UW Castalia MFA Program Presents: Monthly Readings
Hugo House welcomes back Castalia—University of Washington MFA program's monthly reading series featuring graduate students, faculty, and alumni. Showcasing published and unpublished drafts of work by authors from a variety of disciplines, professional backgrounds, and age demographics, Castalia offers authors a platform for community reading while putting their work in conversation with other voices, styles, concerns, and identities.
This event features readings from Jessica Rae Bergamino, David Nikki Crouse, Usama Lali, Martha Ryan, and Anthony Warnke.
DAVID NIKKI CROUSE is author of the short story collections The Man Back There, winner of the Mary McCarthy Award in Short Fiction, Copy Cats, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award, and the forthcoming I’m Here: Alaska Stories. Their collection of novellas, Trouble Will Save You, was published recently by the University of Colorado Press. They have also written horror comic books for Dark Horse Publishing and a graphic novel about a trans superheroine. Nikki is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Washington-Seattle, where they direct the MFA Program.
JESSICA RAE BERGAMINO is the author of UNMANNED, winner of Noemi Press' Poetry Prize, as well as chapbooks from dancing girl press and Sundress Publications. Once she files some paperwork, she'll hold a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. These days, she calls Seattle home.
MARTHA RYAN is a writer and educator who is just about to have an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, Seattle. Her work tends to ignore genre convention and often insists upon discomfort and dislocation. She received a bachelor's degree in Global Health from the University of Southern California in 2016. A 2017 Fulbright scholar, Martha has published her public health research contributions in a handful of peer-reviewed journals including Social Science and Medicine, JAMA Open, Sexual Health and Reproductive Matters, and Health Economics. Her creative works are published or forthcoming from Foglifter, Fugue, and Channel.
ANTHONY WARNKE’s poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and has appeared in Cimarron Review, North American Review, and Salt Hill, among other journals. His chapbook, Super Worth It, was selected for the 2021 Emerging Poets Series from Newfound Press. He was a finalist for the 2022 New Millennium Writing Award in poetry. Anthony also publishes scholarship on community colleges and is an amateur jazz vocalist. He teaches writing at Green River College.
USAMA LALI is a Pakistani writer working with English, Urdu and Punjabi, currently finishing his second year at the UW MFA program on the prose track. He is a recipient of the David Guterson Award 2023 and a Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlistee whose Punjabi poetry translations have appeared in Pancham and fiction is forthcoming in Addastories. You can find him on instagram @usamalali and twitter @usamalali_