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 Anca Szilágyi

    Anca Szilágyi

  • Headshot of Tess Taylor

    Tess Taylor

  • Headshot of Michelle Tea

    Michelle Tea

  • Headshot of Jay Aquinas Thompson

    Jay Aquinas Thompson

  • Headshot of L. Timmel Duchamp

    L. Timmel Duchamp

  • Headshot of Miriam Tobin

    Miriam Tobin

  • Headshot of Tina Tocco

    Tina Tocco

  • Headshot of Nicole Treska

    Nicole Treska

  • Headshot of Arianne True

    Arianne True

  • Headshot of Christie Valentin-Bati

    Christie Valentin-Bati

  • Headshot of Lydia K. Valentine

    Lydia K. Valentine

  • Headshot of Maria de Lourdes Victoria

    Maria de Lourdes Victoria

  • Headshot of Elizabeth Villamán

    Elizabeth Villamán

  • Headshot of Jaye Viner

    Jaye Viner

  • Headshot of Anna Vodicka

    Anna Vodicka

  • Headshot of Wendy Wagner

    Wendy Wagner

  • Headshot of Kris Waldherr

    Kris Waldherr

  • Headshot of Jeanine Walker

    Jeanine Walker

  • Headshot of Camille Wanliss

    Camille Wanliss

  • Headshot of Lyzette Wanzer

    Lyzette Wanzer

  • Headshot of Lisa Wells

    Lisa Wells

  • Headshot of Rachel Werner

    Rachel Werner

  • Headshot of Joe Wilkins

    Joe Wilkins

  • Headshot of Joshua Marie Wilkinson

    Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Headshot of Anca Szilágyi

Anca Szilágyi

Pronouns: she/her

Anca L. Szilágyi is the author of Daughters of the Air, which Shelf Awareness called “a striking debut ,” and Dreams under Glass, which Buzzfeed Books called "a novel for our modern times." Her writing appears in Newsweek, Los Angeles Review of Books, Orion Magazine, and Lilith Magazine, among other publications. She is the recipient of awards from Vermont Studio Center, Artist Trust, Hugo House, Jack Straw, 4Culture, and elsewhere. Originally from Brooklyn, she has lived in Montreal, Seattle, and now Chicago.

Twitter: @ancawrites

Instagram: @anca_szilagyi

Website: ancawrites.com

Headshot of Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor

Pronouns: she/ her

Tess Taylor, an avid gardener, is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry including Work & Days, which was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Tin House, The Times Literary Supplement, CNN, and the New York Times. She has also served as on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. Taylor is local to the Bay Area where she tends to fruit trees and backyard chickens.

Headshot of Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea is the author of over a dozen books, including Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My In/Fertility, forthcoming August 2022 from Dey Street/HarperCollins. She has been the recipient of awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, the California Library Association, and PEN/America. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. Author of the popular tarot how-to, Modern Tarot, Tea is the host of the mystical podcasts Your Magic on Spotify and Ask the Tarot, on SpotifyGreenroom. 

Headshot of Jay Aquinas Thompson

Jay Aquinas Thompson

Pronouns: they/he

Jay Aquinas Thompson (he/they) is a poet, essayist, and teacher with recent or forthcoming work in Interim, Pacifica Literary Review, Passages NorthCOAST | NoCOAST, and Poetry Northwest, where they're a contributing editor. Their poem "Poor and Carefree Strangers," published in FIVES: a Companion to Denver Quarterly, was a 2021–2022 Best of the Net nominee, and they're a 2021 Tin House Workshop alum. They've been awarded grants and fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Community of Writers, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and King County 4Culture. They live with their child in Washington state, where they teach creative writing to public school students and incarcerated women. Twitter @jayaquinas; Instagram @freshwater_merman

