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Teachers

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.

  • Headshot of Beverly Aarons

    Beverly Aarons

  • Headshot of Darcie Abbene

    Darcie Abbene

  • Headshot of Carolyn Abram

    Carolyn Abram

  • Headshot of Carolyn Abram

    Carolyn Abram

  • Headshot of Samar Abulhassan

    Samar Abulhassan

  • Hugo House logo

    Joanna Acevedo

  • Hugo House logo

    Keliko Adams

  • Headshot of Mary Adkins

    Mary Adkins

  • Headshot of Dilruba Ahmed

    Dilruba Ahmed

  • Headshot of Dilruba (Ruba) Ahmed

    Dilruba (Ruba) Ahmed

  • Headshot of Naa Akua

    Naa Akua

  • Headshot of Anastacia Reneé

    Anastacia Reneé

  • Headshot of Jordan Alam

    Jordan Alam

  • Headshot of Steve Almond

    Steve Almond

  • Headshot of Yasmine Ameli

    Yasmine Ameli

  • Headshot of Meredith Arena

    Meredith Arena

  • Headshot of Sally Ashton

    Sally Ashton

  • Headshot of Jami Attenberg

    Jami Attenberg

  • Headshot of Peter Bacho

    Peter Bacho

  • Headshot of Nazry Bahrawi

    Nazry Bahrawi

  • Headshot of Taneum Bambrick

    Taneum Bambrick

  • Headshot of Ellen Bass

    Ellen Bass

  • Headshot of Kaveh Bassiri

    Kaveh Bassiri

  • Headshot of Gabrielle Bates

    Gabrielle Bates

Headshot of Beverly Aarons

Beverly Aarons

Beverly Aarons is a writer and game developer. She works across disciplines as a copywriter, journalist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and short-story writer. She explores futuristic worlds in fiction but also enjoys discovering the stories of modern-day unsung heroes. She’s currently working on a series of nonfiction stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their local communities and the world. In August 2018 she produced a live-action game and event where community members worked together to envision an economic future they truly desired to leave future generations. She’s currently writing an immersive play about the themes of migration.

Headshot of Darcie Abbene

Darcie Abbene

Pronouns: she/her

Darcie Abbene is the managing and nonfiction editor at the Green Mountains Review, part time faculty at Northern Vermont University, an editorial project manager for School Library Journal, and a writing coach and manuscript editor for WriteByNight. She has published nonfiction essays in Tupelo Quarterly, Whitefish Review, and forthcoming in Teachers and Writers Magazine. She writes book reviews for Necessary Fiction, Split Rock Review, and Kirkus Reviews. Darcie is working on a novel and a collection of essays on teaching and recently graduated from the Stonecoast MFA program and holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Vermont. Visit https://www.darcieabbene.com/ for more information or follow @DarcieAbbene on social media.

Headshot of Carolyn Abram

Carolyn Abram

Pronouns: she/her

Carolyn Abram is a Seattle-based writer. Her work tends to focus on the intersection of technology and everyday life. Her short fiction has appeared in various publications, including the New California Writing Anthology and The Offbeat. Her work has also appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Lilith. She is the author of eight editions of Facebook for Dummies. She holds degrees from Stanford and California College of the Arts.

Website: carolynabram.com

Headshot of Carolyn Abram

Carolyn Abram

Pronouns: she/her

Carolyn Abram is a Seattle-based writer. Her work tends to focus on the intersection of technology and everyday life. Her short fiction has appeared in various publications, including the New California Writing Anthology and The Offbeat. Her work has also appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Lilith. She is the author of eight editions of Facebook for Dummies. She holds degrees from Stanford and California College of the Arts.

Website: carolynabram.com

Headshot of Samar Abulhassan

Samar Abulhassan

Samar Abulhassan is a Jack Straw Writer and holds an M.F.A. from Colorado State University. She’s worked in California public schools for seven years. Born to Lebanese immigrants and raised with multiple languages, she is a 2006 Hedgebrook alum and the author of six chapbooks, including Farah and Nocturnal Temple. Samar has worked with Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools since 2008. Samar also recently participated in the 2018 Skagit River Poetry Festival. In 2016, Samar received a CityArtist grant to aid in completing a novel-in-poems reflecting on memory, longing, and the Arabic alphabet. Samar often finds inspiration in images and places and replicates these techniques in her teaching. She has explored Pike Place Market and the Seattle waterfront, both of which influenced her work.

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Joanna Acevedo

Pronouns: she/they

Joanna Acevedo (she/they) is the Pushcart-nominated author of the chapbooks List of Demands (Bottlecap Press, 2022) and Outtakes (WTAW Press, forthcoming) and Unsaid Things (Flexible Press, 2021). She received her MFA in Fiction from New York University in 2021.

