Past Fellows

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2020-21 Fellows


Brian Dang Author Photo 200x200Brian Dang

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Seattle-based playwright. They are currently a proud resident playwright with the Seattle playwriting group, Parley. For Brian, playwriting is an act of envisioning an eventual communing – of ideas and people in shared creation. Their writing has been workshopped with Pork Filled Productions, Karen’s Secret Army, Theatre Battery, and the Undergraduate Theater Society. Brian is also an arts administrator with Washington Ensemble Theater, passionate about educational equity, and on the side, they like to watch movies, revel in hopeless romanticism, pet cats, and eat bread. Brian is grateful for having somehow convinced the world they can read and write.

Brian will be completing a full-length play with the working title of murder by metaphor, which will engage with the tricky nature of finding agency in a capitalist nation state, and how theatre can sometimes reinforce the same relational power dynamics in depiction, representation, and poetics.


Cassidy DyceCassidy Dyce

Cassidy Dyce is a native of Ashburn, Virginia, and moved to Seattle after earning her Bachelor of Arts in English at Christopher Newport University. In 2018, she continued her studies of literature and writing oversea by matriculating at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Currently, she works as the writer’s assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Kwame Alexander. Her work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition. As a writer, she seeks to shine a brighter light on issues that confront minorities. Her goal is to foster literary inclusivity on a global scale while addressing struggles that exist among communities of color and other underrepresented constituencies.

Cassidy will be finishing her work-in-progress novel, Caricature, in which seven members of a Black Student Union are subjected to a vicious science experiment that causes them to confront and question their relationship with Blackness, their self-identity, and one another.


Clare JohnsonClare Johnson

Clare Johnson is a dyke-identified writer/artist originally from Seattle. For her writing, she’s received fellowships from Jack Straw, Mineral School, and Crosstown Arts. Publications include Poetry Northwest, Shake the Tree, Raven Chronicles, and Roses, a book pairing Rilke poems with her drawings. Exhibitions include Hugo House, Storefronts Seattle, and Guy’s Hospital (London), where her 35-drawing project about childhood asthma is permanently displayed. Other major projects include a 2017 production of Our Town combining handmade art and erasure poems from Thornton Wilder’s script into gesture-responsive animations on a 360-degree screen; her Post-it Note Project, excerpted in the Seattle Review of Books with monthly lyric essays; and a participatory coloring sheet mural on a Capitol Hill dumpster. She’s working on three community projects: a poster for Sound Transit, temporary art for the AIDS Memorial Pathway, and more participatory art decorating fencing around a Tiny House Village for people experiencing homelessness.

Clare will be completing her hybrid form poetry manuscript, Will I live here when I grow up, which uses small, interwoven pieces mixing current life with themes of historical westward migration and family histories.


Frances Lee Headshot Crop 1024x875Frances Lee

Frances Lee (they/them) is a nonfiction essayist and environmental justice communications strategist based in Suquamish Territory (Bremerton, WA). Frances’s creative practices are animated by a deep inquiry into the everyday practices and norms that structure the stories we tell one another as activists and justice seekers. They invite readers to examine the destructive ideologies we reproduce and perhaps choose a more humane path. Frances edited the anthology, Toward an Ethics of Activism: A Community Investigation of Humility, Grace and Compassion in Movements for Justice. Their essays have appeared in Yes! Magazine, CBC The Sunday Edition, Bitch Media, and more. They are the recipient of the Seventh Wave 2020 Bainbridge Residency and the Seattle Globalist 2019 Environmental Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

Frances is working on a collection of essays drawing on their experience as an activist in local and national movements to consider the nuances of activist culture, critique its dogma, and draw out ethical practices and core values that sustain activists and organizers over the long haul.


Stephanie Segura Author Photo 200x200Stephanie Segura

Stephanie Segura is a Southern California-born poet and the daughter of Central American immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, San Bernardino, where she drew inspiration from surrealist practices along with the desert heat. Her poetry explores a lineage of displacement through speculative testimony, audio transcriptions, and written recollections. She enjoys working with youth and has taught cultural enrichment for El Centro de La Raza. She will continue teaching youth at her newest home, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy. Her work is featured in Pacific Review Publication and Clamor. She holds an MFA in creative writing and poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell.

Stephanie plans to finish her first multi-media poetry manuscript, Open Door Behind You, a genealogy of generational trauma, memory, and dysfunctionality. The experimental writing in this manuscript examines what it means to inherit trauma and the ways in which it affects memory and the histories we pass down.


Arianne True

Arianne True is a poet and excitable human from Seattle and from the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. She grew up in the Seattle writing community, nurtured by YouthSpeaks and the Hugo House, and currently works as a teaching artist with Writers in the Schools and as a mentor for the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program. Arianne is also involved in other local arts communities, including performative mythology and Appalachian folk traditions. She’s queer, food-oriented, and passionate about her PNW home, and it all shows in her work. Arianne is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

This year, Arianne is planning to complete an experimental manuscript that asks the reader to engage with the decades-long effects of child abuse and what it means to steal and reclaim bodies. The manuscript is a museum in experimental poems, including galleries, notes from the curatorial staff, and a gift shop.