Headshot of L. Timmel Duchamp

L. Timmel Duchamp

L. Timmel Duchamp is the publisher of Aqueduct Press, which she founded in 2004. Her work has been on the Otherwise Honor list multiple times and a finalist for the Sturgeon, Nebula, Homer, and Sidewise awards. The five-volume Marq’ssan Cycle won a special Otherwise Award honor in 2009. In 2008 she appeared as a Guest of Honor at Wis­Con. In 2009-2010 she was awarded the Neil Clark Spe­cial Achievement Award (“recognizing individuals who are proactive behind the scenes but whose efforts often don’t receive the measure of public recognition they deserve”). In 2015 she was the Editor Guest at Arma­dillocon. She has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award twice, for her work as a publisher and editor. She has taught at the Clarion West Writers Workshop as well as one-day Clarion West workshops. She lives in Seattle.

Headshot of Miriam Tobin

Miriam Tobin

Pronouns: she|her

Miriam BC Tobin (she|her) is a Seattle-based playwright, theatre artist, and writing instructor. She has performed on stages across the US and Europe and has taught drama to youth in Seattle, NYC, Denver, and on a farm in the Czech Republic. She founded MBCT; Modern But Classical Theatre in NYC to de- and re-construct classic plays into highly physical adaptations. Her play The War of Women received a roundtable reading at The Lark and several of her plays premiered at Goddard College’s Ten-Minute Play festival. Honors & awards include a Hedgebrook residency, PEN Writing Scholarship, Newington-Cropsey Fellowship, the London Dramatic Academy Fellowship, and she was a Pipeline Theatre PlayLab semi-finalist. Miriam was the fall 2020 Editor-in-Chief of The Pitkin Review and is currently a dramatic writing editor with The Clockhouse. Her work appears in multiple issues of The Pitkin and Smith & Kraus. Miriam also runs SCRiB LAB, a writing organization aimed at creating community through experimentation.

Headshot of Tina Tocco

Tina Tocco

Tina Tocco is a Pushcart Prize nominee. As a writer for both children and adults, her work has appeared in kiddie magazines, such as Highlights, Cricket, Humpty Dumpty, AppleSeeds, and Odyssey, and in literary journals, including New Ohio Review, River Styx, Sou’wester, Roanoke Review, Potomac Review, Portland Review, and Italian Americana. Her children’s poetry collection, The Hungry Snowman and Other Poems, was released by Kelsay Books in 2019; her grown-up work was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019 (Sonder Press, 2019), Best Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press, 2020), and other anthologies. A recipient of multiple awards, Tina was a runner-up for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Work-in-Progress Grant and a finalist in CALYX’s Flash Fiction Contest. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell. Tina has taught for GrubStreet, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Arts Escape, Kids Short Story Connection, and other organizations.

Headshot of Nicole Treska

Nicole Treska

Pronouns: she/her

Nicole Treska is the author of the debut memoir Wonderland. Her short fiction has appeared in New York Tyrant magazine, Epiphany literary journal, and Egress: New Openings in Literary Art. Her interviews and reviews are up at Electric Literature, Guernica, The Millions, BOMB, The Rumpus, and then some. She lives in Harlem with her husband, James, and their three-legged dog, Nadine.

Headshot of Arianne True

Arianne True

Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw) is a queer poet and folk artist based in Tacoma, WA. She teaches and mentors youth poets around Puget Sound and moonlights as a copyeditor. Arianne has received fellowships from Jack Straw, Hugo House, and Artist Trust, and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She was recently the Seattle Repertory Theater’s first Native Artist-in-Residence. You can find more of her work collected online at ariannetrue.com.

Headshot of Christie Valentin-Bati

Christie Valentin-Bati

Pronouns: she/her

Christie Valentin-Bati is a poetry teaching artist based in Chicago. Her work received honorable mention from the Academy of American Poets, was commissioned by the ACLU, and her micro-chapbook "Journal" was showcased in Porous Gallery. She loves plants and shadows.

