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for literature. Her collection of poems That Fall was published in 2011. She teaches nonfiction and poetry at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

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Johnny Horton

John Wesley Horton (aka Johnny Horton) co-directs the University of Washington’s summer creative writing program in Rome. He’s received a Washington Artist Trust GAP grant and his poems appear in Poetry Northwest, Cutbank, Notre Dame Review, Borderlands, and The Los Angeles Review.

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University of Iowa International Writing Program

The INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM (IWP) is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world. With a tradition of excellence that has continued for nearly five decades, the IWP annually brings outstanding authors from every continent to the University of Iowa, a major American research institution internationally renowned for its writing programs. Since 1967, over 1,400 writers from more than 190 nations have taken part in the Fall Residency. The goal of the IWP is to provide authors a one-of- a-kind inter-cultural opportunity and the time and space to write, read, translate, study, conduct research, travel, give readings, stage work, and become part of the vibrant literary and academic community at the university and in Iowa City, the only American city designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, in part because of the IWP’s presence.

For 2017, the IWP will bring together 35 of the world’s emerging and established writers to participate in the Fall Residency’s unique inter-cultural experience. Over the course of 11 weeks, aside from working on their own projects, writers will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres and art forms, and travel and interact with American audiences and literary communities across the United States.

Esther DISCHEREIT (poet, novelist, essayist, stage and radio dramatist; Germany) has given lectures and readings around the world. Most recently she published Blumen für Otello. Über die Verbrechen von Jena [Flowers for Othello. On the Crimes of Jena] and edited Havel, Hunde, Katzen, Tulpen, Garz erzählt [Havel, Dogs, Cats, Tulips – Garz Talking]. Her work spans multiple genres and often reflects the post-Holocaust landscape in Germany, e.g. Joëmis Tisch [Joëmis Table] and Übungen jüdisch zu sein [Exercises in Being Jewish]. In 2009 Dischereit received the Erich Fried Prize. In 2017 she was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia; she teaches at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. Her participation is made possible by the Max Kade Foundation.

Julienne VAN LOON (novelist, essayist; Australia) is a research fellow at non/fictionLab of RMIT University in Melbourne. She won the Australian/Vogel’s Award and in 2005 was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize First Book Award for Road Story. Her work, including the recent novel Harmless, has strong creative and cultural connection to Asia, particularly China. Her forthcoming collection The Thinking Woman includes interviews with leading women from across the globe. Her participation is made possible by the Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.

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Ramon Isao

Ramon Isao is a recipient of the Tim McGinnis Award for fiction, and his work has appeared in the Iowa Review, American Reader, Ninth Letter, and Hobart. His screenplays include ZMD, Junk, and Dead Body.

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Nalini Iyer

Nalini Iyer is a Professor of English at Seattle University and is the co-author of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest. She has also co-edited two other books, Other Tongues: Rethinking the Language Debates in India; Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics. She teaches postcolonial Anglophone and diasporic literatures from South Asia and Africa and is a frequent book reviewer for the International Examiner.

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Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha is the author of the novel Foreign, published in 2013 by Random House India. She is a professor of journalism and media studies at Seattle University. Formerly a journalist in India and Singapore, her recent political essays and Op-Eds have been published in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and the Globalist. Apart from her academic and journalistic writing, she is currently finishing work on a memoir. Sonora is a current Hugo House Writer-in-Residence.

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Ruth Joffre

Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast (forthcoming Grove Atlantic 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, The Masters Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Copper Nickel. Her book reviews have been published in The Rumpus, The Millions, Kenyon Review Online, and Colorado Review. She lives in Seattle.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe every piece of literature is an emotional education. A story like Mavis Gallant's "The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street," for instance, requires us not only to understand the inner workings of its characters' psyches but to become the kind of people who are capable of feeling as they feel and thinking as they think. In this way, we learn to feel sympathy for the socially awkward, love for the romantically jilted, and sorrow for the painfully ambitious. When we can't expand our minds this way, our writing and our reading suffers.

Writers I return to: Alice Munro, Annie Proulx, Mavis Gallant, W. G. Sebald, Elizabeth Strout, Maggie Nelson, Anita Brookner, Penelope Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Richard Yates, Elizabeth McCracken, and James Baldwin, to name a few.

Favorite writing advice: Hands down, this piece of advice from Benjamin Percy: "Keep hammering."

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Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter (Argus House Press). Her poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry, Kinfolks Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, Pluck!, No, Dear and the anthologies, Small Batch, Full, di-ver-city, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. The recipient of multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, she is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Johnston is a Stonecoast MFA faculty member, a cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founding executive director of Torch Literary Arts. She serves on the Cave Canem Foundation board of directors and currently lives in Texas.

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Irene Keliher

Irene Keliher has been a Made at Hugo House fellow and a librettist for the Seattle Opera. Her essays and stories appear in Salon, Calyx, New Ohio Review, Potomac Review, Quarterly West, Bellingham Review and elsewhere. She has an MFA from the University of Houston, where she also served as fiction editor of Gulf Coast. Her work has won the Pearl Magazine Editor’s Prize and the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, among other distinctions. She writes marketing copy when she’s not teaching or wrangling her two sons.

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Anne Liu Kellor

Anne Liu Kellor has received support from Hedgebrook, 4Culture, and Jack Straw, and taught creative nonfiction since 2006. Her essays have appeared in publications such as Waking Up American (Seal Press) and the Los Angeles Review.

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JP Kemmick and Samar Abulhassan

Samar Abulhassan holds an MFA. from Colorado State University and has worked as a teaching artist for a decade, for Seattle Arts and Lectures' WITS Program, Hugo House, Jack Straw, and the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. Born to Lebanese immigrants and raised with multiple languages, she is a 2006 Hedgebrook alum and the author of multiple chapbooks, including Farah and Nocturnal Temple. She received a 2016 CityArtist grant to complete a novel-in-poems, reflecting on memory, longing and the Arabic alphabet ignited while exploring Pike Place Market and Seattle’s waterfront.

JP Kemmick grew up in Billings, Montana. He has been working as a youth writing mentor across the Northwest for over a decade. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and is currently at work on a novel about love, cults, and tunneling to the center of the planet. When not writing and reading, he's usually on a bike.

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Gloria Kempton

Gloria Kempton is an author, writing coach and former magazine and book editor. She is the author of eleven books, including Write Great Fiction: Dialogue and The Outlaw’s Journey; A Mythological Approach to Storytelling for Writers Behind Bars. She’s a former contributing editor to Writer’s Digest magazine and an instructor with their online writing courses: writersonlineworkshops.com. She also teaches online at writers.com and to incarcerated writers at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, WA.

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Rachel Kessler and Corinne Manning

Rachel Kessler is a founding member of the Typing Explosion, Vis-à-vis Society, and LOCCAL (League Of Citizens Concerned About Literature). As a teaching artist she works with homeless adults, people in recovery, youth in detention, and serves in the Writer in the Schools program. Her work and collaborations have appeared in The Stranger, The Open Daybook, Sea-Cat, Poetry Northwest, The Monarch Review, The Far Field, Tin House, TATE, and USA Today. The Frye Art Museum and the Bellevue Art Museum have featured her collaborative installations. Her literary performances have premiered at The Bowery Poetry Club and the Poet’s House through the New York Public Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Arizona Poetry Center, and all across the US and Canada, as well as during the 50th Venice Biennale.

Corinne Manning is a writer and performer whose fiction has appeared in Story Quarterly, Calyx, Southern Humanities Review, and The Bellingham Review and whose nonfiction was listed as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2016. Corinne was the founding editor of The James Franco Review, a project that draws attention to the bias of the literary industry by reimagining the publishing process.

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EJ Koh

EJ Koh is a poet, translator, and author. Her work has appeared in TriQuarterly, Southeast Review, and Columbia Review. EJ has taught at the UW, Hugo House, and guest panels at AWP. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and was awarded a Kundiman Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony Fellowship.

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Keetje Kuipers

Keetje Kuipers has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellow in Poetry at Bread Loaf. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in such publications as American Poetry Review, Orion, West Branch, and Prairie Schooner. In 2007 Keetje completed her tenure as the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident, which provided her with seven months of solitude in Oregon's Rogue River Valley. She used her time there to complete work on her first book, Beautiful in the Mouth, which was awarded the 2009 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and was published by BOA Editions. Her second book, The Keys to the Jail, was published by BOA Editions in 2014. For four years, Keetje was a professor at Auburn University and an editor of Southern Humanities Review before deciding to leave in order to write full-time. She is currently at work on a memoir, a novel, and a third collection of poetry.

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Chaney Kwak

Chaney Kwak contributes to Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, and other publications. He received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and was a 2015 Emerging Writer at the Key West Literary Seminar.

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R.O. Kwon

R.O. Kwon’s first novel, The Incendiaries, is forthcoming from Riverhead (U.S.) and Virago (U.K.) in July of 2018. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vice, BuzzFeed, Noon, Time, Electric Literature, Playboy, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Omi International, and the Norman Mailer Writers' Colony. Born in South Korea, she’s mostly lived in the United States.

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Sonya Lea

Sonya Lea’s memoir, Wondering Who You Are has won awards and garnered praise in a number of publications including Oprah Magazine, People, and the BBC, who named it a “top ten book.” Her essays have appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, Brevity, Guernica, Cold Mountain Review, The Prentice Hall College Reader, The Rumpus and The Butter. Lea teaches at Hugo House in Seattle, and she’s leading a pilot project to teach writing to women veterans through the Red Badge Project. Originally from Kentucky, she lives in Seattle. Find her at www.wonderingwhoyouare.com.

Teaching philosophy: My superpower is my transparency—the sensual, subversive style of my writing that allows my whole self to be seen, even the ugly parts. I create a beautiful space for bravery to emerge. I don’t just teach writing—I write nearly every day. I have a disciplined creative life, and I want to show writers how to design one too.
My writing and teaching is informed by these things:

1. The exploration of identity, memory and time.
2. The form of the story follows its themes.
3. Successful prose writing includes having an understanding of one’s mind. Things like the role of intuition, obsession, disclosure, emotional risk-taking, and the inter-weaving of seemingly disparate elements play a part in creating transparency, and ultimately freedom.
4. The truths we write about are subjective and personal. From them we create a world that may be contrary to what external authority tells us is good for us.
5. The process of writing shows us how we each might wake up to who we are.

Writers I always return to: Margaret Atwood, Lidia Yuknavitch, Susan Orlean.

Reviews for Wondering Who You Are:
"...a memoir as addictive as a thriller...An admirable and heartening story about love, the resilience of marriage and what 'in sickness and in health' really means." Oprah.com

"Her stunning account of his recovery efforts and her willful refusal to give up on marriage to the stranger occupying her husband’s body is fantastically heartfelt and inspiring." Booklist (Starred Review)

"I was carried forward by the linguistic ferocity of a self-proclaimed badass, but also by great empathy for the husband whose medical tragedy lies at the heart of this story..." Chicago Tribune

"a quietly wrenching memoir that’s as much about what makes any of us who we are as it is about Lea’s own story." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"With poetic prose and remarkable candor, Lea shares the details of helping her husband regain a sense of purpose...and her own difficult transition." Seattle Magazine

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Ben Lerner

Lerner is the author of the poetry collections Mean Free Path (2010) and Angle of Yaw (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. His sonnet sequence, The Lichtenberg Figures (2004), won the Hayden Carruth Award, was chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s twelve best poetry books, and was a Lannan Literary Selection.

His poetry has also been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry, New Voices (2008), and 12×12: Conversations in Poetry and Poetics (2009). His novels include Leaving the Atocha Station (2011) and 10:04 (2014). The Hatred of Poetry, his monograph, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Lerner has served as a Fulbright scholar in Madrid and as a Guggenheim fellow. In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur fellowship. In 2002, Lerner cofounded, with Deb Klowden, No: a journal of the arts, and he has also served as the poetry editor for Critical Quarterly.

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, he earned a BA in political science and an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. He has taught at the University of Pittsburgh and California College of the Arts, and he currently teaches at Brooklyn College.

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Corbin Lewars

Corbin Lewars is the author of Divorce as Opportunity: Stories and Support For Your Transition and the Washington State Book Award and PNBA nominee Creating a Life. She has freelanced as a developmental editor and writing coach for fifteen years.

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Priscilla Long

Priscilla Long is a Seattle-based author (poetry, science, creative nonfictions, fiction) and teacher of writing. New books: Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (University of Georgia Press) and Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Poets, and Other Creators (Coffeetown Press). Her book of poems is Crossing Over: Poems (University of New Mexico Press, 2015). Her other books are The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life (2010) and Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry (1989). Her science column, Science Frictions, appeared for 92 weeks on the website of The American Scholar (2011-2013). Her awards include a National Magazine Award, and she has been a fellow at Hedgebrook, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and Jack Straw Productions. Her MFA is from the University of Washington. She serves as Founding and Consulting Editor of www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history. For more information please visit www.PriscillaLong.com.

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Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the author of two books of short fiction-- This Life She's Chosen and Swimming With Strangers (both published by Chronicle Books). Her short stories and essays have been published widely in journals, and she has been the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Prize and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. She taught creative writing at Purchase College, SUNY from 2008-2012, and now teaches as an adjunct faculty member at several schools in the Seattle area.

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Alex Madison

Alex Madison's fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in the Indiana Review, Witness, Salon, Bitch Media, The Rumpus, City Arts and elsewhere. She is a former high school teacher and a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she taught literature, fiction and nonfiction.

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Becky Mandelbaum

Becky Mandelbaum is the author of Bad Kansas (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which received the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and is a finalist for the 2018 High Plains Book Award for First Book. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Georgia Review, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, Necessary Fiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. Originally from Kansas, she currently lives in Washington’s Skagit Valley.

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Sarah Manguso

Sarah Manguso is the author of 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, The Two Kinds of Decay, Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, Siste Viator, and The Captain Lands in Paradise. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize, and her books have been translated into five languages. Her poems have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in several editions of the Best American Poetry series, and her essays have appeared in in Harper's, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, and the Paris Review. She lives in Los Angeles and currently teaches in the low-residency MFA programs at Antioch and New England colleges.

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Corinne Manning

Corinne Manning's fiction has appeared in Story Quarterly, Calyx, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Moss, The Bellingham Review, Southern Humanities Review, and is forthcoming in Wildness from Platypus Press. Additional stories and essays have appeared in Literary Hub, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Drunken Boat, Arts & Letters, anthologized in Shadow Map: An anthology of Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM Press), and have been recognized as notable in The Best American Series. Corinne has received grants and fellowships from 4 Culture, Artist Trust, and the MacDowell Colony and founded The James Franco Review, a project on visibility and reimagining the publishing process.

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John Marshall

John Douglas Marshall is the author of Reconciliation Road, an award-winning memoir. The longtime book critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has interviewed and profiled many prominent memoir authors.

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J.W. Marshall

J.W. Marshall founded and ran Open Books, the poetry-only bookstore in Seattle, from 1995 until 2016. His poetry has appeared most recently in the webzine A Dozen Nothing and in Poetry Northwest and Hubbub. Seattle Review of Books published his appreciation of the poet Lucia Perillo. His collection, Meaning a Cloud, won the Field Poetry Prize and his chapbook, Blue Mouth, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. He holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Seattle University. He is the publisher of letterset broadsides for Function Press and letterset chapbooks for Cash Machine.

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Frances McCue

Frances McCue is a writer and poet living in Seattle, where she is writer-in-residence at the University of Washington's undergraduate honors program. She was the founding director of Richard Hugo House from 1996 to 2006. McCue is the author of "The Stenographer's Breakfast," winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. A poetry chapbook ("The Bled") about her experience living in Morocco will be out from Factory Hollow Press this spring.

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Wryly McCutchen

Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, memoirist, and Seattle Area native. Their work has appeared in Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. Their poetry collection My Ugly and Other Love Snarls is available from University of Hell Press.

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Ross McMeekin

Ross McMeekin’s fiction has appeared or will appear in Shenandoah, Redivider, PANK, Tin House, and 826 Seattle's yearly anthology. He received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was a Made at Hugo House Fellow. He is the founding editor of the literary journal Spartan.

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Susan Meyers

Susan V. Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University. Her fiction and nonfiction have been supported by grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as several artists residencies. Her novel Failing the Trapeze won the Nilsen Award for a First Novel and the Fiction Attic Press Award for a First Novel, and it was a finalist for the New American Fiction Award. Other work has recently appeared in Per Contra, Calyx, Dogwood, The Portland Review, and The Minnesota Review, and it has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Dante Micheaux

Dante Micheaux is the author of Circus (Indolent Books, 2018) and Amorous Shepherd (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010). His poems and translations have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, PN Review, The African American Review and Tongue—among other journals and anthologies. He has been shortlisted for the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. Micheaux’s honors include a prize in poetry from the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, the Oscar Wilde Award and fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and The New York Times Foundation.

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Jarret Middleton

Jarret Middleton is the author of the novels Darkansas and An Dantomine Eerly. He is currently the editor of Pharos Editions, an imprint of Counterpoint Press, and was the founding editor of Dark Coast Press, an independent publisher based in Seattle.

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Kristen Millares Young

Kristen Millares Young is the author of Subduction, forthcoming on Red Hen Press in spring 2020. She is Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, a nonprofit hub for writers. An essayist and journalist, her work has been featured by the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times, Crosscut, Hobart, Moss, City Arts Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, KUOW 94.9-FM, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Miami Herald, the Buenos Aires Herald and TIME Magazine. Her personal essays are anthologized in Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze (Sasquatch Books), a New York Times New & Notable Book, and Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity (forthcoming on Routledge).

Kristen was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which won a Pulitzer and a Peabody. Her reporting has been recognized by the Society for Features Journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Kristen has been a fellow at the University of California at Berkeley’s Knight Digital Media Center, the Jack Straw Writing Program, and the University of Washington Graduate School.

Hailed by the Stranger as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction,” she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in History and Literature, later earning her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. She teaches at Hugo House, the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference and the Seattle Public Library. Kristen serves as board chair of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit news studio she co-founded in the Pacific Northwest. InvestigateWest’s reporting has led to the passage of fifteen new laws to improve the environment and the lives of foster families, people of color caught in the criminal justice system, health care workers, and advocates for government transparency.

