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.

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    Joshua Marie Wilkinson

  • Headshot of Arleen Williams

    Arleen Williams

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    Phillip B. Williams

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    Terry Wolfisch Cole

  • Headshot of Jane Wong

    Jane Wong

  • Headshot of Deborah Woodard

    Deborah Woodard

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    Chavisa Woods

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    Geraldine Woods

  • Headshot of Carolyne Wright

    Carolyne Wright

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    Mark Wunderlich

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    Dandan Xin

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    Tiphanie Yanique

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    Sunil Yapa

  • Headshot of Becca Yenser

    Becca Yenser

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    Charity E. Yoro

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    Evelynn Yuen

  • Headshot of Andrew Zawacki

    Andrew Zawacki

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    Amy Zhang

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    Matt Gano & Zoser Dunbar

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    Arianne Zwartjes

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.

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Arleen Williams

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Phillip B. Williams

“Williams demonstrates an astounding technical mastery of poetic forms that goes far beyond form for form’s sake, as he repeats, reconfigures, and recontextualizes words and phrases in order to create continuity and multifaceted meanings.” ―Muzzle Magazine

“Williams sings for the vanished, for the haunted, for the tortured, for the lost, for the place on the horizon where the little boat of the human body disappears in a wingdom of unending grace.” ―The Best American Poetry

“To experience Williams’ poetry is to encounter a lucid, unmitigated humanity, a voice for whom language is inadequate, yet necessarily grasped, shaped, and consumed.” ―Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Phillip B. Williams is the author of Mutiny (Penguin Random House, 2021), and Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016), winner of the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a 2017 Lambda Literary award. He is also the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc., 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013).

His forthcoming collection Mutiny is a rebellion, a subversion, an onslaught. In poems that rebuke classical mythos and western canonical figures, and embrace Afro-Diasporanfolk and spiritual imagery, Williams conjures the hell of being erased, exploited, and ill-imagined and then, through a force and generosity of vision, propels himself into life, selfhood, and a path forward. Intimate, bold, and sonically mesmerizing, Mutiny addresses loneliness, desire, doubt, memory, and the borderline between beauty and tragedy.

In his debut collection Thief in the Interior, Williams investigates the dangers of desire, balancing narratives of addiction, murders, and hate crimes with passionate, uncompromising depth. Formal poems entrenched in urban landscapes crack open dialogues of racism and homophobia rampant in our culture. Multitudinous voices explore one’s ability to harm and be harmed, which uniquely juxtaposes the capacity to revel in both experiences.

Of Thief in the Interior, Los Angeles Book Review noted, “The seasoned reader of poetry will be impressed that Thief in the Interior is Phillip B. Williams’s first collection. His control of the line is masterful, and his syntax eschews, for the most part, direct or simple delivery of language, creating a formal and solemn tone that scores the emotional pitches of the book.” Author Adrian Matejka notes, “Williams’s poems embody balance: uncompromising and magnetic, surprising and intuitive. Need is everywhere―in the unforgiving images, in lines so delicate they seem to break apart in the hands, and in the reader who will enter these poems and never want to leave.”

Williams’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and others. He is the recipient of a 2020 creative writing grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a 2017 Whiting Award, and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. He serves as a faculty member at Bennington College and Randolph College low-res MFA.

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Terry Wolfisch Cole

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Jane Wong

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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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Chavisa Woods

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Geraldine Woods

Pronouns: she/her

I’m the author of a stack of grammar books (English Grammar For Dummies, Webster’s New World Punctuation: Simplified and Applied, and more) and an educator with four decades of experience teaching every level of English from 5th grade through AP. My most recent books, 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way (Norton, 2020) and Sentence. A Period-to-Period Guide to Building Better Readers and Writers (Norton, 2021), explore the techniques authors use to make their writing more effective. My only remotely cool moment came when I was interviewed by a reporter from MTV about the decision by “Panic! At the Disco” to drop their exclamation point.

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Carolyne Wright

Pronouns: she/her

Carolyne Wright's new book is Masquerade: a Memoir in Poetry (Lost Horse Press, 2021). Her previous book from Lost Horse is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009. She has nine earlier books and chapbooks of poetry; a ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), which received ten Pushcart Prize nominations; five award-winning volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali; and a book of essays. Carolyne has served as Visiting Poet and professor of Creative Writing at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., including Harvard, Radcliffe, Emory University and the University of Miami. She returned in 2005 to her native Seattle, where she teaches for Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (from 2005 until the program’s closure in 2016), and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, Carolyne lived in Chile and traveled in Brazil on a Fulbright Grant; and she returned to Brazil in 2018 on an Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Bahia. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, 4Culture, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture; and a Fulbright U. S. Scholar Award granted in 2020 will take her back to Salvador, Bahia, after the CoVid-19 pandemic subsides in Brazil.