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Keliko Adams

Headshot of Mary Adkins

Mary Adkins

Pronouns: she/her

Mary Adkins is author of the novels When You Read This (Indie Next Pick, Best Book of 2019 by Real Simple), Privilege (Today.com Best Summer Read), and Palm Beach (New York Post Best Book of 2021). Her books are published in 13 countries. 

Headshot of Dilruba Ahmed

Dilruba Ahmed

Pronouns: she/her

Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas), and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.

Website: www.dilrubaahmed.com

Instagram: dilruba_ahmed20, https://www.instagram.com/dilruba_ahmed20/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dilruba.ahmed Web: https://www.dilrubaahmed.com/writing-lab

Headshot of Dilruba (Ruba) Ahmed

Dilruba (Ruba) Ahmed

Pronouns: she/her

Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas), and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.

Website: www.dilrubaahmed.com

Instagram: dilruba_ahmed20, https://www.instagram.com/dilruba_ahmed20/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dilruba.ahmed Web: https://www.dilrubaahmed.com/writing-lab

Headshot of Naa Akua

Naa Akua

Pronouns: they/them

Naa Akua, is a New York-born poet, actor, educator, and sound-word practitioner who is Ghanaian/Bajan and queer. Akua uses the vibratory energy of sound and the intent of words as a vehicle towards healing. Akua, former 2019 Citizen University Poet-in-Residence is a Writers in the Schools (Seattle Arts & Lectures) Writer-in-Residence at Franklin High School, Hugo House teacher, and Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) youth facilitator. www.naaakua.com

Headshot of Anastacia Reneé

Anastacia Reneé

Pronouns: She/They

Anastacia-Reneé (She/They) is a queer writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, speaker and podcaster. She is the author of (v.) (Black Ocean) and Forget It (Black Radish) and, Here in the (Middle) of Nowhere and Sidenotes from the Archivist, forthcoming from Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins). They were selected by NBC News as part of the list of “Queer Artist of Color Dominate 2021’s Must See LGBTQ Art Shows.” Anastacia-Renee was former Seattle Civic Poet (2017-2019), Hugo House Poet-in-Residence (2015-2017), Arc Artist Fellow (2020) and Jack Straw Curator (2020). Her work has been anthologized in: Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature, Home is Where You Queer Your Heart, Furious Flower Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, Afrofuturism, Black Comics, And Superhero Poetry, Joy Has a Sound, Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden, and Seismic: Seattle City of Literature. Her work has appeared in, Hobart, Foglifter, Auburn Avenue, Catapult, Alta, Torch, Poetry Northwest, A-Line, Cascadia Magazine, Hennepin Review, Ms. Magazine and others. Renee has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Ragdale, Mineral School, and The New Orleans Writers Residency.

Headshot of Jordan Alam

Jordan Alam

Jordan Alam is a queer Bangladeshi American writer, performer, therapist, and former doula (forever #birthnerd). Their short stories and articles have been published in The Atlantic, SeattleMet, Autostraddle, CultureStrike Magazine, Entropy, and The Rumpus among others. They have performed on stage and facilitated workshops on embodied writing nationwide, most recently at Kundiman, Hugo House, and Town Hall Seattle. They are currently working on a debut novel about family secrets told from the points of view of four Bangladeshi American women in the aftermath of their mother's unexpected death. You can follow them on Instagram at @jordan_alam or find out more about their work at jordanalam.com.

Headshot of Steve Almond

Steve Almond

Steve Almond [www.stevealmondjoy.org] is the author of a dozen books, including the NYT Bestsellers “Candyfreak” and “Against Football.” He’s the recipient of an NEA grant for 2022 and teaches at Harvard and Wesleyan. His work has been published in the Best American Short Stories, the Best American Mysteries, Best American Erotica, and the New York Times Magazine. His first novel, “Which Brings Me to You” was made into a major motion picture starring Lucy Hale. His second novel, “All the Secrets of the World,” is under development by 20th Century Fox. His new book, “Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow” is about craft, where stories come from, and the struggle to write.

Headshot of Yasmine Ameli

Yasmine Ameli

Pronouns: she/her

Yasmine Ameli is an Iranian American writer. Her work appears in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Sun, BWR, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing and works independently as a holistic writing coach.

Website: yasmineameli.com

Instagram: @yasmineameli

Headshot of Meredith Arena

Meredith Arena

Pronouns: she/they

Meredith Arena is a queer writer and interdisciplinary teaching artist from New York City with 18 years of teaching experience with youth ages 5-15, both in afterschool and school-day arts integration. She likes to challenge authority, play theater games, garden, draw and wander. Her work can be found in various journals including Longleaf Review, Entropy, Lunch Ticket, and Peatsmoke. She holds an MFA in creative writing and a Certificate in the Teaching of Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She hopes her students tune into their inherent creativity so they can access it when they most need it.