Headshot of Lydia K. Valentine

Lydia K. Valentine

Lydia K. Valentine is a playwright and poet, director and dramaturg, editor, and educator. Lydia’s first poetry collection, Brief Black Candles, was published in November 2020 by Not a Pipe Publishing. Her writing has also appeared in online and print publications such as Speak, The Pitkin Review, and Shout! An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction. The anthology from Blue Cactus Press, We Need a Reckoning, takes its name from one of Lydia’s three poems that will be included. She has been the recipient of various awards and recognitions with the most recent being named the 2021-2023 City of Tacoma Poet Laureate.

Headshot of Maria de Lourdes Victoria

Maria de Lourdes Victoria

Pronouns: she/her

María de Lourdes Victoria is an award-winning, bilingual author, born and raised in Mexico and living in the US. She is the author of novels, short stories and children's books. Maria is the founder of Seattle Escribe.

Headshot of Elizabeth Villamán

Elizabeth Villamán

Elizabeth Villamán grew up on an island near the sea and uncertainty. Her interest in art began with poetry and painting and, from then on, the fusion of the arts became the hallmark of his creative processes. He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Writer, screenwriter, teacher, and actress. Graduated in the VIII promotion of the Master's Degree in Narrative and Intensive in Film Scripts, (Escuela de Escritores, Madrid, Spain), Master's Degree in People-Oriented Creativity Strategies, (Miguel de Cervantes European University). And a Specialization in the Teaching of Creative Writing (Escuela de Escritores, Madrid, Spain). Founder of Escribir es HOY. She has given creative workshops in Europe as well as in the United States, and has won various awards, with anthology publication with other authors, nationally and internationally. In 2019, she was the first winner of the Literary Residency scholarship in Coruña, through the René del Risco Bermúdez Foundation. In 2020 and 2022 she was selected for the Catapult Carribean Creative Online Grant, and in 2021 she won the second place Young Story Award in the Dominican Republic, among other awards Las Islas Rotas is one of her most recent book of stories.

Headshot of Jaye Viner

Jaye Viner

Jaye Viner lives with a tall human and two fur bombs. She knows just enough about a variety of things to embarrass herself at parties she never attends. Her novel, Jane of Battery Park, is available from Red Hen Press.

Headshot of Anna Vodicka

Anna Vodicka

Anna Vodicka's essays and travel writing have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including AFAR, Brevity, Electric Literature, Guernica, Harvard Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Ms., Longreads, Paste, Flash Nonfiction Funny, and Lonely Planet’s An Innocent Abroad. Her writing has been selected for Best of Brevity, Best Women's Travel Writing, Pushcart Prize Special Mention, The Missouri Review Audio Prize, and Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing notables, in addition to earning residency fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, PLAYA, and Hedgebrook, and grant support from Artist Trust, 4Culture, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She co-led The Golf Pencil Group writing program at the King County Jail, and teaches flash nonfiction and generative workshops at Hugo House.

Headshot of Wendy Wagner

Wendy Wagner

Pronouns: she/her, they/them

Wendy N. Wagner is the editor-in-chief of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE and the managing/senior editor of LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE. She is the author of the novella THE SECRET SKIN, the horror novel THE DEER KINGS, and the SF thriller AN OATH OF DOGS.

Headshot of Kris Waldherr

Kris Waldherr

Pronouns: she/her

Kris Waldherr's many books for adults and children include The Book of Goddesses (Abrams), Bad Princess (Scholastic), and Doomed Queens (Crown), which The New Yorker praised as “utterly satisfying." Her debut novel The Lost History of Dreams (Atria) received a starred Kirkus review and was named a CrimeReads best book of the year. Her upcoming books include Unnatural Creatures: A Novel of the Frankenstein Women. Waldherr's fiction has won fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts, and a works-in-progress reading grant from Poets & Writers. She is also the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has over a quarter of a million copies in print, and teaches the Tarot to writers and other creatives. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Headshot of Jeanine Walker

Jeanine Walker

Pronouns: she/her

Jeanine Walker is the author of The Two of Them Might Outlast Me (2022). She has received writing fellowships from Artist Trust, the Jack Straw Cultural Center, Wonju, UNESCO City of Literature, and Inprint. Her work has appeared in Bennington Review, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. A poet with a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Houston, Jeanine is a long-time poetry teacher and most recently taught English at Kangwon National University in Chuncheon, South Korea.