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Mark Wunderlich

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Dandan Xin

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Tiphanie Yanique

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Sunil Yapa

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Becca Yenser

Becca Yenser is author of Bang the Dream (Selcouth Station Press, 2021), The Grief Lottery (forthcoming, ELJ Editions, 2022) and A Constellation of Wounds (forthcoming, Bone and Ink Press, 2022). Their semi-autobiographical novella, The Ms. Pac Man Chronicles, won the Daily Drunk Mag’s 2021 novella chapbook contest. More fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in Hobart, Bending Genres, Tiny Molecules, Heavy Feather Review, Susan, Ink Node, Fanzine, Superfroot Magazine, and X-Ray Literary Journal.
Yenser is the recipient of the 2021 Reflex International Flash Fiction Contest. They were awarded Honorable Mention for the Masters Review 2021 Chapbook Contest, the Toasted Cheese Dead of Winter Horror Fiction Contest (2021), and the Waxing and Waning Prose Award (2021).
Yenser earned an MFA at Wichita State University, where they studied fiction and poetry and were named Fiction Fellow. They worked as an award-winning reporter and arts and culture writer for WSU’s student-run paper, The Sunflower. Yenser also served as fiction editor and co-Editor-in-Chief of Mikrokosmos Literary Journal.
The poet Jessica Q. Stark (author of Savage Pageant and editor of AGNI), commented, “Becca Yenser’s Bang the Dream is a revving engine, a clandestine swig under black sky, a series of torn portraits in which everyone feels a little bit haunted.” The writer Kevin Maloney (Cult of Loretta), reviewing Bang the Dream, remarks, “Like the best of Lucia Berlin or Denis Johnson, Becca Yenser paints broken people against ecstatic landscapes: grievers moon-gazing in Ireland, junkies nodding off next to a Kansas River, an Albuquerque drug dealer fly fishing with the pink Sandias looming in the distance.”
Yenser was born in Iowa, raised in Oregon, and currently resides in New Mexico.

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Charity E. Yoro

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Evelynn Yuen

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Andrew Zawacki

A 2015-16 Howard Foundation Fellow in Poetry, Andrew Zawacki is the author of five poetry books: Unsun : f/11 (Coach House, 2019); Videotape (Counterpath, 2013); Petals of Zero Petals of One (Talisman House,
2009); Anabranch (Wesleyan, 2004); and By Reason of Breakings (Georgia,
2002). A former Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright Scholar, he earned his doctorate from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
Zawacki has also published four books in France: Sonnetssonnants, translated by Anne Portugal; Georgia and Carnet Bartleby, both translated by Sika Fakambi; and Par Raison de brisants, translated by Antoine Cazé and a finalist for the Prix Nelly Sachs. Anabranche, translated by Sika Fakambi, is forthcoming from Éditions Grèges.
His chapbook Georgia was co-winner of the 1913 Prize, while Masquerade won the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. Arrow’s shadow was issued by Equipage in the UK, and Kaeshi-waza was published in Canada by The Elephants. More recently, Sonnensonnets appeared from Tammy, Waterfall plot from Greying Ghost.
His work has appeared in Poems for Political Disaster, Legitimate Dangers:
American Poets of the New Century, The Iowa Anthology of New American
Poetries, Great American Prose Poems, The Eloquent Poem, and other
anthologies, as well as magazines such as The New Yorker, The Nation,
and The New Republic.
A past fellow of the Slovenian Writers’ Association, Zawacki edited Afterwards (White Pine, 1999), an anthology of postwar Slovenian poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, in addition to editing and co-translating Aleš Debeljak’s new and selected poems, Without Anesthesia (Persea, 2011), assisted by a Slovenian Ministry of Culture Translation Grant. His translations of two poetry books by Sébastien Smirou, See About (La Presse / Fence, 2017) and My Lorenzo (Burning Deck, 2012), have earned him a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a French Voices Grant, and a grant from the Centre National du Livre.
He coedited the late expatriate writer Gustaf Sobin’s collected poems and serves as co-executor of Sobin’s literary estate. Zawacki has published criticism in the TLS, Boston Review, Chicago Review, How2, Jacket2, New German Critique, and elsewhere. He has held fellowships from the Salzburg Seminar, the Bogliasco Foundation, la Résidence Internationale aux Récollets, le Collège International des Traducteurs Littéraires, Hawthornden Castle, Le Château de Lavigny, and the Millay Colony, Saltonstall Foundation, and Bread Loaf.

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Amy Zhang

Pronouns: she/her

Amy Zhang is the author of Falling Into Place, This Is Where The World Ends, and The Cartographers (HarperCollins). Her fiction has been recognized by the Indies Next List and received starred reviews from Booklist and VOYA, among other honors, and translated into five languages. Her poetry collection, Small Birds, Blue Bellies, was the recipient of the Rosenfeld Chapbook prize; select poems won the Hansmann Poetry Prize through the American Academy of Poets.

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Matt Gano & Zoser Dunbar

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Arianne Zwartjes