Headshot of Sally Ashton

Sally Ashton

Pronouns: she/her

Sally Ashton is a poet, writer, teacher, and editor-in-chief of DMQ Review, an online journal featuring poetry and art. Publishing in three genres, she is the author of five books of poems including the just-released Listening to Mars (Cornerstone Press, 2024) and The Behaviour of Clocks (WordFarm, 2019). She lives in California where she taught writing at San José State University for ten years and continues to teach workshops locally, Zoom, and currently online through Hugo House. Her prose poem “4.6 Billion Years” will go to the Moon as part of the Lunar Codex project via the Griffin/VIPER mission in 2024. Learn more at www.sallyashton.com. 

Headshot of Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg is the author of seven books of fiction, including: Instant LoveThe Kept ManThe Melting SeasonThe MiddlesteinsSaint Mazie, and All Grown Up. Her most recent novel is All This Could Be Yours (2019), which was included on the Best of Fall lists from People, Vogue, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Observer, Bust, Nylon, New York Post, Pop Sugar, and more.

Attenberg is also the author of the memoir I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home (2022). In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” by Entertainment Weekly and the “poet laureate of difficult families” by Kirkus Reviews—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it? Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.

About All This Could Be Yours, Emma Cline, author of The Girls, says, “Jami Attenberg’s work is so deeply attuned to humans and our imperfect attempts to love each other. All This Could Be Yours is populated by Attenberg’s pitch-perfect characters; flawed, recognizable people dealing with big topics–death, family, sex, love–and Attenberg handles it all with an expert touch and a keen sense of what, despite all the sadness and secrets, keeps people connected, striving for moments of beauty and tenderness in a dark world.”

Attenberg has written about food, travel, books, relationships and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, Slate, and others. Her work has been published in a total of sixteen languages.

She lives in New Orleans, LA.

Headshot of Peter Bacho

Peter Bacho

Pronouns: he/him

Peter Bacho is the author of seven books: Cebu, Dark Blue Suit, Boxing in Black and White, Nelson’s Run, Entrys, and Leaving Yesler. His latest book, Uncle Rico's Encore, was released earlier this year. His books have received several awards, including the 1992 American Book Award. He is an adjunct professor at The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus. Bacho was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in Seattle’s Central District.

Headshot of Nazry Bahrawi

Nazry Bahrawi

Nazry Bahrawi is an academic and translator from Singapore currently residing in Seattle. He teaches modules on Southeast Asian science and speculative fiction as well as racial narratives from the region at the University of Washington-Seattle, where he is an assistant professor. Nazry is the editor and translator of Singa-Pura-Pura, a short story anthology of Malay speculative fiction. He has translated Lost Nostalgia and Lorong Buang Kok, The Musical from Malay to English. He is an editor-at-large at Wasafiri magazine and the essay & research editor for the Journal of Practice, Research and Tangential Activities (PR&TA).

Headshot of Taneum Bambrick

Taneum Bambrick

Pronouns: she/they

Taneum Bambrick is the author of Intimacies, Received (Copper Canyon Press, Sept 27th 2022) and Vantage, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Award (American Poetry Review 2019). She received support from Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Vermont Studio Center. A 2020 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is currently a Dornsife Fellow in the PhD program at the University of Southern California. Her work appears in The New YorkerThe NationAcademy of American PoetsPEN, and elsewhere. 

Describe your teaching style.

I veer on the side of giving students more to say and do rather than trying to create limits. My hope is that students leave my classes feeling inspired to work on book-length projects, knowing our relationship is not limited to the classroom and that we can meet again later if they need to run ideas by someone.

Headshot of Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass

Poet and educator Ellen Bass is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her most recent book of poetry, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Previous books include Like a Beggar, a finalist for The Paterson Poetry Prize, The Publishers Triangle Award, The Milt Kessler Poetry Award, The Lambda Literary Award, and the Northern California Book Award; The Human Line; and Mules of Love, which won The Lambda Literary Award. Bass has also written works of nonfiction, including, with Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into twelve languages. The New Yorker has published ten of Bass’s poems throughout the years, and two have been chosen for The New Yorker podcast. In 2021, Bass was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Headshot of Kaveh Bassiri

Kaveh Bassiri

Pronouns: he/his

Kaveh Bassiri is a writer and translator. He is the author of 99 Names of Exile, winner of the Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and Elementary English, winner of the Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize. His poems have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2020, Best New Poets 2020, The Heart of a Stranger, and Somewhere We Are Human. Bassiri is the recipient of the 2022 & 2023 Tulsa Artist Fellowship and a 2019 translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He teaches creative writing at the University of Tulsa.

Website: kavehbassiri.com

Headshot of Gabrielle Bates

Gabrielle Bates

Gabrielle Bates is the author of Judas Goat (Tin House, 2023). A Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship finalist and recipient of support from Artist Trust, her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, PloughsharesAmerican Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she currently lives in Seattle, where she helps out at Open Books: A Poem Emporium and—with Luther Hughes and Dujie Tahat—co-hosts the podcast The Poet Salon. On Twitter (@GabrielleBates).