Teaching philosophy: What do powerful writers know? They know that personal experience – each human being’s subjective perception of the world – is the single largest factor for determining how that person views the world. What do powerful writers do? They take their lived experience and, using both recollection and imagination, transform it into words that compel others to feel what the author has found and portrayed. What do powerful writers discover through careful examination of their work? They learn that their characters and plots often reach for epiphanies unfounded by the scenes provided in their narratives. That recognition compels writers to seek revelations from other sources, whether readings or workshop commentary, and to revise their work, again and again. In revision awaits transformation. Why does writing matter? Writing teaches us to understand the world around us. In turn, it helps us to be understood by others. There can be no greater hope.

Writers I return to: Come to my class. We’ll get into all of that and more. Or you can take the easy way out and check out my instagram @theyoungbolt, but I’ve only been posting book covers for a few months now.

Favorite writing advice: Ass in chair.

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JM Miller

Janie Elizabeth Miller is a poet & essayist whose work explores environmental imagination & activism. She is founder of the anthology Ground Swell, a developing, online public forum for literary environmental activism. She teaches poetics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her work has most recently been published in Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics, Tupelo Press (online), and Cimarron Review.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Rebecca Morris

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Morris is also a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington and was a free-lance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly, and many other publications before she began writing true crime books.

Her first book, Ted and Ann, continues to be an e-book bestseller on Amazon (and is also available in paperback), and her e-book, Bad Apples – Inside the Teacher/Student Sex Scandal Epidemic, is the only book to look at the trend of female teachers having sex with underage students.

She is the author of A Murder in My Hometown (2018), A Killing in Amish Country - Sex Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder (St. Martin's, 2016) and If I Can't Have You - Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children (St. Martin's 2014) with bestselling author Gregg Olsen. They are also the authors of the Notorious USA series, including The Boy Who Fired the First Shot, The Girl and the Horrors of Howard Ave., and The Stranger and the World’s Bravest Little Girl.

Rebecca attended Oregon State University, received a B.A. in Journalism from Seattle University, and has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brown University. She speaks about her work at libraries, schools, and writers’ conferences. She has taught writing, journalism, and playwriting at colleges and universities across the country. She lives in Seattle.

She appears frequently on television as a crime expert.

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Suzanne Morrison

Suzanne Morrison is the author of Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment, a memoir based on a long-running one-woman show of the same title.

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Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford’s novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism won a 2012 Washington State Book Award. His second novel, The Dismal Science, was published in February, 2014. A former Hugo House writer in residence, Peter is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada College's low residency MFA program.

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Charles Mudede

Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean-born writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic. He writes about film, books, music, crime, art, economics, and urban theory for The Stranger. Mudede has made three films, two of which, Police Beat and Zoo, premiered at Sundance, and one, Zoo, was screened at Cannes. Mudede has written for the New York Times, Arcade Journal, Cinema Scope, Ars Electronica, The Village Voice, Radical Urban Theory, and C Theory. Mudede is also on the editorial board for the Black Scholar, which is based at the University of Washington, and between 1999 and 2005, lectured on post-colonial theory at Pacific Lutheran University, and in 2003 published a short book, Last Seen, with Diana George. Mudede has lived in Seattle since 1989.

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Sabina Murray

Sabina Murray is the author of six works of fiction including the recent novel Valiant Gentlemen (Grove Press), selected as a Notable Book of 2017 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post, and the short story collection The Caprices (Grove Press), which won the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Simon F. Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, among others. She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is the author of twenty-one books including the brand new book of poems, Evolution and Afterglow (a dog memoir). Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, a Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, a poetry grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art and in 2016 they received the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. They live in Marfa TX and New York.

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Shankar Narayan

Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Fellow at Kundiman and at Hugo House, and winner of prizes from Flyway and Paper Nautilus. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work as a civil rights attorney for the ACLU. His work has appeared in Jaggery, Panoply, Crab Creek Review, Raven Chronicles, The Litfuse Anthology, WA 129 (a collection of Washington state poems curated by Poet Laureate Tod Marshall), and many other publications. Shankar is a recent 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

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BJ Neblett

BJ Neblett is a self-confessed product of the TV generation. BJ began his writing career in earnest with Elysian Dreams, a contemporary romantic fantasy adventure. Ice Cream Camelot is a Historical Memoir about growing up during the Kennedy administration. BJ has written for the JKF Memorial Library as well as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Blog. He is a regular contributor of short stories to several publications including eFiction, Romance, and Paradox Ethereal Magazines. BJ’s next releases will be Planet Alt-Sete- Nine, a sci-fi/fantasy trilogy; a fiction anthology, and a compilation of his romance shorts. Read more of his work and contact him at bjneblett.blogspot.com

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Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation artist. Her books include forthcoming poetry collection The Lachrymose Report (Poetry Northwest Editions), lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press), and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily). Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), Nelson is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's CityArtist Grant. She is also co-founder of literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. For more info: songsforsquid.tumblr.com

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Theo Nestor

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006.

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Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. She is a poet and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and PEN America, among others. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, she has received awards and scholarships from the Academy of American Poets, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Currently, she lives in Denver where she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing and teaches in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. www.dianakhoinguyen.com

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Nicholas O'Connell

Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A, Ph.D., is the author of The Storms of Denali (University of Alaska Press, 2012), On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (University of Washington Press, 2003), At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (University of Washington Press Press, 1998), Contemporary Ecofiction (Charles Scribner’s, 1996) and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993). He has contributed to Newsweek, Gourmet, Saveur, Outside, GO, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, The Wine Spectator, Commonweal, Image and many other places. He is the publisher/editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review and the founder of the online and Seattle-based writing program, www.thewritersworkshop.net.

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Kevin O'Rourke

Originally from Philadelphia, Kevin O’Rourke lives in Seattle, where he works in book publishing. He studied art at Kenyon College and writing at the University of Minnesota. His first book, the essay collection As If Seen at an Angle, was published by Tinderbox Editions.

Other creative work has appeared in Big Muddy Journal, Cobalt Review, and Seneca Review, among others. He is also an active book critic and a regular contributor to Michigan Quarterly Review. His writing is supported by a grant from 4Culture.

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Madeline Ostrander

Madeline Ostrander’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Sun Magazine, Audubon Magazine, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, and High Country News. She is a full-time freelance science and environmental writer and the former senior editor of YES! Magazine.

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Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki’s first two novels, My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into eleven languages and published in fourteen countries. Her most recent novel, A Tale for the Time-Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and has been published in over thirty countries.

Her work of personal nonfiction, The Face: A Time Code (2016), was published by Restless Books as part of their groundbreaking series called The Face. Her documentary and dramatic independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities across the country.

A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth was ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation.

She lives in British Columbia and New York City, and is currently the Elizabeth Drew Professor of Creative Writing at Smith College.

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Michelle Peñaloza

Michelle Peñaloza’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New England Review, the Asian American Literary Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, Hugo House, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, among others. Peñaloza has been teaching since 2005.

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Cody Pherigo

Cody Pherigo is a queer writing animal whose studies at Bent Writing Institute and Goddard College convinced him that poets uproot politicians. He was a 2016 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize finalist and 4Culture Artists Grant recipient. Cody has self-published two chapbooks: Blue Thunder Children (2011) and Animal’s Sabbath (2013). He is a writer-in-residence with the WITS program at Seattle Arts & Lectures. Born with meconium stuck in his throat, he has been extracting it ever since.

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Joe Ponepinto

Joe Ponepinto is the publisher and fiction editor of Tahoma Literary Review, a nationally-recognized literary journal, and teaches fiction writing at Tacoma Community College. His novel, Mr. Neutron, will be published by 7.13 Books in spring 2018. His stories and criticism have been published in dozens of journals in the U.S. and abroad.

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Mary Potter

Mary Lane Potter is the author A Woman of Salt: A Novel (2001 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry. She was awarded a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship and MacDowell and Hedgebrook residencies.

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Diana Raab

Diana Raab, PhD is a memoirist, poet, essayist, blogger, and speaker. She has a PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology with a research focus on the healing and transformative powers of memoir writing. Her educational background also includes health administration, nursing and creative writing.

Diana has been writing since an early age. As an only child of two immigrant parents, she spent a lot of time crafting letters and chronicling her life in a journal. As an advocate of personal writing, Diana facilitates workshops in writing for transformation and empowerment, focusing on journaling, poetry and memoir writing. She believes in the importance of writing to achieve wholeness and interconnectedness while encouraging the ability to unleash the true voice of the inner self.

She’s an award-winning author of 10 books, over 1000 articles and poems, and editor of two anthologies, Writers on the Edge: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Dependency, and Writers and Their Notebooks.

Raab’s two memoirs are Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. She has 4 poetry collections, including Lust.

Her book, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life, is due out in September, 2017 by Loving Healing Press.

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Nancy Rawles

Nancy Rawles has worked as a journalist, playwright and novelist. The New York Times called her novel My Jim “as heart-wrenching a personal history as any recorded in American literature.” The book was selected by the Seattle Public Library for its Seattle Reads Program. Rawles has received many awards for her writing, including an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

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Anastacia Renee

Anastacia-Renee is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-17 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. She is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator, and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press). Her poetry, prose, and fiction are published widely.

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Ingrid Ricks

Ingrid Ricks is an author, speaker and founder of Write It Out Loud, a program that fosters healing and empowerment through narrative writing. Her memoirs include the New York Times bestseller Hippie Boy and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. Her essays and stories have appeared on Salon and NPR. She lives in Ballard with her husband and two daughters. For more information, visit her website or her program website.

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Judith Roche

Judith Roche is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Wisdom of the Body, an American Book Award winner. She has poems installed on several Seattle-area public art projects, has taught at various universities, and teaches poetry workshops throughout the country.

Teaching philosophy: My teaching philosophy is to met each student at his or her comfortable level and try to point out ways to extend that comfort level to gently and respectfully lead the student to try things he or she hasn’t thought of before. We all tend to write within our own conventions and I hope, by my exercises and suggestions, to facilitate students to surprise themselves by write something they might not have thought they would write. In other words, to break out of their own conventions, while assisting them to write further and deeper into what they are already passionate about..

Writers I return to: Blake, Whitman, Keats, H.D., Bob Hicock, Dorianne Laux, Sharon Doubiago, Anne Carson, Lorca, Hugo, Roethke, Richard Wilber, Robert Duncan, Michael Palmer, Sherman Alexie. As you can see, my aesthetic is all over the place in terms of poetic lineage but I teach (and read) what has really spoken to me and that’s what I want to pass on.

Favorite writing advice: A famous poet once told me to “go against the grain” and I’ve listened to that advice, which did extend my writing chops. Another famous poet told me to follow your obsessions. It’s that combination, which could be taken as contradictory, but really isn’t. To follow your obsessions but find new ways to talk about what you are really passionate about that makes for fresh and surprising writing.

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Laurel Saville

Laurel Saville has been a self-supporting, award-winning writer for more than a decade. She is a corporate communications consultant, the author of the memoir Unraveling Anne and the novel Henry and Rachel. She has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level.

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Erich Schweikher

Erich Schweikher recently returned to Seattle after seven years of teaching and writing in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the co-founder and editor of the annual poetry/poetics journal Northside Review. (He finds that it is often more enjoyable to publish others’ work than write his own.) His poems and essays have appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, Action Yes, and 42opus, among others. Born and raised in Arizona, he has always had a fondness for the sea. He still dreams of being a tugboat captain.

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Erich Schweikher and Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson (Typing Explosion, Vis-à-Vis Society), poet, performer, and text-based artist, is author of I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal) and the chapbook In Case of Loss. She holds an MFA from UW and is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. She teaches in Seattle, Friday Harbor, and Rome, Italy.

Erich Schweikher recently returned to Seattle after seven years of teaching and writing in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the co-founder and editor of the annual poetry/poetics journal Northside Review. (He finds that it is often more enjoyable to publish others’ work than write his own.) His poems and essays have appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, Action Yes, and 42opus, among others. Born and raised in Arizona, he has always had a fondness for the sea. He still dreams of being a tugboat captain.

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Kascha Semonovitch

Kascha Semonovitch holds a PhD in philosophy and MFA in poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including The Bellingham Review, Zyzzyva, and The Kenyon Review. She taught philosophy at Seattle University and edited two collections of philosophical essays.

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Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

Kascha Semonovitch holds a PhD in philosophy and MFA in poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including The Bellingham Review, Zyzzyva, and The Kenyon Review. She taught philosophy at Seattle University and edited two collections of philosophical essays.

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.

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Maria Semple

Maria Semple is the author of the bestselling novels Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Today Will Be Different. Before writing fiction, she wrote for the TV shows Arrested Development and Mad About You.

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Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl wrote the Nebula finalist Everfair, and co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, a standard text on inclusive representation. She co-edited the anthologies Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; and Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler.

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Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, including most recently The Book of Aron (Vintage), which won the Sophie Brody Medal for Achievement in Jewish Literature from the American Library Association and the PEN/New England Award for fiction, and five story collections, including his new collection, The World To Come (Knopf). Five of his short stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, two for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and one for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Williams College.

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Michael Shilling

Michael Shilling is the author of Rock Bottom, a novel published by Little, Brown. The musical adaptation of the book was staged in 2014 by the Landless Theater Company. His stories have appeared in The Sun, Fugue, and Other Voices.

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Lora Shinn

Lora Shinn is currently interim editor at Alaska Airlines Beyond, and has written about travel for publications including Sunset, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA Journey and New York Magazine.

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Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman‘s new book is Kafka’s Shadow (Deerbrook Editions). Her poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Shenandoah, Tampa Review, FIELD, Poetry, and elsewhere. Awards include an Eric Mathieu King Fund grant from the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of a ‘how to’: Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry. Skillman has done collaborative translations from French, Portuguese, and Macedonian. Visit judithskillman.com.

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Beth Slattery

Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.

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Kim Stafford

Kim Stafford is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford (Graywolf Press). He teaches writing and cultural inquiry at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

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Katherine E. Standefer

Katherine E. Standefer's debut book, Lightning Flowers, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in early 2020 and was shortlisted for the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Works-in-Progress Prize from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard. Her writing won the 2015 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction, appears in The Best American Essays 2016, and was selected as Notable in Best American Essays 2017. She writes about the body, consent, and medical technology from Tucson, where she earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona in 2014. Her writing appears in the anthologies Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays and How We Speak To One Another: An Essay Daily Reader, as well as many literary journals, including The New England Review, The Normal School, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre,
and the Colorado Review. She is a Fall 2018 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York, which supports deeply reported nonfiction about the most pressing issues of our day, and a Fall 2018 resident at Jentel Arts in Banner, Wyoming. She was previously a Fall 2017 Marion Weber Healing Arts Fellow at The Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California, which supports writers working at the intersection of nature, human economy, and equity. She teaches creative writing and medical humanities at the University of Arizona. As a creative arts entrepreneur, she teaches community-level writing classes that help people write about sexuality, illness, and trauma, using a unique embodied pedagogy that considers the craft challenges, physiological hurdles and social barriers to telling stories of the body. A Certified Sexologist, she has provided sexuality education to more than 8,000 people and draws on more than 30 hours of trauma sensitivity training. She is Nonfiction Faculty at Ashland University's Low-Residency MFA program. www.katherinestandefer.com

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Anca Szilágyi

Anca L.Szilágyi's fiction appears in Gastronomica, Fairy Tale Review, Washington City Paper, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Electric Literature, Kirkus, and on the Ploughshares blog. She was awarded an inaugural Made at Hugo House fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a 2015 Jack Straw fellowship. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the "fresh new faces in Seattle fiction." Her debut novel, Daughters of the Air, will be published by Lanternfish Press in December 2017.

Teaching philosophy: Compassion is at the heart of both good teaching and good writing. Having an open mind to students’ needs and desires is essential to helping them get inspired and stretch their minds and their art. Variety and flexibility, therefore, drive my approach to teaching writing. I am committed to bringing students a range of practical tools and creative stimuli.

Writers I return to: Anton Chekhov and Mavis Gallant, Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter

Favorite writing advice: "Whenever you're stuck in a piece of writing, think of what's most unholy. Then do that." -Heather McHugh

Past Student Feedback:
“I really enjoyed your class. It’s the most helpful one I’ve taken to date, and in large part because of the time you take for individual feedback. I also thought the story selection for readings was spot-on, and the exercises were fun and generative. I have a few new stories from those exercises that I’m excited to delve into further.”

“Anca is incredibly knowledgeable and kind in her critiques. I learned a lot just reviewing stories with her and the class. This has directly affected my own writing.”

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Sarah Thaller

Sarah Thaller has a PhD in literature and has taught writing, literature, and comics for nearly a decade. Her critical work appears in Study and Scrutiny: Research in YA Literature, Critical Comics: Teaching Comics Through Multiple Lenses, Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults, and Diasporic Consciousness. She worked as a reviewer for several publications including The Sacramento Bee, The California Aggie, and Bang! Magazine. She has published several short stories and a novel. Originally from San Diego, Sarah has worked her way up the coast, gathering stories, experiences, and inspiration.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that writing demands exposure, practice, experimentation, and a true willingness to be vulnerable and open-hearted. To grow as a writer, one must be willing to read and listen to other work and allow oneself to be inspired and challenged. I continually reinforce that there is no such thing as a perfect writer, but continued practice and daring to experiment with new mediums/methodologies/styles will allow each of us to grow in unique ways. To share our writing with other people is to allow them a glimpse into our personal truth. I am sensitive to the vulnerability of this experience and am careful to establish a climate of honesty, compassion, and support. Through sharing our work and allowing ourselves to be open to critique and suggestion, students grow tremendously. This is dependent on my own ability to foster a safe environment and also to position myself as a scholar of writing rather than an expert. We share the journey.

Authors I Return to: As a literature scholar, finding new authors is a source of great pleasure for me. But, there are definitely some writers for whom my love will never waver. These include, but are not limited to: Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut, Louise Erdrich, June Jordan, Allen Ginsberg, Roald Dahl, and Adrienne Rich.

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Cherie Tucker

Cherie Tucker has a B.A. in English from the UW. A national speaker, editor, and author, she writes the grammar column for the PNWA Newsletter and taught grammar in the UW Editing Certification Program and in the Construction Management Department.

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Jodie Vinson

Jodie Noel Vinson received her MFA in non-fiction creative writing from Emerson College, where she wrote a book on literary travel. Her essays and reviews have been published in Ploughshares, Creative Non-Fiction, The Gettysburg Review, The Massachusetts Review, Nowhere Magazine, The Rumpus, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. Her work has been anthologized in Around the World: An Anthology of Travel Writing and selected as “Notable Essay” in The Best American Essays (2015 and 2016). Jodie lives with her husband in Seattle, where she is working on a book about insomnia.

