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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    Anthony Swofford

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    Anca Szilágyi

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    Anca Szilágyi

  • Headshot of Anca Szilágyi

    Anca Szilágyi

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    Dujie Tahat

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    Tess Taylor

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    Tess Taylor

  • Headshot of Michelle Tea

    Michelle Tea

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    Natali Terreri

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    Peter Mountford, Karen Finneyfrock, Theo Nestor, & Tara Conklin

  • Headshot of Jay Aquinas Thompson

    Jay Aquinas Thompson

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    Neal Thompson

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    Leah Silvieus & Tiana Nobile

  • Headshot of L. Timmel Duchamp

    L. Timmel Duchamp

  • Headshot of Tina Tocco

    Tina Tocco

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    Eugenia Toledo-Keyser

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    Eugenia Toledo-Keyser

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    Sarah Townsend

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    Matt Trease

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    Arianne True

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    Jake Uitti

  • Headshot of Lydia K. Valentine

    Lydia K. Valentine

  • Headshot of Elizabeth Villamán

    Elizabeth Villamán

  • Headshot of Jaye Viner

    Jaye Viner

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Anthony Swofford

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Anca Szilágyi

Headshot of Anca Szilágyi

Anca Szilágyi

Pronouns: she/her
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 from a writer to watch.” Her second novel, Dreams under Glass, releases in Fall 2022. Her writing appears in 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. Find her on Twitter @ancawrites and Instagram @anca_szilagyi or at ancawrites.com

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Dujie Tahat

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Tess Taylor

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Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor's body of work deals with memory and cultural reckoning. Taylor, who Ilya Kaminsky recently hailed as “the poet for our moment” resides in El Cerrito, California. Her poems have received wide national and international acclaim. Taylor’s chapbook, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook competition. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, (an exploration of hidden family histories through archive and shard) “stunning,” and it was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. Taylor’s second book, Work & Days— a farm journal for a small organic farm—was called “our moment’s Georgic” by Harvard based critic Stephanie Burt, and named one of the 10 best books of poetry in 2016 by the New York Times. Taylor’s third book, Last West, is a hybrid photo and poetry book retracing the steps of Dorothea Lange in California. Revisiting the landscapes where Lange photographed (including the site of Migrant Mother) Taylor documents the uneasy, haunting echoes between past and present. This work appeared as part of the Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures exhibition at MoMA in February 2020, and is currently being adapted for the stage by the Magic Theater. Taylor’s fourth book of poems, Rift Zone, traces literal and metaphoric fault lines—rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Rift Zone was hailed by Stephanie Danler as “brilliant” in the LA Times, and Naomi Shihab Nye called it “stunning” in The New York Times. 

 

Taylor has recently begun working on pieces for the stage: She is collaborating with Lisa Peterson and Elizabeth Dell on Detective Story (an adaptation of a novella by Nobel Prizewinner Imre Kertesz) at Stages Theater in Houston. She is doing early development for a version of Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange at the Magic Theater in San Francisco.

 

In addition to her life as a poet and playwright, Taylor is a nationally known critic. She has spent 10 years as the poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered, and writes editorials and book reviews for CNN and The New York Times. Taylor’s poems and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harper’s, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Travel & Leisure, and other publications. In recent years, Taylor has received fellowships from Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, the MacDowell Colony, the MARBL archive at Emory University, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Taylor has taught at UC Berkeley, St. Mary’s College, UC Davis, and Whittier College. She served as Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is currently on the faculty of Ashland University’s MFA program.

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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. 

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Natali Terreri

Pronouns: she/her

first artist bio

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Peter Mountford, Karen Finneyfrock, Theo Nestor, & Tara Conklin

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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

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Neal Thompson

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Leah Silvieus & Tiana Nobile

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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.

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Tina Tocco

Pronouns: she/her

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.

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Eugenia Toledo-Keyser

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Eugenia Toledo-Keyser

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Sarah Townsend

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Matt Trease

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Arianne True

Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw) is a queer poet and folk artist from Seattle. She teaches and mentors youth poets around the Salish Sea and moonlights as a copyeditor. Arianne has received fellowships from Jack Straw, Hugo House, Artist Trust, and others. She is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She was also Seattle Rep’s inaugural Native Artist-in-Residence, where she created and exhibited an immersive multimedia poetry installation. You can find more of her work collected online at ariannetrue.com.

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Jake Uitti

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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.

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Elizabeth Villamán

She 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.

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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.