See Previous Years’ Fellows

2019-20 Fellows

Joyce Chen is a writer/editor/creator from LA who spent a decade in NYC before relocating back to the West Coast in fall 2017. She has covered entertainment and human interest stories for Rolling StonePaste magazine, Refinery29, the New York Daily News, and People, among others, and her creative writing credits include Slant’dLitHubNarratively, and Barrelhouse, among others. She has also contributed book reviews to Orion magazine and Hyphen magazine. Joyce is interested in topics like time, silence, and liminal spaces as they relate to agency, power, and intercultural understanding. She is the executive director of The Seventh Wave, a bicoastal arts and literary nonprofit that champions art in the space of social issues, and holds an MFA from The New School and a BA in journalism and psychology from USC.

Joyce is currently working on a collection of essays that examine the friction that arises from living with two sets of values that are often at odds with one another—the American ideals of independence and self-fulfillment and the Taiwanese values of family, community, and sacrifice—as experienced through different modes of time perception.


Shelby Handler is a queer Jewish writer and organizer living on Duwamish territory/Seattle. They are rooted to a diasporic lineage of home-making through language. Shelby is a founding member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Artist Council and a master teaching artist for Arts Corps and Youth Speaks Seattle, the city’s premier youth spoken word program. Their work has appeared in Gigantic SequinsglitterMOB, and the Write Bloody anthology We Will Be Shelter: Poems for Survival, among others.

Shelby is working on their first poetry manuscript. So far, it is a collection of holes: gaps, breakages and splits foraged from family, memory and history. The poems, in form and content, examine empty spaces and holes to ask what it means to belong to a parent, a family, a people, a land. The work hopes to transmute holes into openings, widening them into apertures for emergent kinships to shine through.


Piper Lane was born and raised in Homer, Alaska, and holds an MFA from the University of Washington and an MA from Ohio University. She coordinated the reading series Castalia, cofounded the Black Jaw Lit Series, and served as prose editor for the Seattle Review. She teaches creative writing at UW. She has an affinity for collecting bones from tide lines and country rail road tracks, and her work explores hard characters, hard light, and the way landscape shapes and shatters small, isolated communities. She won UW’s Eugene Van Buren award for fiction and Ohio University’s LitFest Nonfiction essay contest. In her work, she interrogates the mythologies haunting the landscapes of home, especially disrupting Alaska as the ‘last frontier.’

Piper will be working on her first novel, What The Sea Will Take, about a family of fishermen, exploring how the reverberations of generational trauma and sexual assault ripple out within tight-knit and isolated communities. In the book, a violent and tragic fishing accident reveals the conflicted, slippery questions of loyalty, responsibility, and guilt. Ultimately a tale of survival, it also illuminates the complex ways history and land embed and weave through relationships.


Sasha LaPointe is a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes. She received her MFA from The Institute of American Indian Arts with a focus on creative nonfiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in Hunger MountainLiterary Hub, the Rumpus, and Indian Country Today. Her memoir Red Paint is forthcoming by Counterpoint Press in 2021. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Sasha will complete a draft of her memoir, Red Paint. It is a memoir about resilience through lineage. The story explores the ways Sasha has survived sexual assault, PTSD, and other traumas, some lived and some passed down generationally. It is the story of how she moves through the world as a contemporary, indigenous woman, drawing parallels to the lives and experiences of her Salish ancestors.


Abi Pollokoff is a Seattle-based poet and book artist with work previously in CutBankPoetry Northwest, the Spectacle, and Black Warrior Review, among others. She has been the poet-in-residence for the Seattle Review of Books and The Alice, a reader for the Seattle Review, and editor-in-chief of the Tulane Review. Abi is the events manager for Open Books: A Poem Emporium, the managing editor for Poetry Northwest Editions, and a content director in visual communications. Her MFA is from the University of Washington (Seattle).

With the Hugo Fellowship, Abi will be working on a thorough revision of her manuscript-in-progress. A feminist ecopoetics, this project explores the semantic and sonic relationships of body, landscape, and language as they exist in the world today.


Jen Soriano (she/they) is a Filipinx-American writer whose work blurs the lines between nonfiction, surrealism, and poetry. Jen’s writing has appeared in TAYOPleiadesWaxwing, and other journals. Jen earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop and is a 2019 Jack Jones Fellow. They are the recipient of the 2019 Penelope Niven Prize and the 2019 Fugue Prize for creative nonfiction. She is a contributing editor for Slag Glass City. Jen lives in Seattle on unceded Duwamish territory, and is a proud nanay to her 5-year old son Teo and their 1-year old betta fish Arrow. When not writing or mothering, you can find them developing strategies to make social justice irresistible and inevitable, digging in the dirt, or cooking up something in the kitchen.

Jen plans to finish her lyric memoir on colonization, historical trauma, and the neuroscience of healing. She will also start work on an essay collection on cyborg mothering, which will explore how science and technology disrupt conventions of “natural” womanhood, “natural” mothering, and a “natural” gender binary with fixed gender roles.