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Anna Vodicka

Anna Vodicka's essays have appeared in AFAR, Brevity, Guernica, Harvard Review, Longreads, McSweeneys' Internet Tendency, Paste, and Best Women's Travel Writing 2017. She has had residency fellowships to Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook.

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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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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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Emily Warn

Emily Warn is a writer and teacher who served as founding editor of poetryfoundation.org. Her latest book, Shadow Architect, explores the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Her four other collections are The Leaf Path, The Novice Insomniac, The Book of Esther, and Highway Suite.

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The Writer's Welcome Kit

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Lisa Wells

Lisa Wells is the author of The Fix, winner of the 2017 Iowa Poetry Prize. A new book of nonfiction, Believers is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2019. She’s taught poetry and creative nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Arizona, and at Yale-NUS College in Singapore where she was an Emerging Writer in Residence. She lives with the poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson in Seattle, where they run a small press called Letter Machine Editions.

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Derrick Weston Brown

Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in creative writing, from American University. He has studied poetry under Dr. Tony Medina at Howard University and Cornelius Eady at American University. He is a graduate of the Cave Canem and VONA Voices summer workshops. His work has appeared in such literary journals as The Little Patuxent Review, Colorlines, The This Mag, and Vinyl online. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. He worked as a bookseller and book buyer for a bookstore which is operated by the nonprofit Teaching for Change. He was the founder of The Nine on the Ninth, a critically acclaimed monthly poetry series that ran from 2005-2015 at the 14th & V street location of Busboys and Poets. He was the 2012-2013 Writer-In-Residence of the Howard County Poetry Literary Society of Maryland. He is also a participating DC area author for the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s Writers-in-Schools program. He’s performed at such esteemed venues as The Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe and the Bowery. He has lead workshops and performed at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Sweet Briar College and Chicago State. He has appeared on Al-Jazeera and NPR as well. In May of 2014 he was also the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. He is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and resides in Mount Rainier, Maryland. His debut collection of poetry entitled, Wisdom Teeth, was released in April 2011 on Busboys and Poets Press/PM Press. You can follow him on social media on Facebook and on Instagram @theoriginalDerrickWestonBrown as well as his author website DerrickWestonBrown.com

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Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of eight books, most recently Meadow Slasher (Black Ocean 2017). He teaches in the MFA program at University of Arizona in Tucson.

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L. Lamar Wilson

L. Lamar Wilson is the author of Sacrilegion—the 2012 selection for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, a 2013 Independent Publishers Group bronze medalist, and a 2013 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry finalist—and co-author of Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014), with the Phantastique Five. Individual poems and scholarly and personal essays have appeared in African American Review, Black Gay Genius (2014), Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, jubilat, Muzzle, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010), Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (2015), Vinyl, The Washington Post/The Root, and elsewhere. Wilson, a Cave Canem and Callaloo graduate fellow, Florida A&M University alumnus, and Affrilachian Poet, holds an MFA from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in African American and multiethnic American poetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches creative writing and African American literature at The University of Alabama.

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Terri Witek

Terri Witek is the author of 6 books of poems, most recently The Rape Kit, winner of the 2017 Slope Editions Prize judged by Dawn Lundy Martin. Her poetry often traces the breakages between words and images, and has been included in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Slate, Poesia Visual, Versal, and many other journals and anthologies. She has collaborated with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes (cyriacolopes.com) since 2005--their works together include museum and gallery shows, performance and site-specific projects featured internationally in New York, Seoul, Miami, Lisbon, and Rio de Janeiro. Collaborations with digital artist Matt Roberts (mattroberts.com) use augmented reality technology for smart phones to poetically map cities and have been featured in Manizales (Colombia), Glasgow, Vancouver, Lisbon, Miami, Santa Fe and Orlando. Witek directs Stetson’s undergraduate creative program and with Lopes teaches Poetry in the Expanded Field in Stetson University’s low-residency MFA of the Americas. terriwitek.com

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Jane Wong

Jane Wong's poems can be found in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, Third Coast, jubilat and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, and Bread Loaf. She is the author of Overpour (Action Books, 2016) and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University. In 2017, she received the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award for Washington artists.

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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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Deborah Woodard and Elizabeth J Colen

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.

Elizabeth J. Colen is most recently the author of What Weaponry, a novel in prose poems. Other books include poetry collections Money for Sunsets (2011 finalist for the Audre Lorde Prize in Poetry and the Lambda Literary Award) and Waiting Up for the End of the World: Conspiracies, flash fiction collection Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake, long poem / lyric essay hybrid The Green Condition, fiction collaboration Your Sick, and the forthcoming fiction collaboration True Ash. Nonfiction editor at Tupelo Press and freelance editor/manuscript consultant, she teaches at Western Washington University.

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Chavisa Woods

Chavisa Woods is the author of three works of full-length, literary fiction: Things to Do when You’re Goth in the Country (short fiction collection, 225 pages) Seven Stories Press (Distributed by Random House) May, 2017; The Albino Album (novel, 600 pages) Seven Stories Press, March, 2013; and Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind (short fiction collection, 200 pages) second edition release from Autonomedia/Umbearables, 2013, original publication by Fly by Night Press 2009.

Woods was the recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award, The Kathy Acker Award in Writing, the Cobalt Fiction Prize, and the Jerome Foundation Award for Emerging Writers. She was also a three time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Her work has received praise from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Rail, the Lambda Literary Review, The Riverfront Times, Pop Matters, and others.

Her fiction, poetry and essays have been featured in such publications as Tin House, Lit Hub, Electric Lit, The Brooklyn Rail, The Evergreen Review, New York Quarterly, Cleaver Magazine, Jadaliyya, and others.

Woods has appeared as a featured author at such notable venues as The Whitney Museum of American Art, City Lights Bookstore, Town Hall Seattle, The Brecht Forum, The Cervantes Institute, and St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and has presented lectures and conducted workshops on fiction and poetry at a number of academic institutions, including: New York University (NYU), Penn State, Sarah Lawrence College, Bard College, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Tech and the New School.

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Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright’s new book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009 and the Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses (2010). Her ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), received ten Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in the Foreword Review's Book of the Year Awards. Her nine earlier volumes of poetry include Seasons of Mangoes & Brainfire (Eastern Washington UP/Lynx House Books), which won the Blue Lynx Prize and the American Book Award; and A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press), finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and the Idaho Prize. A Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Hugo, and William Stafford, among others, Wright lived in Chile and traveled in Brazil on a Fulbright Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende; and spent four years on Fulbright and other fellowships in India and Bangladesh, translating Bengali women poets. She has five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, and an Advisory Board member for Raven Chronicles, Wright has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, and she will spend two months in Bahia, Brazil, on a writing residency at the Instituto Sacatar.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Diana Xin

Diana Xin holds an MFA from the University of Montana. Her fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Most recently, she was named winner of Third Coast Magazine's 2017 fiction contest. She is a contributing editor to Moss Lit and a 2015 recipient of the Made at Hugo House fellowship.

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Wancy Young Cho

Wancy Young Cho has appeared in The Stranger, Salon, The Windy City Times, Ghost Factory, No Touching Magazine, and Hair Trigger. He was the recipient of the 2008 Gold Circle Award for Traditional Fiction by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and took First Place in the 2005 Written Image Screenwriting Competition. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Wancy lives in Seattle with his two dogs, Memo and Tiki.

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Evelynn

Eve Yuen received her MFA in poetry from Cornell University, where she also taught for three years. Her interests are in book length poems, philosophy of language, and the history of the avant-garde. She is at work on a book about light and a book about trans poetics. Her poems have appeared in The Seattle Review, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, and other publications. She lives and writes in Seattle.

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Greg Stump and Sierra Nelson

Greg Stump has worked as a writer, artist, and teacher in Seattle for more than a decade. His work in comics includes the weekly strip Dwarf Attack and the acclaimed comic book series Urban Hipster. A longtime contributor to The Stranger and The Comics Journal, he was named "Illustrator of the Year" by Cartoonists Northwest in 2010.

Sierra Nelson (Typing Explosion, Vis-à-Vis Society), poet, performer, and text-based artist, is author of I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal) and chapbook “In Case of Loss.” Earning her MFA from U.W. (2002), she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and teaches in Seattle, Friday Harbor, and Rome, Italy.

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Seattle 7 Writers

Randy Sue Coburn is the author of three critically acclaimed novels—Remembering Jody, Owl Island, and A Better View of Paradise. A former newspaper reporter whose articles have appeared in numerous national publications, her screenplays include Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, a Cannes Film Festival selection about Dorothy Parker that was nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards’ best screenplay.

Tara Conklin's first novel, The House Girl, was a New York Times bestseller, #1 IndieNext pick and has been translated into 8 languages. Her second novel, The Last Romantics, is forthcoming in June 2016 from William Morrow/Harper Collins.

Elizabeth George is the creator of a series of psychological crime novels set in the UK and featuring her continuing characters: DI Thomas Lynley and DS Barbara Havers. She is also the creator of a YA series set on Whidbey Island. She's published in 30 languages, has written twenty-two novels, two books of short stories, and a non-fiction book on writing. She is a longtime teacher of writing in many venues in the US.

Joan Leegant is the author of a novel and a story collection, which won the PEN/New England Book Award and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. She is the 2014–2015 prose writer-in-residence at Hugo House.

Bernadette Pajer's work includes the Professor Bradshaw Mysteries. She's a UW graduate and a member of Seattle7Writers.org. Research is her favorite activity, and she happily delves into worlds old and new as she plots tales of mystery and adventure.

Shannon Huffman Polson is the author of North of Hope; A Daughter’s Arctic Journey. Her writing recently won honorable mention in the 2015 VanderWey Nonfiction contest and has been published in journals including Ruminate Journal, High Country News, Huffington Post, and two anthologies. Polson works an artist-in-residence with Methow Arts.

Garth Stein is the author of four novels, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Sudden Light. He is the co-founder of Seattle7Writers, a non-profit collective of Northwest authors working to foster a passion for the written word.

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Jason Whitmarsh and Sierra Nelson

Jason Whitmarsh's first book, Tomorrow's Living Room, won the 2009 May Swenson Poetry Award. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, the Yale Review, Fence, American Letters & Commentary, and Ploughshares. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children.

Sierra Nelson (Typing Explosion, Vis-à-Vis Society), poet, performer, and text-based artist, is author of I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal) and chapbook “In Case of Loss.” Earning her MFA from U.W. (2002), she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and teaches in Seattle, Friday Harbor, and Rome, Italy.

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Corbin Lewars & Ingrid Ricks

Corbin Lewars (www.corbinlewars.com) is the author of PNBA and Washington State book awards nominee Creating a Life, the divorce guidebook Losing Him, Gaining You and the novel Swings. Her personal essays have been featured in over twenty-five publications including Mothering, Hip Mama and the Seattle PI as well as in several writing anthologies. She holds a Master’s in Education and has been teaching and mentoring writers for twenty years.

Ingrid Ricks is an author, speaker and founder of Write It Out Loud, a program that fosters healing and empowerment through narrative writing. Her memoirs include the New York Times bestseller Hippie Boy and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. Her essays and stories have appeared on Salon and NPR. She lives in Ballard with her husband and two daughters. For more information, visit her website or her program website.

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Ross McMeekin and Robin Oliveira

Ross McMeekin's fiction appears in Shenandooah, PANK, Hobart, Tin House Flash Fiction Fridays, and elsewhere. He's the recipient of a 2013-14 Made at Hugo House Fellowship and lives in Seattle.

Robin Oliveira was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship for her debut novel, My Name is Mary Sutter. Her latest book is I Always Loved You. She holds a BA in Russian, and studied at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow, Russia. She received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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John Berry and JT Stewart

John Berry is an editor, typographer, and book designer. He is Honorary President of ATypI and has been editor of U&lc and designer for Copper Canyon Press.

JT Stewart specializes in poetry broadsides for her personal work and for public spaces including: the Seattle Art Museum, the Washington State Convention Center Galleries, and the Allen Library (University of Washington).

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Cynthia Hartwig

Cynthia Hartwig’s short stories have been published in Zoetrope, Web Del Sol, Writer’s Digest, and Toyon. Her photo essay and story of the death of her sister will be published in photo feature on Lenscratch this year.

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Samar Abulhassan

Samar Abulhassan is a Seattle poet and teaching artist who has worked at Seattle's Hutch School and B.F. Day Elementary with Writers in the Schools. Author of three poetry chapbooks, she teaches for Hugo House's Scribes Program and adult courses.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Alice Acheson

Alice B. Acheson has been advising authors very early in the publishing process, at the proposal stage, to start working on a marketing and publicity campaign for a book before a publisher even sees the manuscript. Then once authors sign with a publishing house, they want advice on what to expect from their publishers and what they should be doing for themselves. Authors are willing to take more responsibility but are overwhelmed by all they are asked to do and want to be sure their time is spent wisely. They want time to write and they want guidance in the marketing strategy.

Alice has decades of experience as an editor, publicist, marketing specialist and publishing consultant. She works with authors (all genres), illustrators and photographers as well as large and small publishers. She has negotiated book contracts, sold subsidiary rights, and edited and publicized books. Four recipients of her publicity prowess have appeared simultaneously on The New York Times bestseller list. She is particularly proud of her efforts for Old Turtle by Doug Wood, the author's first book from a publisher who had never published a children's book nor nationally marketed any of their books. It won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year and sold 800,000 copies prior to its sale to Scholastic. For her efforts Alice was given the Literary Market Place Outside Services Award for Advertising, Promotion, and Publicity. She lives in Friday Harbor, WA and can be contacted at Aliceba7@gmail.com. More information can be found here .

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Natalie Diaz and Celeste Adame

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She is a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, as well as being awarded a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Arizona State University Creative Writing MFA program. She splits her time between the east coast and Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she works to revitalize the Mojave language.

Celeste Adame, Muckleshoot, holds an MFA in Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has been published in Yellow Medicine Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, As/Us: A Jounral for Women of the World, and elsewhere.

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Tory Adkisson

Tory Adkisson's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Quarterly West, Third Coast, Cave Wall, Linebreak, and elsewhere. He earned his MFA in creative writing from The Ohio State University and recently moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle.

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Laurie Alberts

Laurie Alberts is the author of the craft book Showing & Telling
as well as four novels, two memoirs, and a story collection.

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Lauren K. Alleyne

Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014). She holds an MFA in Poetry and a graduate certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University, and an MA in English and Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Alleyne's fiction, non-fiction, interviews, and poetry have been widely published in journals and anthologies such as Women's Studies Quarterly, Guernica, The Caribbean Writer, Black Arts Quarterly, The Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gathering Ground, and Growing Up Girl, among others. Her work has earned several honors and awards, most recently the Picador Guest Professorship in Literature at the University of Leipzig, Germany, a 2014 Iowa Arts Council Fellowship, and first place in the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Contest. Alleyne is a Cave Canem graduate, and is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She currently works at James Madison University as Assistant Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and an Associate Professor of English.

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Dianne Aprile

Dianne Aprile writes essays, poems, and nonfiction books. Her work, featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, appears in the latest This I Believe anthology. She teaches at Spalding University’s MFA in Writing Program and received an Artist Trust fellowship as well as Hedgebrook and Whiteley Center residencies.

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Steven Arntson

Steven Arntson has published three novels for young adults, including The Wrap-Up List, which was a finalist for the 2014 Washington State Book Award. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Recently, he wrote this bio.

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Elizabeth Austen

Elizabeth Austen’s collection Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She has taught at Hugo House since 2000. She’s the poetry commentator for KUOW 94.9 and earned an MFA in poetry from Antioch University LA.

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Blake Bailey

Blake Bailey has written award-winning biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson, and is now working on the authorized biography of Philip Roth. His memoir, The Splendid Things We Planned, will be published by Norton in March 2014.

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Librecht Baker

Librecht Baker is a Dembrebrah West African Drum & Dance
Ensemble member. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard
College. VONA/Voices and Lambda Literary Fellow. Sundress
Publications’ assistant editor. Poetry in Writing the Walls Down: A
Convergence of LGBTQ Voices and CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape.

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Jamaica Baldwin

Jamaica Baldwin’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Rattle, Spiral Orb, Jack Straw Anthology, Third Coast Review, Hayden’s Ferry, Prairie Schooner and the Seattle Review of Books where she was the March 2017 poet in residence. Jamaica has received nominations for Pushcart and Sundress Best of Net and is the recipient of a Hedgebrook residency. She received her MFA from Pacific University Oregon and was a 2017 Jack Straw Writer’s Fellow. She lives in Seattle, WA where she teaches and is currently working on her first book.

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Anna Bálint

Anna Bálint is the author of Horse Thief, a collection of short fiction, and two earlier books of poetry. Her poems and stories have been published in numerous journals and magazines.

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Melinda Bargreen

Melinda Bargreen is a Seattle-based writer and composer who is the author of “Classical Seattle” (University of Washington Press, 2015) and “50 Years of Seattle Opera” (Marquand Press, 2014). Her award-winning choral works have been featured in performances from China to Belgium, as well as on PBS television (in the “Christmas at Belmont” holiday program of 2011). She was classical music critic of The Seattle Times from 1977 to 2008, covering decades of great arts and also the planning, financing and acoustical design of two major Seattle concert halls (Benaroya Hall and McCaw Hall). Melinda has written freelance reviews and articles for several national and international publications, including the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, the U.K.-based MusicWeb International, The American Record Guide, Symphony Magazine, Muso Magazine, TheClassicalReview.com, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. Voted "Seattle's Best Critic" in an earlier survey by The Seattle Weekly, she also is a former contributor to NPR's "Performance Today" series.

Some of her choral works can be accessed at Santa Barbara Music Publishing (www.sbmp.com) and at her own website (www.melindabargreen.com). Melinda has been a speaker at several colleges and universities, from Cornish College and the University of Washington to Gordon College (Mass.). She has lectured for the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle Music Teachers, the Ladies Musical Club,and the Women’s University Club of Seattle, among others.

In addition to her freelance work for The Seattle Times, she has written articles about opera for the OMNI Hotel and Montage Hotel Magazines. Melinda holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine.