Headshot of Camille Wanliss

Camille Wanliss

Camille Wanliss is a New York-based writer and founder of Galleyway, an online platform that spotlights opportunities for BIPOC writers. She is a 2022 Periplus Fellow and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York.

Headshot of Lyzette Wanzer

Lyzette Wanzer

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lyzette Wanzer is a San Francisco writer, editor, and writing workshop instructor. Her work appears in over twenty-five literary journals, magazines, books, and newspapers. Library Journal named her book, TRAUMA, TRESSES, & TRUTH: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives, a Top 10 Best Social Sciences Book. Her articles have appeared in Essay Daily, The Naked Truth, and the San Francisco University High School Journal. Her research interests include professional development for creative writers, Black feminism, critical race theory, and the lyrical essay form.

Lyzette serves as judge of the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition’s Intercultural Essay category and the Women’s National Book Association’s Effie Lee Morris Writing Contest’s Fiction category. She presents her work at conferences across the country, including the American and Popular Culture Association, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), College English Association, Desert Nights, Rising Stars (Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing), Empowering Wom[x]n of Color Conference, Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture Since 1900, Grub Street’s Muse & The Marketplace, San Francisco Writers Conference, The Society for the Study of African American Life and History, and Southern Humanities Council. In August 2021 she produced her own two-day virtual conference, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: A Natural Hair Conference, featuring panels, workshops, and readings examining the policing, perception, politics, and persecution of Black women’s natural hair.

A National Writers’ Union and Authors Guild member, Lyzette has been awarded writing residencies at Blue Mountain Center (NY), Kimmel Harding Center for the Arts (NE), Playa Summer Lake (OR), Horned Dorset Colony (NY), Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow (AR), Headlands Center for the Arts (CA), The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada, PlySpace (IN), and The Anderson Center (MN). Her work has been supported with grants from Center for Cultural Innovation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Black Artist Foundry, The Awesome Foundation, and California Humanities, a National Endowment for the Humanities partner.

Headshot of Lisa Wells

Lisa Wells

Lisa Wells is the author, most recently, of Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World, a finalist for the 2022 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her debut collection of poetry, The Fix, won the Iowa Poetry Prize. You can find her essays in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, N+1, The New York Times, The Best American Science & Nature Writing, and in Orion Magazine where she writes the column “Abundant Noise.” 

Headshot of Rachel Werner

Rachel Werner

Pronouns: she/her

Rachel Werner is a teaching artist for Hugo House, The Loft Literary Center, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop in addition to being the founder of The Little Book Project WI. Her literary writing and craft essays have been featured by Off Menu Press, Digging Through The Fat, and Voyage YA Literary Journal. A selection of Rachel's recipes is included in Wisconsin Cocktails (UW-Press, 2020), and her poetry in the anthology Hope Is The Thing: Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic (The Wisconsin Historical Society, 2021). She also regularly contributes content to TheKitchn, The Spruce Eats, and Fabulous Wisconsin. Her latest book, Glow and Grow: A Brown Girl's Positive Body Guide (Free Spirit Publishing), is forthcoming in fall 2024.

Headshot of Joe Wilkins

Joe Wilkins

Pronouns: he/him

Joe Wilkins is the author of the novel, Fall Back Down When I Die (Little Brown), a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers (Counterpoint), and three poetry collections, most recently When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. He directs the creative program at Linfield College. Go to Joe's website https://joewilkins.org or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JoeWilkins.Author.

Headshot of Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author or editor of thirteen books. Born and raised in Seattle, he's on the English faculty at Seattle University.