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Rick Barot

Rick Barot has published two books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), and Want (2008). Sarabande will publish his third book, Chord, in 2015. He is an associate professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and is on the faculty of the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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Neal Bascomb

Bascomb's books have been optioned for film, featured in several documentaries, and been translated in over ten languages. He has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times.

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Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass‘s poetry includes Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002). She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her nonfiction books include The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins, 1988, 2008) and Free Your Mind: The Book for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth (HarperCollins, 1996). Her work has frequently been published in the New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as many other journals. Among her awards are a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the California Arts Council, two Pushcart Prizes, the Lambda Literary Award, Elliston Book Award, Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, and the New Letters Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University. www.ellenbass.com

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Rick Bass

Rick Bass is a former petroleum geologist and wildlife biologist and the author of seventeen books, including a short story collection, The Hermit’s Story; a memoir, Why I Came West; and the novel All the Land to Hold Us (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

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Janée Baugher

Janée J. Baugher is the author of two poetry collections, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books) and The Body’s Physics (Tebot Bach), and she holds an MFA from Eastern Washington University. Her writing has been published in over 100 journals, including Boulevard, Nano Fiction, The Writer’s Chronicle, and The American Journal of Poetry. Baugher’s interdisciplinary collaborations include work with visual artists, composers, and choreographers. She’s had a dozen poems adapted for the stage and set to music at University of Cincinnati, Ohio’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Florida’s Dance Now! Ensemble. Baugher has presented her poetry at festivals such as Bumbershoot and Folklife, as well as at the Library of Congress.

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Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter teaches at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of five novels, five collections of short stories, three collections of poems, two collections of essays on fiction and is the editor of other works.

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Matt Bell

Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novel SCRAPPER, which will be published in September 2015 by Soho Press. His last novel, IN THE HOUSE UPON THE DIRT BETWEEN THE LAKE AND THE WOODS, was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, a Michigan Notable Book, and an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year Honor Recipient. His writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Tin House, The New York Times, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, The American Reader, and many other publications. Born in Michigan, he now teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

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Matthew Bennett

Matthew Bennett began editing in 2008 at Ronsdale Press, where he shepherded documents from submission to final print, and served as editor for publications such as Sheila James’s In the Wake of Loss (2009). He was later copyeditor for academic monographs, such as Nicholas Hudson’s A Political Biography of Samuel Johnson (Pickering & Chatto, 2013). His current editing work includes novels and short stories, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, website copy, business documents, and more. As a language professional, Matthew has an exceptional record of teaching everything from English and Spanish grammar to modern philosophy of language. He has an English PhD from the University of British Columbia and has been writing, publishing, and editing academic, journalistic, and fictional prose for over a decade.

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Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is a 2016-2017 Steinbeck Fellow and a former Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grantee. She has received residencies from Hedgebrook and Ragdale Foundation, and is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop. She has work published in Acentos Review, CALYX, crazyhorse, and The James Franco Review among others. A short dramatization of her poem "Our Lady of the Water Gallons," directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño, can be viewed at latinopia.com. Cofounder of Women Who Submit and curator of the reading series HITCHED, her debut poetry collection, Built with Safe Spaces, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications this October.

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Emily Beyer

Emily Beyer is a poet from Seattle. She received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa. Her poetry has been published in journals such as LVNG, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, and others. She has taught poetry to children and adults through WITS, Hugo House, the University of Iowa, and the University of Washington. She has received a GAP grant, a CityArtist Project Grant, and a Scandinavian-American Foundation Fellowship to support her work. Currently, she is working on a book-length poetry project influenced by Old Norse and Icelandic literature and language.

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Sven Birkerts

Sven Birkerts is the author of nine books, most recently The Other Walk: Essays (Graywolf, 2011). His provocative book The Gutenberg Elegies examined the cultural and personal effects of the Internet on reading. He is director of the Bennington Writing Seminars and edits the journal AGNI at Boston University.

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Alice Bolin

Alice Bolin's essays are featured regularly in publications including Salon, The New Yorker's Page-Turner Blog, The Paris Review Daily, The Awl, The Toast, and The LA Review of Books. She is the Poet-in-Residence at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California.

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Ryan Boudinot

Ryan Boudinot is the author of the novels Blueprints of the Afterlife and Misconception (a PEN USA Literary Award finalist) and the story collection The Littlest Hitler (a Publishers Weekly book of the year).

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Traci Brimhall

Traci Brimhall is the author of three collections of poetry: Saudade (Copper Canyon Press), Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton), and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), as well as an illustrated children’s book, Sophia & The Boy Who Fell (Pleiades Press). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, The Believer, The New Republic, Orion, and Best American Poetry 2013 & 2014. She’s received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and was the 2012 Summer Poet-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She’s an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Kansas State University.

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Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is the author of twelve books published in the US, abroad, and in translation including American Romances, The Gifts of the Body, and The Dogs. A frequent collaborator, she has written for theater, dance opera, musicians and visual artists. Her art has appeared at the Frye, Hedreen and Simon Fraser Galleries. She has taught for 30 years in academic and community settings and is currently on faculty at Goddard College, Vermont and the MFA program at UW-Bothell.

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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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Rita Bullwinkel

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up. Her writing has been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney's. She lives in San Francisco.

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Gust Burns

Gust Burns is an artist and scholar who makes work that is woven through fields including experimental composition, jazz, contemporary art practices, black studies, marxist studies, art-critical theory, and musicology. With a history as an improvising pianist, he composes by utilizing multiple procedures - problematizing divisions between performance, score, recording, and text. Two ways of thinking about the project: to uncover listening as social-historically constructed assemblage, and to elaborate and rehearse ways of being together (playing and hearing music). Burns holds an MFA in music/sound from Bard College, and is a PhD student in the University of Washington's English Department.

Teaching Philosophy: I understand criticality and creativity to each be most effective when realized together as two elements of one movement. Accordingly, my foremost teaching goal is to help students develop a porous relationship between the two, such that the critical becomes increasingly creative, and the creative knows itself for what it is.
Writers I Return To: Nathaniel Mackey, Fred Moten, Karl Marx, Cecil Taylor, Ted Berrigan, Ralph Ellison, Hortense Spillers, King Tubby, Maurizio Lazzarato.

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Janet Buttenwieser

Janet Buttenwieser’s work has appeared in The Rumpus, Under the Sun, Potomac Review, The Pinch, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her memoir, GUTS, was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Publishing Lab Prize and will be published by Vine Leaves Press in 2018. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was a finalist for Oregon Quarterly’s Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest, and won honorable mention in The Atlantic Student Writing contest, the New Millennium Writings Award and the Artsmith Literary Award. She holds an MFA from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Visit her at janetbuttenwieser.com

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Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Last Train to the Midnight Market (Finishing Line Press), and Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh Press), which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal for poetry. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman and the Knight Foundation, and her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, december, The Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and more. She serves as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair and producer for The Working Poet Radio Show.

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Wendy Call

Wendy Call is a recent writer-in-residence at a dozen locales, including national parks, universities, a public hospital, and Richard Hugo House. Her 2011 book No Word for Welcome won the 2011 Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Brian Callanan

Brian is an Emmy-winning news reporter, anchor, and host with 23 years of experience in the TV broadcast industry, working in stations across the Pacific Northwest. He currently serves as a public affairs host and producer for The Seattle Channel, named best municipal TV station by the National Association of Telecommunication Officers and Advisers (NATOA) for eight of the last ten years. Brian is the narrator of more than 20 audiobooks, with training from the esteemed ACX Master Class program and Audible Approved Narrator David H. Lawrence XVII. His audiobook work displays a comprehensive, skillful, and versatile range, and includes non-fiction, poetry, science fiction, romances, thrillers, paranormal fantasy, and more. A collection of his audiobook work online can be found here. Brian lives with his wife and two daughters in Seattle.

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Lauren Camp

Lauren Camp is the author of three poetry collections, including One Hundred Hungers, winner of the Dorset Prize. She teaches creative writing through The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Poetry Out Loud, and privately in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she lives.

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Jennine Capó Crucet

Jennine Capó Crucet’s first book, How to Leave Hialeah, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the John Gardner Book Prize, the Devil’s Kitchen Award in Prose, and was named a Best Book of the Year by The Miami Herald, the New Times, and the Latinidad List.

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Brian Castner

Brian Castner is a nonfiction writer, former Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer, and veteran of the Iraq War. He is the author of All the Ways We Kill and Die, forthcoming in the spring of 2016, and the war memoir The Long Walk, an Amazon Best Book of 2012. His writing has appeared at The New York Times, Wired, Outside, The Daily Beast, and on National Public Radio. In 2014, he received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to cover the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, filing stories for Foreign Policy, VICE, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee won a Whiting Award for his first novel,
Edinburgh, and is a recipient of the NEA fellowship in fiction
and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, and
Civitella Ranieri. His writing has appeared in the New York Times
Book Review, Tin House, Slate, and on NPR. His new book is The
Queen of the Night
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

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Paul Constant and Martin McClellan

Paul Constant is the co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books. He edited the Stranger’s book coverage for seven years. He’s also published reviews for outlets including Literary Hub, the Progressive, and alternative weeklies around North America.

Martin McClellan is a novelist, designer, and cofounder of the Seattle Review of Books. His first book, California Four O’Clock, was published in a limited edition hardback through a successful Kickstarter in 2015. He’s Senior UX Designer for BreakingNews.com.

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Stephen Corey

Stephen Corey is the editor of The Georgia Review, with which he has worked since 1983. He has published ten poetry collections as well as essays and reviews in a range of periodicals.

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Eduardo C. Corral

Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Slow Lightning (Yale University Press), which was chosen by Carl Phillips as the 2011 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He is the recipient of a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Whiting Writers’ Award. He lives in New York.

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Kevin Craft

Kevin Craft is the editor of Poetry Northwest. His books include Solar Prominence (Cloudbank Books, 2005) and five volumes of the anthology Mare Nostrum. Coordinator of the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College, he also co-directs the University of Washington’s Creative Writing Summer in Rome Program.

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Margaret Crastnopol

Margaret Crastnopol (aka Peggy), Ph.D. is the author of Micro-trauma: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Cumulative Psychic Injury, Routledge, 2015. Peggy is a psychologist/psychoanalyst who works with individuals and couples here in Seattle. She is a supervisor of psychotherapy and a faculty member of the William Alanson White Institute in New York City, an associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and is on the Editorial Board of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. A founding member of the board of directors of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, she also co-founded the Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis in Seattle. She has published numerous articles on the character and subjectivity of the patient and analyst, and the vicissitudes of love, romance, and lust.

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Katie Crouch

Katie Crouch is a New York Times best-selling novelist. Her books include Girls in Trucks, Men and Dogs, and Abroad. She has also written two novels for young adults. Katie teaches at San Francisco State and lives with her family in Bolinas, California.

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Jon Davis, Ken White

Jon Davis is Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. For three years he taught screenwriting for the ABC/Disney Summer Film & Television Workshops at IAIA. Short films made from his screenplays have played in festivals across North America.

Ken White teaches Screenwriting in the MFA program at Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He co-wrote and co-produced the feature film Winter in the Blood, and has adapted Debra Earling's Perma Red for the screen, which he is attached to direct. He is adapting the YA novel Stolen for the screen with Lucy Christopher.

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Alejandro de Acosta

Alejandro de Acosta is a teacher, writer, and translator—in no particular order. His publications include translations of Micrograms by Jorge Carrera Andrade and Five Meters of Poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat, as well as numerous contributions to anarchist periodicals and anthologies. He is currently working on a book of essays, several translations, and a book review blog. He lives in Olympia, WA.

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Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz is the author of four books of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. He co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems, and co-chairs Kundiman's advisory board. He teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.

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John DeDakis

Journalist and novelist John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." DeDakis is the author of four mystery-suspense novels. His most recent novel, Bullet in the Chamber, deals, in part, with the death of his son in 2011 due to an accidental heroin overdose.

DeDakis is a writing coach, manuscript editor, and writing workshop leader. During his award-winning 45-year career in journalism (25 years at CNN), DeDakis has been a White House Correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.

He lives in Baltimore, has taught journalism at the University of Maryland – College Park, and teaches novel writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. www.johndedakis.com

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Claire Dederer

Claire Dederer’s bestselling memoir, Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, came out in January 2011 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and was published in the UK by Bloomsbury. Poser has been translated into 11 languages. Claire is a longtime contributor to The New York Times. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Real Simple, The Nation, New York, Yoga Journal, Slate and Salon, and in newspapers across the country. Her writing has encompassed criticism, reporting, and the personal essay. Claire’s essays have appeared in the anthologies Money Changes Everything (edited by Elissa Schappell and Jenny Offill) and Heavy Rotation (edited by Peter Terzian).

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Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. After playing professional basketball in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey she returned to ODU for an MFA in writing. Her publications include Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Crab Orchard Review, among others. Her work was selected by Natasha Trethewey for Best New Poets and she has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She lives in Surprise, Arizona.

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Matthew Dickman

Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012). He is the recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and the 2009 Oregon Book Award from Literary Arts of Oregon. Dickman is the Poetry Editor of Tin House Magazine. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Wilson Diehl

Wilson Diehl’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Babble, Fit Pregnancy, The Seattle Times, Seattle Metropolitan, Teachers & Writers Magazine, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Iowa and has been teaching writing since 2000. She’s currently working on a collection of personal essays about the hazards of marriage and motherhood. You can find more on her website, Not Quite What I Expected.

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Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of four books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, and, most recently, Memory Wall. Doerr

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Scott Driscoll

Scott Driscoll is an award-winning instructor (UW, Educational Outreach award for Excellence in Teaching in the Arts and Humanities 2006), and his debut novel, Better You Go Home, was selected as the Foreword Reviews First Book Contest winner. He was the 1989 winner of the University of Washington’s Milliman Award for Fiction.

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Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and the essay collection Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The New York Times, The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Anderson Cooper Live, and elsewhere. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University.

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Robert Ferrigno

Robert Ferrigno is a NY Times best-seller of crime thrillers, including The Horse Latitudes and Prayers for the Assassin. One of his short stories was included in Best Mystery Short Stories 2008, (Houghton-Miflin), and another was awarded the Silver Dagger, Best Mystery Short Story, by the Mystery Writers Association, Great Britain, 2010. He thinks good writing, regardless of genre, is clear, clean and packs an emotional punch. www.robertferrigno.com

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Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed, and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.

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Jennifer Natalya Fink

Jennifer Natalya Fink is the author of four published novels, including the Dana Award-winning and Pulitzer-nominated The Mikvah Queen. Fink's work has been widely reviewed and lauded by luminaries such as Eileen Myles, Steve Almond, Rebecca Brown, and Michelle Tea. She is a professor of creative writing at Georgetown University, and has served as a jurist for the Caine Prize for African Fiction. She founded The Gorilla Press, a non-profit aimed at promoting youth literacy through bookmaking. Her forthcoming novel Bhopal Dance was recently shortlisted for both the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Award and the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize from FC2 Press, as well as the Clarissa Dallowy Fiction Prize from the A Room of Our Own Foundation and the Willow Books Literature Award.
Flame thrower, dance addict, disability advocate and queer mother, Fink deploys experiential fiction to explore how the state inhabits our most private states. Read more on her author page: jenniferfink.com

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Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House.

Peter Mountford is the author of the award-winning novels A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, and The Dismal Science. His work has appeared dozens of major magazines and newspapers. He teaches at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program.

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Ed program since 2006.

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Joan Fiset

Joan Fiset's "Now the Day is Over" (Blue Begonia) won the King County Publication Award. "Namesake" (Blue Begonia) is forthcoming in 2015.

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Karen Fisher

Karen Fisher is a novelist, poet, and memoirist, PEN/Faulkner finalist, NEA recipient and winner of the Washington State Book award for her novel A Sudden Country. She’s a writing coach and year-round instructor for Fishtrap, and lives on Lopez Island.

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Waverly Fitzgerald and Annie Pearson

Waverly Fitzgerald is the author (with Curt Colbert) of five humorous mystery novels published by Kensington under the name Waverly Curtis. She is also the managing editor of Rat City Publishing, a small local press publishing mysteries set in Seattle.

Annie Pearson is a Seattle writer, author of three contemporary novels and (as E.A. Stewart) a historical fiction series set in the Languedoc crusades. She is also managing editor at Jugum Press, which publishes eclectic fiction and nonfiction, including The Sky High Road by Moses L. Howard. During her technical writing career, her reading turned to early social-issue novelists like Elizabeth Gaskell. She currently reads contemporary writers like Tana French who explore the complexities enveloping people whose lives are in crisis. Pearson’s teaching focuses on sharing technical skills with writers who want more from their tools and more methods for finding readers.

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Raymond Fleischmann

Raymond Fleischmann’s short stories have previously appeared in Iowa Review, Cimarron Review, The Pinch, Los Angeles Review, and River Styx, among others. He’s been a Made at Hugo House fellow and earned his MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University.

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Kathleen Flinn

Kathleen Flinn is best known for the New York Times best-seller The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry (Viking/Penguin), about graduating the famed Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her latest book, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, hits shelves this August.

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Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times Sunday Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Los Angeles Times.

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Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and as a case-worker with homeless adults. His most recent book is The Reenactments. His memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award.

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Eroyn Franklin

Eroyn Franklin is a comics artist, illustrator, educator and public artist. She has written 2 graphic novels, the Xeric grant winning book Another Glorious Day at the Nothing Factory, and Detained, which is part of a Wing Luke Museum permanent exhibit at Seattle’s former INS building. Her work has also garnered support from 4Culture, Artist Trust, Allied Arts Foundation, and Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture. Eroyn’s comics have been listed in The Best American Comics: The Notable Comics of 2013 and 2014 and she was on the short list for the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize for her work on Medium.com. She is the co-founder of Short Run Comix and Arts Festival which celebrates indie comix and self-published, small press and handmade books of all kinds from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

Teaching philosophy: I want to expand the student’s scope of what a comic is and help them discover new and innovative work in the medium. I encourage students to find their own voice through comics and challenge them to hone their craft and become more dedicated writers and artists.

Writer(s) I always return to: Whether I want to be inspired or entertained, I turn to Anders Nilsen. His work falls effortlessly into the worlds of comics, fine art, and literature. He is a nonstop comics innovator who makes the medium more exciting with each book he creates.

Favorite writing advice: I always think of creating as a relationship that I am in. It needs time and love and energy and if I don’t give it these things, it will leave me. When I’m in a long-term relationship, I don’t spend every second of the day intoxicated with love, so I can’t expect that from writing. There are exciting sparks, but mostly it's work. Dedication, especially when it’s a struggle, has been more beneficial to my writing than any amount of raw talent.

Past Student Feedback
"Eroyn Franklin imparts her extensive knowledge of the world of comics with an enthusiasm that can’t help but be shared by anyone under her instruction. She offers individual feedback that both appreciates the singularity of each student’s work and provides insights acquired through her years of work in the field. Her exercises are engaging, and her love for her craft is apparent."

"Eroyn is very caring and attentive to each individual student and goes above what's expected of a teacher by giving students access to resources and events even outside of the class. She values every student's work and makes sure to foster improvement constructively and allows students have control over what said improvement might look like. Eroyn lets students choose their own direction and work hard with each individual to help them to be satisfied with their work."

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Ru Freeman

Ru Freeman is a Sri Lankan born writer. She is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (2013), which was a NYT Editor’s Choice. Her books have been translated into multiple languages. She blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics.

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Abby Frucht

Abby Frucht is a recipient of two National Endowment for the
Arts awards. She is a novelist, essayist, critic, and short story writer
who teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. At home in Wisconsin,
she currently serves as a PEN/Faulkner judge.

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Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels The Mare; Veronica, which was nominated for the 2005 National Book Award, National Critic’s Circle Award, and the LA Times Book Award; and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. She is also the author of the story collections Bad Behavior; Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner; and Don’t Cry. Gaitskill’s stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories.

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Sarah Galvin

Sarah Galvin is a poet and author of The Three Einsteins. Her blog, The Pedestretarian, is devoted to reviews of food found on the street. She has an MFA in poetry from University of Washington. In addition to poetry and discarded food, her interests include demolition derbies, food that isn’t discarded, and confetti cannons. She has a recurring nightmare about a sentient house. She is widely known as “The Champagne of Queers.” Her poems and essays can be found in io, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, Pinwheel, Vice Magazine, and The Stranger.

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Alma García

Alma García's short fiction has been published as award-winning in Narrative Magazine, Passages North, and Boulevard, and is forthcoming in Enizagam and in the anthology Roadside Curiosities: Short Stories on American Pop Culture (University of Leipzig Press/Picador).

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David Gates

David Gates is the author of the novels Jernigan and Preston Falls, and a story collection, The Wonders of the Invisible World. His forthcoming collection is A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me. He teaches at the University of Montana and in the Bennington Writing Seminars.

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Erin Gilbert

Erin Gilbert holds an MFA from Bennington College, teaches at local colleges, and is currently at work on a novel and a set of linked personal essays. Her short stories, poetry, and essays appear regularly in a variety of publications.

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Manuel Gonzales

Manuel Gonzales is the author of the acclaimed story collection The Miniature Wife, winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. A graduate of the Columbia University Creative Writing Program, he teaches writing at the University of Kentucky and the Institute for American Indian Arts. He has published fiction and nonfiction in Open City, Fence, One Story, Esquire, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and The Believer. Gonzales lives in Kentucky with his wife and two children.

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Jennie Goode

Jennie Goode is a writer, editor, and teacher. Recent essays have appeared or are forthcoming in New South and Water~Stone Review. She was awarded the 2014 Judith Kitchen Prize in Creative Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2013 New South Prose Award.

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Amelia Gray

Amelia Gray is the author of four books: AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, THREATS, and Gutshot. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, VICE, Flaunt, Guernica, BOMB, and Lucky Peach, among others. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge was the recipient of the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College visiting emerging writer. Her work has appeared in The Believer, The Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, Tottenville Review, and American Short Fiction.

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David Guterson

David Guterson is the author of Snow Falling on Cedars, recipient of the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award; East of the Mountains; Our Lady of the Forest; The Other; and Ed King. Songs for a Summons (University of Washington Press) is his first poetry book.

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Mortada Gzar

Mortada Gzar is a well-known Iraqi novelist, filmmaker, and visual artist. Born in Kuwait in 1982, he holds an engineering degree from the University of Baghdad, and has been a participant of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His animation “Language” won the Doha Film Award. He is the author of three novels: Broom of Paradise (2008), Sayyid Asghar Akbar (2013),
My Beautiful Cult (2016), and a short story collection,While She Like That.. (201). He is a regular contributor to the Lebanese newspaper al-Safir al-Arabi.

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Kimiko Hahn

Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine books of poetry—most recently, Brain Fever and Toxic Flora (Norton, 2014 and 2010), both collections triggered by science; and The Narrow Road to the Interior (Norton, 2006), poems influenced by Japanese forms. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fellowship, PEN/Voelker Award and the Shelley Memorial Prize. She is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York. Hahn is devoted to exploring new workshop strategies so that a student’s experience is stimulating and her/his work is vivid as opposed to homogeneous.

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Kristin Halbrook

Kristin Halbrook-Vincent is the author of two critically-acclaimed contemporary young adult novels, Every Last Promise (HarperTeen, 2015), and Nobody but Us (HarperTeen, 2013). Her short non-fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals. She is also a former literary agent, representing all levels of children's fiction and non-fiction. In 2010, she co-founded the popular website YAHighway.com, a resource for writing and reading young adult fiction. She has taught and appeared as a guest at numerous book festivals, universities, and conferences, most recently at Seattle University, Cavalcade of Authors West, The Ontario Teen Book Fest and SCBWI-Oklahoma and -New England.

Teaching Philosophy: In the classroom, I take a collaborative approach to teaching. I have no interest in standing in front of the classroom and talking at the students for the duration of the class period. I want students to ask many questions, to challenge ideas, and to have the opportunity to learn about the industry and process from fellow writers, whether that happens through mini-workshops, critique partnering, or small group discussion. I believe I am not the only teacher in the class; there are many teachers. At the same time, I find it an honor and responsibility to impart all the knowledge I have gathered through my own writing and publishing experiences to others.

Writers I return to: Melina Marchetta, Hilary T. Smith, Jaqueline Woodson, Sarah Waters, Stephanie Kuehn, Ruta Sepetys, Donna Tartt

Favorite Writing Advice: My favorite writing advice is a quote credited to Anton Checkov: "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." Whether or not he said those exact words is up for debate, but the meaning is clear: improve your line level writing to not only show more and tell less, but do so in a lovely, poetic way.

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Stephanie Hammer

Samantha Claire Updegrave writes creative nonfiction, profiles, book reviews, and poetry. She's an MFA candidate at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts and assistant editor at Soundings Review.

Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 4 time nominee for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in Pearl, Hayden’s Ferry, the Bellevue Literary Review and S/tick among other places. She was a comp lit scholar for many years, but then decided she wanted to make creative work, rather than just talk about it. Born in New York City she now lives on Whidbey Island where she writes flash fiction, poetry, and occasional essays and teaches creative writing at community colleges and non-profits. She is the author of a novel The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior (Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015), a poetry collection How Formal? (Spout Hill Press, 2014), and a chapbook, Sex with Buildings (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). She’s working on a new novel about a repentant drug dealer and a new poetry collection about being a city dweller attempting to deal with nature.

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Ally Harris

Ally Harris teaches, writes, and hosts a reading series in Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks of poems, Her Twin Was After Me (Slim Princess Holdings), and Floor Baby (dancing girl press).

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Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes is the author of How to Be Drawn; Lighthead, which won the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; Muscular Music, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; Hip Logic, winner of the 2001 National Poetry Series; and Wind in a Box. He is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania.

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Merna Ann Hecht

Merna Hecht founded the Stories of Arrival: Youth Voices Refugee and Immigrant Poetry Project. She teaches Humanities and Creative Writing at UW, Tacoma. Poet, essayist and award winning storyteller her teaching and writing focus on community, art and social justice.

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Ann Hedreen

Ann Hedreen is a writer and documentary filmmaker. She is the author of a memoir, Her Beautiful Brain (She Writes Press, 2014) and the long-running blog, The Restless Nest. She has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, The Seattle Times, Minerva Rising and other publications. With her husband and filmmaking partner, Rustin Thompson, she has made more than 100 short films and several feature-length documentaries, including Quick Brown Fox: an Alzheimer’s Story. Their latest film, Zona Intangible, will be completed in 2016. She is also at work on her second book, The Observant Doubter.

Teaching philosophy: I believe that writing our own stories transforms our lives. Powerfully. Radically. Not necessarily overnight, because writing is work, but I believe that when writers are doing that work, transformation begins to happen. I’ve seen it in older adults, writing seriously for the first time in their lives; I’ve seen it in teens under court supervision. I’ve seen it in myself. I believe everyone who wants to write can learn to write. I believe everyone has a story to tell. I also believe it’s easy to frighten a fledgling writer. When I teach, I do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. I want my students to discover that they really do have something to say and a voice, uniquely theirs, with which to say it.

Writer(s) I always return to: Anne Lamott. Gloria Steinem. The poetry of Rumi, Denise Levertov and Kathleen Flenniken (especially Plume). Two memoirs by famous novelists: Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory and Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and one by a poet: Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Favorite writing advice: From Brenda Uelland's Me: a Memoir: “Whenever people write from their true selves (not from their bogus literary selves) it is interesting and one is pulled along into it; and it does me good to read it, and it does them good to write it; it makes them freer and bolder in every way.”

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Patricia Henley

Patricia Henley is the author of three novels, four collections of stories, two chapbooks of poetry, and a stage play. Her novel Hummingbird House was a finalist for the National Book Award and The New Yorker Fiction Prize. For 26 years she taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Purdue University.

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Sheila Heti

Sheila Heti is the author of five books, including the story collection The Middle Stories, the novel Ticknor, and The Chairs Are Where the People Go, which The New Yorker chose as one of its best books of 2011. Most recently she published How Should a Person Be?, which was named a best book of the year by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, and other places.

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Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland' books include What Narcissism Means to Me and Donkey Gospel, as well as three other poetry collections. His work has received the Mark Twain Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Jackson Poetry Prize, and the O.B. Hardisson Prize for teaching. His second book of prose essays, Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays was just published in 2014. He teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, and runs Five Powers of Poetry seminars for teachers.

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Justin Hocking

Justin Hocking is author of the memoir The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld, which won the 2015 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction, and was named one of "Ten Brilliant Books That Grab You From Page One" in Kirkus Reviews and the Huffington Post. He is a cofounder of the Certificate Program in Creative Writing at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, and also teaches in Eastern Oregon University's Low Residency MFA Program.

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Bruce Holbert

Bruce Holbert's fiction has appeared in the Iowa Review, Other Voices, and The Antioch Review. His first novel Lonesome Animals was published in 2012 and his second novel, The Hour of Lead won the 2015 Washington State Book Award.

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Regan Huff

Regan Huff is senior acquisitions editor at the University of Washington Press and holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.

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Tessa Hulls

Tessa Hulls is an artist/writer/adventurer who is fascinated by the concept of home. As the daughter of two first-generation immigrants who landed in a tiny town of 350 people, she spent her formative years reading her way through the public library and roaming alone through the hills, and this love of solitude and forward motion informs much of her creative practice. Tessa is a compulsive genre hopper and has worked in various capacities as an illustrator, cartoonist, editor, performer, chef, muralist, conductor of social experiments, painter, writer, and teacher for The Henry Art Gallery, On the Boards, The Seattle Art Museum, The Project Room, Washington Ensemble Theater, Vermillion, 826 Seattle, Annex Theater, Microsoft Research, Lit Crawl, Hugo House, Sprout Seattle, Canoe Social Club, City Arts, Smoke Farm, Cafe Nordo, The Breadline Performance Series, and others. She has received grants from Washington Artist Trust, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and 4Culture

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Ramon Isao and Alex Hollett

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Major Jackson

Major Jackson is an American poet, professor and the author of three collections of poetry: HOLDING COMPANY (W.W. Norton, 2010) and HOOPS (W.W. Norton, 2006), both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry and LEAVING SATURN (University of Georgia, 2002), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. He is also a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress.
Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at University of Massachusetts-Lowell and currently serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

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Sara Jaffe

Sara Jaffe is a fiction writer living in Portland, OR. Her first novel, Dryland, was published by Tin House Books in September 2015. Her short fiction and criticism have appeared in publications including Fence, BOMB, NOON, Paul Revere’s Horse, matchbook, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She co-edited The Art of Touring (Yeti, 2009), an anthology of writing and visual art by musicians drawing on her experience as guitarist for post-punk band Erase Errata.

Sara holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, RADAR Productions, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. She is also co-founding editor of New Herring Press, a publisher of prose chapbooks.

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Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison is the author of the novel The Gin Closet and a collection of essays, The Empathy Exams, which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and garnered praise in a number of publications, including the New York Times and a place on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List.” Her work has appeared or will appear in places like Harper’s, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Believer. She’s a columnist for the New York Times Book Review and is currently finishing a doctoral dissertation at Yale about addiction narratives. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Jac Jemc

Jac Jemc is the author of The Grip of It, forthcoming from FSG Originals in August 2017. Her first novel, My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, and her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time (Dzanc Books) was named one of Amazon's best story collections of 2014. She edits nonfiction for Hobart.

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Kristina Jipson

Kristina Jipson’s first book, Halve, won the Tupelo Press First/Second Book Award. She is the author of two chapbooks: Lock, Means, published by Dancing Girl Press, and How Void of Miracles, published by Hand Held Editions.

Teaching philosophy: Great creative writing teachers are better than therapists. Waiting outside the office of one of my own favorite teachers for our very first one-on-one meeting, I was alarmed to hear what I thought might be sobs coming from inside. Sure enough, when the door opened some minutes later, a teary but starry-eyed poet emerged. Don’t worry, she said to me, wiping her nose, everyone cries. And she was right. I held out for about fifteen minutes of discussing my poems, and then I too cried. So did the student who went in after me. Not because we were being criticized (we weren’t) but because we were being asked to really examine why we were writing and how much it mattered to us. We cried, and then we got excited. I don’t try to make my students cry, but I do believe that the very best writing teachers help students to think deeply about what they most want to say, and about who they most want to have hear it. Only by starting from a place of honesty and clarity about what each writer’s fondest hopes are for their writing can I be the facilitator—connecting students with the writing, ideas, strategies, and skills that will bring them closer to their own writing practices—that each writer deserves.

Writers I always return to: John Ashbery, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Edmond Jabès, Claudia Rankine, Marilynne Robinson, Jacques Roubaud, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Keith Waldrop, Virginia Woolf

Favorite writing advice: Write every day. That’s it. I’ve never heard a more valuable piece of writing advice than this. If you sit down to write every single day—even if it’s only for twenty minutes and even if you’re dog tired and all you manage to do is type a sting of clichés you’ll delete the next day—you’re a writer. Writers write. Everything else follows.

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Heidi Julavits

Heidi Julavits is the author of four critically acclaimed novels (The Vanishers, The Uses of Enchantment, The Effect of Living Backwards, and The Mineral Palace) and co-editor, with Sheila Heti and Leanne Shapton, of the New York Times bestseller Women in Clothes. Her most recent book The Folded Clock: a diary, was published in 2015 to widespread acclaim. Her fiction has appeared in Harper's Magazine, McSweeney’s, and The Best American Short Stories, among other places. She's a founding editor of The Believer magazine and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Manhattan, where she teaches at Columbia University. She was born and raised in Portland, Maine.

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Kristiana Kahakauwila

Kristiana Kahakauwila is the author of This is Paradise: Stories (Hogarth, 2013), which takes as its heart the people and landscapes of contemporary Hawai'i. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the University of Michigan and holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. Kristiana was the 2015-16 Lisa Goldberg Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study. Recent publications have appeared in Kartika Review and Off the Path Vol 2: An Anthology of 21st Century American Indian and Indigenous Writers, among others. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and is at work on her next book: a multi-generational novel about water and native rights on the island of Maui.

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Jourdan Keith

Jourdan Imani Keith is a contributing writer for Orion Magazine. Her essays, "Desegregating Wilderness" and " At Risk" appear in the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology. Her ekphrastic poems and stories featured at the Northwest African American Museum in 2015 as part of the Glass Orchidarium exhibit and at the Seattle Art Museum's REMIX in November 2015. A storyteller in the Griot tradition, she has been awarded fellowships from Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, Hedgebrook, and Jack Straw. Seattle Public Library’s first naturalist-in-Residence and Seattle Poet Populist Emeritus, she received awards from Artist Trust, 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture.

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Randall Kenan

Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, two works of nonfiction, and a collection of stories. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Dos Passos Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Prix de Rome.

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Rick Kenney

Richard Kenney’s most recent of four books is The One-Strand River (Knopf, 2007). His work has attracted honors, among them fellowships from the MacArthur, Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill, and Lannan Foundations, the Rome Prize in Literature, and the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. He teaches undergraduate- and MFA-level creative writing at the UW.

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Bharti Kirchner

Bharti Kirchner is the author of nine books—five critically acclaimed novels, four cookbooks, and hundreds of short pieces for magazines and newspapers. Her sixth novel, Goddess of Fire, a historical novel set in India in the 17th century, is due out late in 2015. Bharti has written for Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Fitness Plus, and The Seattle Times. Her essays have appeared in ten anthologies. She has won numerous awards for her writing.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Jacqueline Kolosov

Jacqueline Kolosov’s young adult novels include The Red Queen’s Daughter (Hyperion, 2007) and A Sweet Disorder (Hyperion, 2009), both set in Elizabethan England. Her latest novels for teens are Paris, Modigliani & Me (Luminis, 2015) and Along the Way (Luminis, 2015). She has also written a middle-grade novel, Grace from China (Yeong & Yeong). She also writes literary fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry with recent work in The Sewanee Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Southern Review. She serves on the creative writing and literature faculty at Texas Tech University and has taught workshops at the Cape Cod Writer’s Festival, Gemini Ink (San Antonio), and other venues. An avid horsewoman, yogi & long distance runner, she lives with her family and an overwhelming number of animals in west Texas. Visit her at www.jacquelinekolosovreads.com.

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Katinka Kraft

Katinka Kraft (www.katinkakraft.com) is a writer and performer currently living in Berlin. She has taught performance and writing workshops in the US and in Europe for over a decade. She has a B.A. in the Performing Arts and a M.A. in Biographical and Creative Writing.

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Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress is the author of nineteen novels, four story collections and three books about writing. Her work has earned many awards, including multiple Hugos and Nebulas.

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Megan Kruse

Megan Kruse grew up in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Seattle. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and her debut novel, Call Me Home, was released from Hawthorne Books in March 2015, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. She teaches fiction at Eastern Oregon University’s Low-Residency MFA program and Gotham Writers Workshop. She was one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 for 2015.

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Stephanie Kuehnert

Stephanie Kuehnert is the author of two young adult novels, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia, and she has a young adult memoir forthcoming from Dutton in 2017. Stephanie has also been a contributing writer to Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls, since its inception in 2011. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2006 and has been teaching since 2009. She’s taught general Fiction Writing courses, classes that focus on character, and Young Adult Fiction courses to teenagers, undergraduates, graduates, and working professionals both in person and online at a variety of institutions including Columbia College Chicago, StoryStudio Chicago, MediaBistro, Hugo House, and Seattle University.

Teaching philosophy: I believe that learning to write is a never-ending process (and this is why I take classes at Hugo House too!). I strive to help my students build their writerly toolbox by providing helpful exercises and ways to look at storytelling that they can continually revisit. All of my classes include a generative component and a focus on craft. In workshops, I aim to create an environment that is positive and productive and helps each student zero in both on what needs work and what already is working.

Writers I always return to: Francesca Lia Block, Melissa Marr, Libba Bray, JK Rowling, John Steinbeck, and Louise Erdrich

Favorite writing advice: Let reading be your greatest teacher. Study the books you love, examine them at a craft level, and use what you learn. Also: Butt. In. Chair. Fingers. On. Keyboard. Do what you need to do to finish your draft. There is no one magical routine, but you know what works for you—do it!

Past Student Feedback:
“I loved Stephanie's year-long class. Stephanie is smart and organized, all-around supportive, and a great mentor. She was always open to new ideas, considered everyone equals, and was encouraging of all discussion, never shying away from emotion. Very inclusive. She has a unique view of the world, and that perspective seems to put everyone at ease. She's a kind and funny person with a good sense of humor, but also gave honest and valuable critique. I learned a lot quickly, and also felt like there was time for questions and building community. Great experience!”

“Stephanie is the kind of teacher who uses positive, thoughtful feedback to tease the best stuff from writers in her classes. On the other hand, she's not shy about giving exercises that stretch us out of our zones of comfort, including identifying (and pushing) our story's main idea and diagramming our entire book (drawings optional) before we've even finished chapter four. She's organized and prepared. She really knows her stuff, which gives her students confidence in her.”

“Stephanie is an inspired teacher with a gift for bringing out the best in her students. She is always well prepared to discuss every angle of the writing process and brings a tremendous amount of energy to each class. Stephanie is extremely supportive and engages with her students’ work, always finding positive ways to help. I was constantly amazed at how meticulously she read each student’s work and gave constructive feedback. Her enthusiasm and passion for the craft of writing is contagious.”

“Stephanie Kuehnert is an awesome, talented combination of teacher and facilitator. At the start of our yearlong YA fiction writing class, she provided the class with a well-organized syllabus and suggested reading list. After each class, we received class notes in email form which proved useful both for people who missed class and for those in attendance. She also provided us with in-class writing exercises and handouts that I continue to reference. Along with being very knowledgeable about the craft of writing, Stephanie is also skilled in the art of critique. She provided helpful feedback on my writing, both in written and verbal form, offering encouragement and suggesting areas that could be changed to make my writing stronger. During in-class critiques, she would start the class off by providing her own, brief feedback on a student's work, and would then open the discussion up to the class. While she allowed the discussion to flow organically, she kept it respectful and on topic, which was appreciated. She also kept the class on schedule, both in regards to the syllabus and to the individual classes, which is no easy feat. I found Stephanie's YA fiction writing class to be the best writing class I've ever taken (and I've got a BA in Creative Writing). Not only did I learn countless writing techniques and tips to add to my writer's toolbox, but through her encouragement, I have started querying my novel with literary agents. I greatly respect Stephanie as a teacher, a writer and an all-around supporter of the writing community.”

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Taso Lagos

Dr. Taso G. Lagos is an independent filmmaker and lecturer who co-directed and produced the local feature comedy, American Messiah, starring John Keister. He has also taught numerous screenwriting classes and strongly believes in scripts as powerful forms of literature.

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Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky is the author of ROME (Liveright/ W.W Norton), as well as Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE, all out from Wave Books. She currently lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

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Dorianne Laux

Dorianne Laux’s fifth collection, The Book of Men, is currently available from W.W. Norton. Her fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon, is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry (finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award), and Smoke. She’s the recipient of two Best American Poetry Prizes, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim fellowship.

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Sharon Leach

Sharon Leach was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and attended the University of the West Indies. She is a journalist, author, essayist and editor of Bookends, the Jamaica Observer’s weekly literary arts magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Kunapipi, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Iron Balloons: Fiction from Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop, Blue Latitudes: An Anthology of Caribbean Women Fiction Writers, the Jamaica Journal, Caribbean Writing Today, Calabash: A Journal of Arts and Letters, AfroBeat journal, and most recently in Pepperpot: Best New Stories From the Caribbean. Her essays have appeared in Air Jamaica’s Skywritings magazine and The Caribbean Voice newspaper. In 2011, she was awarded the Musgrave Bronze Medal from the Council of the Institute of Jamaica for distinguished eminence in the field of Literature.
She has read at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest 2012 in Trinidad and in 2014, the PEN America World Voices Festival in New York. In August 2015, she was guest mentor for the Drawing Room Project’s Summer Fiction Workshop.
In February 2015, Love It When You Come was shortlisted for the Grand Prix littéraire at the 4th congress of the Association of Caribbean Writers (ACW) in Gosier, Guadeloupe, at the Créole Beach Hotel, from April 15th to 18th, 2015.
In November 2015, Love It When You Come was also shortlisted for the Guyana Prize for Caribbean Literature.
She was also selected to participate on a panel for the Miami Book Fair, located at the Miami Dade College, to read and speak on the topic ‘Not That Caribbean’ in 2015.
Her first book, What You Can’t Tell Him: Stories, a collection of short fiction, was published in 2006 by Star Apple Publishers in Trinidad. Her latest, Love It When You Come, Hate It When You Go, was put out by Peepal Tree Press in 2014.

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Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo is the author of A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press) and Pie School, a cookbook out recently from Sasquatch Books.

Sam Ligon’s books include Drift and Swerve, Safe in Heaven Dead, and Among the Dead and Dreaming (forthcoming in 2016). He teaches fiction writing at EWU, edits Willow Springs, and is the artistic director of the Port Townsend Writer’s Conference.

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Joan Leegant

Joan Leegant is the author of a novel, Wherever You Go, and a story collection, An Hour in Paradise, which won the PEN/New England Book Award, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Recent story prizes include the Nelligan Prize from Colorado Review, the Moment Magazine Story Prize, and Special Mention in the 2014 Pushcart Prize. A recipient of an artist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, Joan has taught at Harvard, Oklahoma State University, Bar-Ilan University outside Tel Aviv, and Cornish College of the Arts. A former attorney, Joan is the 2014-2016 Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House. A night writer, her best hours are between midnight and five a.m. For more about Joan, visit: www.joanleegant.com

Teaching Philosophy: I’ve been teaching writing workshops since 1999, and while there’s much to be said for the now standard format where the writer doesn’t speak and the other participants weigh in, lately I’ve loosened that up to include the writer in the conversation. Often what’s most beneficial for a writer is a brainstorming session. Or a chance to ask specific questions of people who’ve actually taken time with their work and read it closely. The result is a workshop that’s more about helping each other put on the page what we hope to put on the page rather than critiquing or evaluating or simply giving feedback that may or may not be about what’s at the heart of a piece of fiction. I also have a strong interest in writing process and, in particular, how we get in the way of our own work and what we can do to change that. Writing is risky; it involves being lost and not knowing what we’re doing. So we employ a lot of strategies to keep ourselves from that terrifying state. Most of the time we’re not even aware of those limiting strategies (like outlining our stories in advance or writing too glibly—from the head, not the gut). My goal, then, is to create a safe place for risk-taking because that’s how the good stuff will get written. By safe, I don’t mean a place where we just pat each other on the back; I mean a place where we all care passionately about this strange business of making up stories about people who don’t exist in order to get at the truth. When you’re among a group of people who might also spend two hours on a paragraph, or understand that it can take three or five or ten drafts of a story to finally figure out what it means, you can do great things. That’s what I try to create in my classes.

Writers I return to: Annie Proulx, Toni Morrison, Lorrie Moore, Tillie Olsen, Flannery O’Connor, William Trevor, Tobias Wolff, Bernard Malamud, Jim Shepard, William Faulkner.

Favorite writing advice: “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good." William Faulkner

Past Student Feedback:
"Joan handled the balance of introducing craft techniques via published (and excellently chosen) works with student workshopping brilliantly! Great curation and highly insightful writing tips with emphasis on writers’ processes."

"Joan has a talent for finding and emphasizing the best in every writer. It was a learning experience for me to hear her critique other writers."

"Excellent balance between Joan’s insights (always right on target) and the class’s. I learned from others’ stories almost as much as the comments I heard about my own."

"Joan’s facilitating skills are top-notch. She keeps the discussions pointed and direct and allows everyone ample time. She also values everyone’s opinion."

"I appreciated Joan’s intelligence and insight."

"Loved the readings, and the workshop discussion was great."

"Excellent analysis and prompts for discussion."

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Mark Leidner

Mark Leidner is the author of Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow Press, 2011) and The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011). He lives in Atlanta. His Twitter handle is @markleidner.

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Jill Leininger

Jill Leininger’s poems can be found in Poet Lore, Harvard Review, Cream city review, and Poetry International. She’s the author of two chapbooks: Roof Picnic Skies, New York and Sky Never Sleeps, selected by Mark Doty for BLOOM in 2012.

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Margot Leitman

Margot Leitman is a storyteller, comedian, writer and teacher originally from Matawan, New Jersey.

She is the author of "Long Story Short- the Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need" from Sasquatch Books/Random House and the comedic memoir “Gawky…Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase” from Seal Press/ Perseus Books.

For television, she has written for NBC, the Hallmark Channel and the PixL Network. In print her writing has appeared in Playgirl Magazine, the NY Press and websites such as TheFrisky.com, Collegehumor.com and LifetimeTV.com.

Margot is a five-time winner of The Moth StorySLAM, and was the Moth GrandSLAM winner in New York City achieving the series' first ever score of a perfect 10. She is the co-host of the long running, nationally touring "Stripped Stories," and also hosts the new storytelling show "Origin Story" at UCB, Los Angeles. Her stories have been featured on NPR on “The Moth Podcast,” “Good Food” and “Unfictional,” and she's a frequent contributor to the popular podcast “RISK!"

A proud graduate of the Ithaca College Theatre Department, Leitman is an amateur baker, two time game show winner and avid practicer of Kundalini Yoga. Margot currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and embarrassingly small dog.

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Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is the author of seven novels including Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger. He has also written two short story collections, a novella and a collection of essays. His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s and many other periodicals.

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Kendra Levin

Kendra Levin is a senior editor at Penguin, a teacher, and a certified life coach for writers. She is the author of The Hero Is You. Visit her at kendracoaching.com and follow her @kendralevin

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Ada Limon

Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers.

She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency MFA program and the 24Pearl Street online program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer splitting her time between Lexington, Kentucky and Sonoma, California.

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E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart is the author of 9 novels, including We Were Liars, which was a break-out success and instant New York Times bestseller upon publication in 2014. The novel was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014, a Best YA Book of 2014 by Time, the sole YA title to make it onto Amazon’s Best 20 Books of the Year, Amazon’s #1 YA Book of the Year, the GoodReads Choice Best Young Adult Novel of 2014, a Kirkus Review Best Book of 2014, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014.

Lockhart earned a doctorate in English literature at Columbia University before embarking on her writing career. She writes for younger readers under the name Emily Jenkins. A captivating storyteller, Lockhart lectures on techniques for writing fiction, gender and reading, books for young people and their function in society, and the power of unreliable narrators. Her wit and insight make her a popular choice for both adult and young adult audiences, as well as for libraries and community reads programs.

Lockhart’s novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks won a Michael L. Printz Honor Award and was a National Book Award finalist. Its feminist themes have led Lockhart to speak about gender politics to groups of girls across the country. Lockhart is also the author of Dramarama, Fly on the Wall, and the popular Ruby Oliver series, which begins with the novel The Boyfriend List. She resides in Brooklyn and shares her office space with a maniac cat.

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Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Short Stories.

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Natasha Marin

Photo by Elliot Solomon

Natasha Marin is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her written work has been translated into several languages and has been showcased in exhibitions, performances and events around the world. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a Hedgebrook alum who has been published in periodicals like the Feminist Studies Journal, African American Review, and the Caribbean Writer. She received grants from the City of Austin, Artist Trust, and the City of Seattle for community projects involving text-based, visual, performance, and multimedia art.

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Tod Marshall

Tod Marshall is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Bugle (Canarium Books), winner of the 2015 Washington State Book Award. He teaches at Gonzaga University, and he is serving from 2016-18 as Washington State Poet Laureate.

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Domingo Martinez

Domingo Martinez is the New York Times bestselling author of The Boy Kings of Texas and was a finalist for the National Book Award. The book has been optioned by HBO for an original series through Salma Hayek’s production company, Ventanarosa. Martinez’s work has appeared in Texas Monthly, The New Republic, Saveur Magazine, and more. He has also appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, This American Life, and The Diane Rehm Show.

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Sarah Maria Medina

Sarah Maria Medina is a poet and a fiction/creative non-fiction writer from the American Northwest. Her writing has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Midnight Breakfast, PANK, Split This Rock, Apogee, Raspa Literary Journal, and elsewhere. She is an ARTIST UP Grant LAB recipient for her poetry manuscript in progress Ochun's Daughter. She was a finalist in Indiana Review's 2015 Poetry Prize. She is also the poetry editor at Winter Tangerine. Medina is Boricua of mixed heritage and enrolled with The United Confederation of Taíno People. She is at work on several projects.

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Clare Meeker

Clare Hodgson Meeker's ten books and more than twenty magazine stories for children have won national awards. She has been teaching writing to children and adults for the past fifteen years. She is also a frequent speaker at writing conferences.

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Clare Meeker & Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George is a New York Times and internationally best-selling author of twenty British crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his unconventional partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. She also authored a young adult series that takes place on Whidbey Island where she lives and a best-selling book on the writing craft, Write Away.

Clare Hodgson Meeker has published 11 books for children including the Smithsonian Notable book Lootas Little Wave-Eater and her new book, Rhino Rescue! which is a Junior Library Guild Selection. She teaches writing at Hugo House and for Writers in the Schools.

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Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu received a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. His journalism and fiction have appeared in such publications as the Iowa Review, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and the Wall Street Journal.

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Paul Michel

Paul Michel is a novelist and short story writer in Seattle. His work has appeared in over thirty journals and won several national awards. His first novel, Houdini Pie, was released in 2010.

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Mary Miller

Mary Miller is the author of a story collection, Big World, and a novel, The Last Days of California.

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Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr is the author of “Damascus,” which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written “Fight Song” and “Some Things that Meant the World to Me,” one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009, as well as “Termite Parade,” an Editors’ Choice on The New York Times Best Seller List.

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Anis Mojgani

Anis Mojgani is the author of The Pocketknife Bible, Songs From Under The River, The Feather Room, and Over the Anvil We Stretch. He is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. A TEDx Speaker and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writers-in-the-Schools program, his work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in such journals as Rattle, Paper Darts, Forklift Ohio, and Used Furniture Review.

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Kamilah Aisha Moon

KAMILAH AISHA MOON’s work has been featured in Harvard Review, jubilat, the Awl, and Poem-A-Day for the Academy of American Poets. She has been selected as a New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize–winner, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Moon is the author of She Has a Name (Four Way Books) and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Jennifer D. Munro

Jennifer D. Munro was a Top 10 Finalist in the Erma Bombeck Humor Competition. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Salon; Full Grown People; Gulf Coast; and Best American Erotica. She’s a freelance editor and an award-winning blogger.

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Carol Muske-Dukes

Carol Muske-Dukes is a professor at the University of Southern California and a former poet laureate of California. She is the author of eight books of poems, most recently Twin Cities (Penguin). Her poetry collection Sparrow (Random House) was a National Book Award finalist. She has published four novels, including Channeling Mark Twain (Random House), as well as a book of essays, Married to the Icepick Killer: a Poet in Hollywood. She has been the recipient of many awards & honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grant, and Library of Congress award.​

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David Neiwert

David Neiwert is a Seattle-based freelance journalist and blogger. He received the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000. Neiwert worked at newspapers around the Pacific Northwest from 1978 to 1996, when he joined MSNBC.com as a writer-producer. In 2000, he began to focus on writing books; he is now the author of four works of nonfiction.

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Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, and is the award-winning author of three novels and four short story collections. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Best American Short Stories. She divides her time among Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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Maggie Nelson

Nelson is the author of five books of nonfiction and four books of poetry. Her 2011 book of art and cultural criticism, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Editors’ Choice. Her other nonfiction books include The Argonauts and the cult hit Bluets. Her poetry has been widely anthologized. Her books of poetry include Jane: A Murder, a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of Memoir, and Shiner, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award.

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Sierra Nelson and Gretchen Bennett

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation-artist. Her books include I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press) made with artist Loren Erdrich and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily), and her poems have appeared in journals such as Crazyhorse, Pleiades, Tin House, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), she is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Jack Straw Writers Program, Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's CityArtist Grant. She is also co-founder of The Typing Explosion and Vis-a-Vis Society, and president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. She teaches creative writing in Seattle, Friday Harbor, and Rome, Italy. For more info: songsforsquid.tumblr.com

Gretchen Frances Bennett is a visual artist who combines large-format color pencil drawings with everyday life moments and gestures. Recently, she has been converting her drawings to photographs and exploring personal essay. This year, Bennett’s work was included in the exhibition The Potato Eaters at the Greg Kucera Gallery, SEA. In recent years, she has exhibited her work at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, SEA; for a solo show at Vignettes, SEA; and at Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, NL. In 2014, she received the Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award. In 2012 she presented a project with the Drawing Center and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY. And in 2010, she won a LMCC artist residency on Governors Island, NY. For more info: gretchenfrances.tumblr.com & momaps1.org

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Sierra Nelson and ilvs strauss

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation artist. Her books include forthcoming poetry collection The Lachrymose Report (Poetry NW Editions), lyrical adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press), and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily). Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), Nelson is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and a Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's City Artist Grant. She is also co-founder of literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and founding president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. For more info: songsforsquid.tumblr.com

ilvs strauss is an analytical chemist turned multi-disciplinary performance artist and theater tech living and making work in Seattle. Her art cuts a wide swath across disciplines, ranging from Dance Narrative performance to anamorphic outdoor sculptures, illustrated storytelling (a.k.a. Slide Shows) to haiku poetry. She also leads workshops on writing, movement, performance and the ever amusing combination of all three. Her solo piece, Manifesto was listed in Dance Magazine’s BEST of 2014 list (exclamation point). Most recently, she wrote, directed and acted in her first play, Deep Space Lez: Episode 1. More information, pertinent and otherwise, can be found at ilvsstrauss.com

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Hoa Nguyen

Hoa Nguyen is the author of As Long As Trees Last, Red Juice, and the forthcoming Violet Energy Ingots (all from Wave Books). She teaches poetics at Ryerson University, Miami University, and the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College.

"Nguyen remains one of the most powerful, vivid, and even visceral contemporary poets working today." —Dan Shewan, The Rumpus

Read a letter from a former workshop poet on Hoa’s poems and poetry workshop here on the Volta.

More on Hoa Nguyen and her work can be found on her website.

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Melanie Noel and Sierra Nelson

Melanie Noel is the author of The Monarchs (Stockport Flats, 2013). Her poems have also appeared in Weekday, Spiral Orb, La Norda Especialo and THE ARCADIA PROJECT.

Sierra Nelson (Typing Explosion, Vis-à-Vis Society), poet, performer, and text-based artist, is author of I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal) and chapbook “In Case of Loss.” Earning her MFA from U.W. (2002), she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and teaches in Seattle, Friday Harbor, and Rome, Italy.

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Geoffrey Nutter

Geoffrey Nutter is the author of A Summer Evening (winner of the 2001 Colorado Prize), Water’s Leaves & Other Poems (Winner of the 2004 Verse Press Prize), Christopher Sunset (winner of the 2011 Sheila Motton Book Award), The Rose of January (Wave Books, 2013), and Cities at Dawn (Wave Books, 2016). He has taught poetry at Princeton, Columbia, University of Iowa, NYU, and the New School, and currently teaches Greek and Latin Classics at Queens College. He runs the Wallson Glass Poetry Seminars in New York City.

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Alissa Nutting

Alissa Nutting is the author of the novel, Tampa, and the short story collection Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, which won the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction. Her fiction has appeared in The Norton Introduction to Literature, Tin House, Bomb, and Conduit; her essays have appeared in Fence, the New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, and other venues.

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Tea Obreht

Téa Obreht’s writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Zoetrope: All-Story, The New York Times, and The Guardian, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading. Her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife (Random House) won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2011 and she was named one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty by The New Yorker.

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Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill is a novelist, the coeditor of two anthologies of essays, and the author of several children’s books. Her second novel, the acclaimed Dept. of Speculation, was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review.

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Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo is a Writer, Editor and Internet Yeller. Her work has been published in The Guardian, TIME, MTV, Hazlitt, The Stranger and more. She is the Editor at Large at The Establishment – a media platform run and funded by women.

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Wendy C. Ortiz

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hazlitt, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among other places. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlund’s novel, After the Parade (Scribner), will be released in September and is a B&N Discover Pick. Her story collection, The Bigness of the World (2009), received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the California Book Award for First Fiction.

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Whitney Otto

Whitney Otto is the author of five novels. How To Make an American Quilt was a New York Times Best Seller, a New York Times Notable Book, adapted into a feature film produced by Steven Spielberg. Now You See Her was nominated for an Oregon Book Award, and optioned for film. The Passion Dream Book was a Los Angeles Times bestseller, optioned for a film, and an Oregonian Book Club selection. A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity was a Multnomah County Library selection. Eight Girls Taking Pictures was nominated for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her novels have been published in fourteen languages.

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Andrew Palmer

Andrew Palmer's fiction and nonfiction has been published in Salon, Slate, McSweeney's, the websites of The New Yorker and The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He was a 2013-'14 Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

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Laurie Parker

Laurie Parker has written screenplays for directors Jane Campion (Lucky, from the memoir by Alice Sebold), Alison Maclean (original ‘+1’), Christine Jeffs (Horse Heaven, from the novel by Jane Smiley) and Rodrigo Rey Rosa (from his novel Cárcel de Árboles).

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Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. Her second collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in February 2017. Morgan received her Bachelors in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Columbia University and her MFA in Poetry from NYU. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, as well as anthologized in Why I Am Not A Painter (Argos Books), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, and Best American Poetry 2016. Winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize and a Cave Canem graduate fellow, Morgan lives with her dog Braeburn in Brooklyn, NY. She works as an Editor for Little A and Day One. She also teaches creative writing and co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series with Tommy Pico. With poetAngel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She is a Sagittarius.

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Molly Peacock

Molly Peacock is a poet, biographer, essayist, and short fiction writer whose multi-genre literary life has taken her from New York City to Toronto, from poetry to prose, from words to words-and-pictures, and from lyric self-examination to curiosity about the lives of others. Her newest book is The Analyst: poems. The Analyst tells the story of a decades-long patient-therapist relationship that reverses after the analyst’s stroke and continues to evolve. She is also the author of the best-selling biography The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 (McClelland & Stewart in Canada, Scribe in Australia and New Zealand; Bloomsbury in the US and UK ). Beginning her literary life as a poet, she has published six books of poetry, including The Second Blush (W.W. Norton and Company; McClelland & Stewart) and Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems (W.W. Norton and Company; McClelland & Stewart).

Her poetry is included in The Oxford Book of American Poetry as well as Canadian anthologies. Among her other works are a memoir, Paradise, Piece By Piece, and How To Read a Poem & Start a Poetry Circle. As well, she is the editor of a collection of creative non-fiction, The Private I: Privacy in a Public World, and the co-editor of Poetry in Motion: One Hundred Poems from the Subways and Buses. Peacock inaugurated and serves as the General Editor for the Best Canadian Poetry in English.

Molly Peacock’s first foray into fiction is Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions with illustrations by Kara Kosaka (McClelland & Stewart, November 2014).

More at mollypeacock.org

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Annie Pearson

Annie Pearson is a Seattle writer, author of three contemporary novels and (as E.A. Stewart) a historical fiction series set in the Languedoc crusades. She is also managing editor at Jugum Press, which publishes eclectic fiction and nonfiction, including The Sky High Road by Moses L. Howard. During her technical writing career, her reading turned to early social-issue novelists like Elizabeth Gaskell. She currently reads contemporary writers like Tana French who explore the complexities enveloping people whose lives are in crisis. Pearson’s teaching focuses on sharing technical skills with writers who want more from their tools and more methods for finding readers.

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Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of three novels, most recently The Dead Lands, a post apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga. He is also the author of Red Moon and The Wilding, as well as two books of short stories. His honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics.

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Brenda Peterson

Brenda Peterson is the author of 17 books. Her memoir I Want to Be Left Behind was selected as a “Top Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Year” by The Christian Science Monitor. Her first memoir Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals, was a “Best Spiritual Book of the Year.” Since 1990, Peterson has taught private classes and helped many of her student publish.

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Deborah Poe

Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections “Keep,” the last will be stone, too (Stockport Flats), Elements (Stockport Flats), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords), as well as a novella in verse, Hélène (Furniture Press). Deborah also co-edited Between Worlds: An Anthology of Contemporary Fiction and Criticism (Peter Lang) and is working on finding a home for her first full-length novel. Her work has appeared in journals like Denver Quarterly, Court Green, Loose Change, Colorado Review, and Jacket2. Her visual works—including video poems and handmade book objects—have been exhibited at Pace University (New York City), Casper College (Wyoming), Center for Book Arts (New York City), University of Arizona Poetry Center (Tucson), University of Pennsylvania Kelly Writers House at Brodsky Gallery (Philadelphia), and ONN/OF “a light festival” (Seattle), as well as online with Elective Affinities, Peep/Show, Trickhouse, and The Volta. Associate professor of English at Pace University, Pleasantville, Deborah directs the creative writing program and founded and curates the annual Handmade/Homemade Exhibit. She has also taught at Western Washington University, Binghamton University, SUNY, the Port Townsend Writer’s Workshop in Washington, and Casa Libre en La Solana in Tucson and serves as Distinguished Visiting Writer for Seattle University during Winter Term 2016.

Teaching philosophy: At the heart of my teaching is the importance of questioning binary ways of thinking. To dig beyond like/dislike, good/bad, love/hate type dichotomies allows us to broaden ways of seeing—bridging not only diverse literary traditions but also ideas and cultural perspectives. I work to create a classroom environment that honors creative inquiry with intellectual commitment. I strive to create a space where students feel comfortable to take risks and to engage their imaginations as fully as possible through practice. My goal is to offer my students a challenge, which presses them to complicate their ideas without turning them off to the new and different. I aim to create an environment within which together we are always learning.

Writers you return to: I tried to answer this impossible question recently during a conversation with Rob Mclennan. See the last question.

Favorite writing advice: “What’s the difference between aspiration and ambition? One lets you breathe.—”From my poetry collection Our Parenthetical Ontology.

Past Student Feedback:
“She was so accessible and non-judgmental, and I could write about anything I wanted without worrying.”

“I can safely say that I have taken a lot of classes at Pace but this is one I think I am going to remember, probably because it was one I really enjoyed. As much as I did the assignments for you...I did them for me too! I would not be surprised if I emailed you in the near or far future asking for some advice or guidance. I took a great deal away from the class and had a wonderful time. Thanks so much.”

“There were little to no elements of the course that weren't valuable.”

“She is a skilled writer with knowledge of many great techniques, which helped me become a better writer. For instance, when I have writer’s block, I know of different exercises I can do to generate my thoughts.”


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Joan Fiset and Carol Poole

Joan Fiset's memoir Now the Day is Over received the King County Arts Commission Book Award. Namesake was released in October 2015. Her work has appeared in Calyx, the Seattle Review, Tarpaulin Sky, Trickhouse and others.

Carol Poole is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of Grits, Green Beans and the Holy Ghost: Memoirs of a Girl Monk (2015: Rose Hip Press).

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DA Powell

D. A. Powell is the author of five collections, including Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. His honors include the Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry, the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America and an Arts & Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Critic Stephen Burt, writing in the New York Times, said of D. A. Powell “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.” A former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University, Powell has taught at University of San Francisco, Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of Iowa’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Davidson College. He lives in San Francisco. In 2014 Graywolf released Repast: Tea, Lunch & Cocktails, a reissue of Powell’s first three collections with an introduction by novelist David Leavitt.

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Ann Randolph

Ann Randolph is considered one of the most gifted and innovative writer/performers in the U.S. Her Ovation Award winning solo show, Squeeze Box was produced Off Broadway by Mel Brooks. Ann just received “Best Solo Performer” by the LA Times for her current show, LOVELAND. Her personal essays have been featured on NPR, BBC, and PBS. She is a frequent headliner at spoken word events across the U.S. and is an award-winning MOTH storyteller. In addition to writing and performing, Ann is a leading faculty at Esalen and Kripalu with her widely popular Write Your Life Workshops. For more info - www.annrandolph.com

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Jon Raymond

Jon Raymond is the author of two novels, Rain Dragon and The Half-Life, and the short-story collection Livability. His work has appeared in Tin House, The Village Voice, Bookforum, and other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Roger Reeves

Roger Reeves is the author of King Me, a book of poetry. His work has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and Tin House, among others. He has been awarded an NEA Fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships.

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Karen Russell

Karen Russell is the author of the short story collections St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, as well as the novel Swamplandia!, which was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker’s debut fiction issue and on The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 list, and was chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists.

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Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. She received both a bachelor's and master's degree from UCLA. She has lived in Marin County in Northern California since 1971.
Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including The Niagara River (Grove Press, 2005); Say Uncle (2000); Elephant Rocks (1996); Flamingo Watching (1994), which was a finalist for both the Lamont Poetry Selection and the Lenore Marshall Prize; Strangely Marked Metal (1985); and Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983). A re-issue of her 2002 collection, Believe It or Not!, poems inspired by stories from the newspaper cartoon Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, has recently been re-released and re-titled as The Jam Jar Lifeboat & Other Novelties Exposed, (Red Berry Editions 2008). Ryan's first European collection, Odd Blocks: Selected and New Poems was published in England in August 2011. Her most recent collection, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, was nominated for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in April, 2011.
About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: "Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today's literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost."
Ryan's awards include the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, four Pushcart Prizes, and the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Her work has been selected four times for The Best American Poetry and was included in The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement in Community and Literature.
Ryan's poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, among other journals and anthologies. Ryan was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, Ryan was appointed the Library of Congress's sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

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Natasha Saje

Natasha Sajé teaches at Westminster College and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA. In 2014 she published a third book of poems, Vivarium, and a book of essays, Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory. www.natashasaje.com

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Shya Scanlon

Shya Scanlon is the author of In This Alone Impulse, Forecast, and Border Run. His new novel, The Guild of Saint Cooper, will be published in May 2015. He received his MFA from Brown University, where he was awarded the John Hawkes Prize in Fiction.

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David Schmader

David Schmader is a writer and performer whose solo plays include Straight and Letter to Axl. Since 2015, he's been the creative director of the award-winning nonprofit writing center for kids The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas.

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Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is an American novelist and short-story writer. His second novel The Confessions of Max Tivoli earned him comparisons to Proust and Nabokov from critic John Updike. His stories have appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and other national publications.

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Natalie Serber

Natalie Serber is the author of a memoir, Community Chest, and the story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, Inkwell, and Hunger Mountain. Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian, The Rumpus, Salon, and Fourth Genre. Natalie has been the recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, Tobias Wolff Award, and H.E. Francis Award, one of her stories was short listed in Best American Short Stories. She teaches fiction and the personal essay at Marylhurst University, the Attic Institute and at various conferences including Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Natalie received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Bob Shacochis

Bob Shacochis

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Nina Shapiro

Nina Shapiro has written in-depth, narrative pieces for two decades as a senior editor for Seattle Weekly and, currently, a reporter for The Seattle Times. Her work has also appeared in Salon, The Chicago Tribune and The Star of Johannesburg.

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Prageeta Sharma

Prageeta Sharma is the author of four poetry collections: Bliss to Fill, The Opening Question, Infamous Landscapes, and the recent Undergloom. She was a recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Award. She is a professor of English at the University of Montana.

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David Shields

David Shields is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including How Literature Saved My Life; Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of the year by more than thirty publications); The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead; Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award); and Salinger (co-written by Shane Salerno).

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Michael Shilling and NWFF

Michael Shilling is the author of Rock Bottom, a novel published by Little, Brown. The musical adaptation of the book was staged in 2014 by the Landless Theater Company. His stories have appeared in The Sun, Fugue, and Other Voices.

From NWFF:
Craig Downing has both taught film and produced films in Seattle, Haiti and Iceland. In Haiti, Craig was the senior media educator at the Haitian School of Journalism, while also producing documentaries for NGOs in the area. In Iceland, Craig was the camera and grip department head at Saga Film, assisting with international features and commercials. Craig also serves as the festival director for Couch Fest Films, and contributes reviews to Short of the Week.

Bernard Mann has more than ten years of experience in editing, having worked in multiple genres in Hollywood and Seattle. He has worked on documentaries, commercials, and narrative films. He began his career, with a degree from NYU's TV/Film school. He started digital editing in the early days of Apple Mac computers (do you remember the Radius Videovision card?), and loves to share his knowledge of editing software. His projects include editing the long form documentary Masters of Success, which starred Ed Asner, and shooting and editing a news genre film package for Costly Desires, a play about human trafficking. Recently he helped the Northwest Film Forum raise over 50K dollars, with a Kickstarter video he shot and edited. His short documentary film, School is Out, was selected for the Local Sightings Film Festival in 2013. Bernard has taught a film-making class at the Fremont Abbey for 8-12 yr olds, which included a film festival of their short films. He has been featured multiple times as a presenter for the Seattle Final Cut Pro Users group. He is an Apple Certified Pro in Final Cut Pro and Motion 5.

Jonah Kozlowski is a filmmaker and educator who specializes in documentary storytelling. He has 6 years of experience working with youth from ages 4 to 18 in the classroom and in innovative media programs, which he designed for the Spokane nonprofit, Tincan. Under Jonah's instruction, students produced award-winning documentary shorts, media installations, news broadcasts, and music videos. He holds degrees in Communication and Anthropology from Washington State University and has worked in 7 countries. Jonah continues to work in media locally and internationally, most recently helping to build the Seattle-based non-profit, ChangeStream Media.

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Jennie Shortridge

Jennie Shortridge is an acclaimed and nationally best-selling novelist with five novels under her belt, including her latest, Love Water Memory. She has been teaching writing craft for more than ten years, and is a co-founder of Seattle7Writers.org.

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Carter Sickels

Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Evening Hour, a Finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Award, the Lambda Literary Debut Fiction Award, and the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Debut Fiction Award. He currently teaches for West Virginia Wesleyan University’s Low-Residency MFA Program.

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Martha Silano

Martha Silano's most recent books are Reckless Lovely (Saturnalia, 2014) and, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press, 2013). She edits Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.

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Matthew Simmons

Matthew Simmons is the author of the books A Jello Horse (Publishing Genius Press, 2009) and Happy Rock (Dark Coast Press, 2013), as well as a contributor to HTML Giant (htmlgiant.com). He has an MFA from Warren Wilson College.

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Mona Simpson

Mona Simpson’s novels include My Hollywood, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road, The Lost Father and Anywhere But Here. Her books have won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize, the Whiting Writer’s Award, and placed as finalist for the PEN/FAULKNER award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and a Lila Wallace Prize. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and letters. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harpers, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s and The Paris Review. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she lives in Santa Monica, California. Her most recent novel, Casebook, was released in April, 2014 by Knopf.

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Imani Sims

Imani Sims is a stiletto-loving Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. She believes in the healing power of words and the transformational nuance of the human story. Her book (A)live Heart is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press.

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Jason Skipper

Jason Skipper’s debut novel Hustle was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction. His work has appeared in Hotel Amerika, Mid-American Review, and Pembroke, and he has received awards and recognition from Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, and Crab Orchard Review. In addition, he is the recipient of a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, grants from Artist Trust and the Vermont Studio Center, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses and Best of the Web anthologies. He teaches at Pacific Lutheran University.

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Ed Skoog

Ed Skoog is the author of two books of poems, Rough Day and Mister Skylight, both published by Copper Canyon Press. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. He has been writer-in-residence at the Hugo House and George Washington University and a visiting professor at the University of Montana.

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Alexis Smith

Alexis M. Smith was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Her debut novel, Glaciers (Tin House), has been translated into Spanish and Italian. It was a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and a World Book Night 2013 selection. Alexis attended Mount Holyoke College and Portland State University, and she holds an MFA from Goddard College. Her interests include trail-running, beach-combing, bird-watching, and jammaking. In 2015 she received a grant from Regional Arts & Culture Council and a fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. She lives with her son in Portland, Oregon.

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Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith is the author of six critically-acknowledged volumes of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, which was awarded the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress, was the winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy American Poets, and was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series winner (all from Coffee House Press); Close to Death and Big Towns, Big Talk (both from Zoland Books), and Life According to Motown, just released in a special 20th anniversary edition (Tia Chucha Press). She also edited the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir. Her contribution to the that anthology, the story “When They Are Done With Us,” won an award from Mystery Writers of America and was published in Best American Mystery Stories. She is a Cave Canem faculty member, a professor of English at CUNY/College of Staten Island and a faculty member of the Sierra Nevada MFA program.

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Rich Smith

Rich Smith is the author of Great Poem of Desire and Other Poems and All Talk, both from Poor Claudia. Find recent poems in Tin House, Okey-Panky, and Verse Daily. Rich was an actor and a playwright at the University of Missouri, but then started writing poetry and everything else took a back seat. He went on to Ohio University for his M.A. in Creative Writing, and then to the University of Washington for his M.F.A. Since then he has worked for community colleges and state universities, teaching everything from poetry to composition to “writing for the internet.” In addition to teaching for six years, Rich has also found work as a copywriter, a valet, a cook, a books columnist for City Arts, and now a books and theater critic for the Stranger.

Teaching philosophy: I borrow my broad teaching philosophy from a former teacher of mine, Richard Kenney, who says, “The syllabus is the syllabus for life: reading, writing, and conversation.” I like to establish a loose framework, a guiding theory or two, and then read and write around it to see if it holds up to scrutiny. For practice, I tend to assign lots of low-stakes exercises. Fun stuff you can scribble out on scratch paper or type into your phone, and that might turn into larger projects. If you’re interested in the pedagogy-nerd stuff that informs my philosophy, it might help you to know that for classes like this one I employ a more genre-based model. A number of composition scholars from various backgrounds inform my thoughts on this. These scholars include Sommers and Saltz and their work on student incomes, and also Bawarshi, Devitt, and Reiff on genre studies. Drawing from their work, I aim to design courses and create classroom environments that allow you rigorously to explore personal/professional interests and aesthetics, which may lead to greater investment on your part, and, in turn, to better writing. In order for that investment to pay off in the future, though, I want to teach you to be cognizant of the qualities that render your own writing "good," and to be aware of the fact that the definition of "good writing" changes based on what they are being asked to write and for whom. This applies to poetry just as well as it applies to memos. If you don’t know the rules of whatever poetry game you’re playing, then you can’t break them in surprising and interesting ways.

Writers I return to: Elizabeth Bishop, Frank O’Hara, William Gass, Walt Whitman, James Baldwin, Mary Ruefle, Dean Young, Toni Morrison, Christopher Hitchens, Jorge Louis Borges

Favorite writing advice: Be sure to take long walks.

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Matt Smith

Matt Smith was commissioned by Hugo House to write and perform All My Children in 2011, which he now tours internationally. He’s a partner on the web-based show Cookus Interruptus and a world-class fundraising auctioneer. He teaches improv at Freehold.

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Megan Snyder-Camp

Megan Snyder-Camp’s first poetry collection, The Forest of Sure Things, won the 2008 Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, FIELD, ZYZZYVA, the Sonora Review, the Cincinnati Review, 88, and on the PBS NewsHour.

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Rob Spillman

ROB SPILLMAN is editor of Tin House magazine and editorial advisor of Tin House Books. He was previously the book columnist for Details magazine. He has written for Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Premiere, Rolling Stone, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, and Vogue, among other magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. He has also worked for Random House, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker.

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Erin Sroka

Erin Sroka's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New New South and Oxford American. She is a recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, an Anne Cox Chambers Fellowship in Journalism, and a grant from the Durham Arts Council.

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David St. John

David St. John is the author of ten collections of poetry (including Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award), most recently, The Auroras. He is also the co-editor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry. He teaches in the Ph. D Program in Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Southern California and lives in Venice Beach.

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Greg Stump

Greg Stump’s work in comics includes the weekly strip Dwarf Attack and the acclaimed comic book series Urban Hipster. A longtime contributor to The Stranger and The Comics Journal, he was named "Illustrator of the Year" by Cartoonists Northwest in 2010.

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Aimee Suzara

Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer based in Oakland, CA whose mission is to create, and help others create, poetic and theatrical writing about race, gender and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. Her debut poetry book, SOUVENIR (WordTech Editions 2014) was a Finalist for the WILLA Award 2015 and her plays A HISTORY OF THE BODY and TINY FIRES were Finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2015 and 2016. A YBCAway awardee and Spirited Woman Fellow (AROHO), her theater and performance work has been presented nationally and staged at Berkeley Repertory Theater, CounterPULSE, the World Theater and Bindlestiff Studio and selected for PlayGround, United States of Asian America Festival, Emerging Performance Festival, The National One-Minute Play Festival, Utah Arts Festival, and APAture; she collaborated as a writer-performer with Deep Waters Dance Theater in 2007-2011 and with other groups such as the San Francisco State University University Dance Theater. She is a 4th season member of the Playground SF Writer's Pool at Berkeley Repertory Theater. An advocate for arts education, she has taught composition at Bay Area Colleges and Universities since 2006 and has offered workshops and coaching in creative writing since 2003. www.aimeesuzara.net

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Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is most recently the author of a memoir, The End of San Francisco, which won a Lambda Literary Award, and the editor of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?, an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book.

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Mary Szybist

Mary Szybist is a poet who is described by Robert Hass as having “a gift for music, a gift for aphorism, a gift for being haunted.” She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, and the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry for her most recent work, Incarnadine. She has also received fellowships and residencies from many institutions, such as the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy.

The National Book Award Committee calls Incarnadine, “a religious book for nonbelievers, or a book of necessary doubts for the faithful.” The language of the book explores the relationship between prayer and poem as it circles around the biblical moment of Annunciation, when Gabriel tells Mary she will birth the Son of God. Szybist has been interested in this relationship since childhood, “when I was young, I reached a point where I found myself unable to pray. I was devastated by it. I missed being able to say words in my head that I believed could be heard by a being, a consciousness outside me. That is when I turned to poetry.”

Her first book of poetry, Granted, has also received numerous praise and was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Szybist spent her childhood in Pennsylvania and earned degrees from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She now lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches English at Lewis & Clark College and is a faculty member of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.

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Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor’s most recent book is Flings, a collection of stories. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Tin House, and Bomb. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea is the author of twelve memoirs and novels. Her latest, Black Wave, is a mash-up of both genres.

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Sallie Tisdale

Sallie Tisdale is the author of several books, including Talk Dirty to Me and Stepping Westward. Her many essays have appeared in Harper’s, Antioch Review, Conjunctions, Threepenny Review, The New Yorker, and Tricycle, among other journals. Violation, a collection of essays, is being published this spring by Hawthorne Books. Tisdale is the 2013 recipient of the Regional Arts and Culture Council Literary Fellowship. She has received a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship, the James Phelan Literary Award, and was a Dorothy and Arthur Shoenfeldt Distinguished Writer of the Year. Tisdale is a long-time member of PEN and was a judge for the National Book Award in 2010.

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Corinne Manning and Anastacia Tolbert

Corinne Manning's work is forthcoming in Story Quarterly and has appeared in Drunken Boat, Arts & Letters, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, and as a chapbook through Alice Blue Review's Shotgun Wedding Series.

Anastacia Tolbert is a writer, Cave Canem Fellow, Hedgebrook Alumna, and Artist Trust EDGE Program Graduate. She is the writer, co-director, and co-producer of GOTBREAST? (2007), a documentary about the views of women regarding breast and body image. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published widely.

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Justin Torres

Justin Torres has published short fiction in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, the Washington Post, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and is currently a fellow at the NYPL’s Cullman Center. His debut novel, We the Animals, was a national best-seller and has been translated into fifteen languages.

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Emma Törzs

Emma Törzs is based in Minneapolis. She is the recipient of a 2015 O. Henry award, and her stories have appeared in journals such as Ploughshares, the Threepenny Review, Narrative, the Cincinnati Review, and Salt Hill, among others.

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Matt Trease

Matt Trease is an artist, IT Administrator, and astrology junkie living in Rainier Beach in south Seattle. His poems have appeared in The Cordite Poetry Review, filling Station, Otoliths, VLAK, small po(r)tions, Juked, Hotel Amerika, and Fact Simile, and other publications. He is the author of the chapbook Later Heaven: Production Cycles (busylittle1way designs, 2013). His idea of romance is an Exquisite Corpse. He is Temperance crossed with The Hierophant. He also makes good tacos.

Teaching Philosophy: There has to be lots of room for play and exploration without judgement. Each writer needs to be given some tools, yes, but mostly just room to find and set their own intentions. I believe that the classroom is place to explore lots of potential models, play games, and stumble into the many avenues for making sense of our thoughts and emotions.

Writers I return to: Bernadette Mayer, Ted Berrigan, Shiela E Murphy, Alice Notley, Yoko Ono, Mina Loy, Jackson MacLow, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Lorinne Niedecker, Amiri Baraka, Hoa Nguyen, CA Conrad, and Terrance Hayes among others

Favorite writing advice: There is no such thing as Writer's Block, only an unwillingness to play.

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Samantha Claire Updegrave

Samantha Claire Updegrave writes creative nonfiction, profiles, book reviews, and poetry. She's an MFA candidate at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts and assistant editor at Soundings Review.

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Luis Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea is a prolific and acclaimed author of fourteen books. His first book, Across the Wire, which draws from his experiences working with Tijuana garbage pickers, was named a New York Times Notable Book. Among his most celebrated works is The Devil’s Highway, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and nonfiction account of twenty-six Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert. He has taught writing workshops at Harvard University and elsewhere.

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Kirstin Valdez Quade

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, a New York Times Notable Book, which received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches at Princeton.

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Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg is the author of the novel Find Me and the story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth. She is the recent recipient of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, and an O. Henry Award. She currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is at work on a new collection of stories and a novel.

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Nance Van Winckel

Nance Van Winckel’s newest books are Ever Yrs., a novel in the form of a scrapbook and Pacific Walkers, her sixth collection of poems, a finalist for the 2014 Washington State Book Awards (U. of Washington Press, 2013). She is on the MFA faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Professor Emerita in Eastern Washington University. Her new “altered” visual-poetry book will be out in 2016 with Pleiades Press.

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Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins has appeared in Granta, One Story, the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, New Stories from the Southwest 2013, the New York Times, and elsewhere. She was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.”

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Vanessa Veselka

Vanessa Veselka is the author of the novel, Zazen, which won the 2012 PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for fiction. Her short stories appear in Tin House, YETI, and Zyzzyva. Her nonfiction is found in GQ, The Atlantic, Matter, The Atavist, and Salon, and is included in the 2013 Best American Essays.

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Jess Walter

Jess Walter is a former National Book Award finalist, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the author of eight books, including, most recently, We Live in Water, Stories (2013) and Beautiful Ruins (2012), a New York Times No. 1 best-seller and Notable Book of 2012. He also wrote The Financial Lives of Poets in 2009, which was Time Magazine’s No. 2 novel of the year.

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Elissa Washuta

Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is the author of My Body Is a Book of Rules, a memoir forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Third Coast. She recently received grants from Potlatch Fund, 4Culture, and Artist Trust, and she has been a Made at Hugo House Fellow. She serves as adviser and lecturer for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington.

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Kary Wayson

Kary Wayson’s poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Nation, Narrative, FIELD, Filter, The Best American Poetry 2007 and the 2010 Pushcart Prize anthology. Kary was a 2003 Discovery/The Nation award winner, and her chapbook, Dog & Me, was published in 2004 by LitRag Press. Her book, American Husband, won the Ohio State University Press/ The Journal Award in 2009. A 2012 The Stranger Genius Award nominee, Kary lives and works in Seattle.

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Chelsea Werner-Jatzke

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke is the author of Adventures in Property Management (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017) Thunder Lizard (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) (H_NGM_N, 2016). She is editorial director at Conium Review, and co-founder of Till, an annual writing residency at Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA. She has received support from Jack Straw Cultural Center as a writing fellow, from Artist Trust as an EDGE participant, and from the Cornish College Arts Incubator. She's received writing residencies from Vermont Studio Center and Ragdale Foundation. Werner-Jatzke has taught creative writing through Seattle Central Community College, worked as managing fiction editor for Pacifica Literary Review, and served on the board of Lit Crawl Seattle. She received her MFA from Goddard College. Chelseawernerjatzke.com

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Arisa White

Arisa White is an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbook Post Pardon, which was adapted into an opera, as well as the full-length collections Hurrah's Nest and A Penny Saved. Her debut collection, Hurrah's Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetry and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards, and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. One of the founding editors of HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. A regional representative for Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color, she is a 2013-14 recipient of an Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, a BFA faculty member at Goddard College, and features on the album WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Forthcoming from Augury Books, in fall 2016, is her third full-length collection, you’re the most beautiful thing that happened. arisawhite.com

Teaching philosophy: Through my instruction I provoke workshop participants to think of who they are and to pay attention to what is at stake when writing. The writer has to know what he or she brings in order to know what is being used to one's advantage or what needs to be discarded. Which is why I include embodiment exercises as a part of my workshops. Directed meditation and movement activities help to situate the writer in their body before the writing begins. Doing so creates more spaciousness from which to resource their creativity and to connect the writing to more than just the mind’s story, but the bodymind’s story. I believe it is important to approach writing as alive as you can be—to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually present. I find that leading participants through a series of questions to generate writing—questions that approach the subject from unexpected angles and perspectives, that are emotionally rigorous, that mine the psychic depths, and foster a fresh way of sensing the experiences they intend to bring to the page. But more importantly, participants are reminded that they have much to say and possess a voice that is rich and ripe for the sharing.

Writers I always return to: Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Tyehimba Jess, and Adrienne Rich.

Favorite writing advice: “Follow your obsessions,” which poet Dara Wier imparted on me when I was feeling insecure about the subject matter I was choosing for my work. It was the permission I needed to write what I was moved to write—to allow the heart to direct the creative act.

Past Student Feedback:
"Thank you for the powerful workshop tonight-- the questions you guided us through were really generative for me. I especially appreciated the emphasis on tuning in to how we were feeling in our bodies/ where we feel things. Thank you also for sharing your work with us and for cultivating a space open to risk-taking and exploring vulnerabilities."

"Thank you so much for such an important workshop. I feel so deeply privileged to have been able to spend that time under your guidance. I learned a lot that I will keep with me for the rest of my life."

"Arisa, I can't thank you enough for creating such a powerful and inspiring afternoon! I found the movement between body and mind so useful, and really think I'm going to try some of that shaking/breathing into my own practice."

"It was a powerful and inspiring evening. It definitely put me in touch with my writing in a different way."

"You can ask yourself really personal questions to get a way into talking about difficult subjects."

"Rethinking how I go about writing poems, asking myself drastic questions can help me get out my writing style."

"I had more thoughts and ideas than I thought I would. I was surprised with what I came up with."

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Phillip B. Williams

Phillip B. Williams is author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels, Burn, and Thief in the Interior. He is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, West Branch, Blackbird, and others.

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Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose recent books are The Interestings and the YA novel Belzhar. Wolitzer reviews books frequently for NPR’s All Things Considered, and in 2013, with singer-songwriter Suzzy Roche, she was a guest artist at Princeton University.

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Cecilia Woloch

Cecilia Woloch is the author of six collections of poems, most recently Earth (Two Sylvias Press 2014) and a novel, Sur la Route (Quale Press 2015). An NEA fellowship recipient, she teaches independently throughout the U.S. and around the world.

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Mark Wunderlich

Mark Wunderlich’s books include the Lambda Literary Award-winning The Anchorage (University of Massachusetts Press, 1999) and the forthcoming The Earth Avails (Graywolf, 2014). He has received the Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

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Wendy Xu

Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (CSU Poetry Center, 2013) and the recipient of a 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing at CUNY.

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Tiphanie Yanique

Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the short story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, published by Graywolf Press in 2010 and the novel Land of Love and Drowning, published by Riverhead/Penguin. BookPage listed her as one of the 14 Women to watch out for in 2014.

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Dean Young

Dean Young has published ten books of poems, most recently Bender, New and Selected, as well as a book of prose on poetry, The Arts of Recklessness. He currently teaches poetry writing at the University of Austin, Texas.

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Avery Young

Avery R. Young is a multi-displinary artist, Cave Canem alum and 3Arts Awardee whose work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets and other anthologies. His first full-length album booker t. soltreyne: a race rekkid is available online.

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Lidia Yuknavitch

Lidia Yuknavitch is the acclaimed author of seven books, including The Small Backs of Children (Harpers) and The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books), and a TED Talk titled “The Beauty of Being a Misfit.” She is a seasoned teacher of writing & literature, and has crafted her body-centered art-making philosophy into an international groundbreaking workshop practice—Corporeal Writing. She is the recipient of the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction for the Oregon Book Awards, as well as two Reader’s Choice awards, a PNBA award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Pen Center Creative Nonfiction Award. She is a very good swimmer. She writes, teaches and lives in Portland, Oregon with the filmmaker Andy Mingo and their renaissance-man son, Miles.

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Maged Zaher

Maged Zaher is the author of Thank You for the Window Office (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012) and two other books of poetry.

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Jenny Zhang

Jenny Zhang is a poet, writer and performer living in New York. She’s the author of the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find (Octopus Books) and a regular contributor to Rookie. She will be visiting Seattle in March as APRIL’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence. You can find her at jennybagel.com and on Twitter.

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