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 Kris Waldherr

    Kris Waldherr

  • Headshot of Jeanine Walker

    Jeanine Walker

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    Jess Walter

  • Headshot of Camille Wanliss

    Camille Wanliss

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    Jake Warga

  • Hugo House logo

    Emily Warn

  • Headshot of Kary Wayson

    Kary Wayson

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    Miranda Weiss

  • Headshot of Lisa Wells

    Lisa Wells

  • Headshot of Rachel Werner

    Rachel Werner

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    Emily White

  • Headshot of Joe Wilkins

    Joe Wilkins

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    Joshua Wilkinson

  • Headshot of Joshua Marie Wilkinson

    Joshua Marie Wilkinson

  • Headshot of Arleen Williams

    Arleen Williams

  • Headshot of Phillip B. Williams

    Phillip B. Williams

  • Headshot of Emily Wolahan

    Emily Wolahan

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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

  • Headshot of Geraldine Woods

    Geraldine Woods

  • Headshot of Carolyne Wright

    Carolyne Wright

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    Mark Wunderlich

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 holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Her poetry collection, Diagram of Parts, is forthcoming from Groundhog Poetry Press. Her poems have appeared in Chattahoochee Review, New Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.

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Jess Walter

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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.

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Jake Warga

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Emily Warn

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Kary Wayson

I’m a poet and poetry teacher with two books and twenty-plus years of experience editing creative nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid forms. I'm particularly interested in work that pushes against traditions of usage and syntax, though at heart I'm as happy to edit a grant application as I am an essay or poem. I find great pleasure in the process of diving deep into the possibilities of a given text, and I enjoy working with authors at any/all stages of their endeavors and careers. 

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Miranda Weiss

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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: 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.

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Emily White

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.

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Joshua Wilkinson

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.

Headshot of Arleen Williams

Arleen Williams

Pronouns: she/her
Headshot of Phillip B. Williams

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.

Headshot of Emily Wolahan

Emily Wolahan

Pronouns: she/her

Emily Wolahan (she/her) is the author of the poetry collection Hinge (NPRP 2015). Her poems have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Sixth Finch, Georgia Review, and Oversound, among other places. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Social Change (CIIS). She has been an editor at Two Lines Press and Jerry Magazine and is currently a Poetry Editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal. www.emilywolahan.com

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Terry Wolfisch Cole

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Jane Wong

Jane Wong is the author of How to Not Be Afraid of Everything (Alice James, 2021) and Overpour (Action Books, 2016). A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and residencies from Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room, the U.S. Fulbright Program, Artist Trust, Hedgebrook, Willapa Bay, the Jentel Foundation, and others. Her debut memoir, Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City, is forthcoming from Tin House. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University. Her poetry art installations have been shown at the Frye Art Museum and the Richmond Art Gallery.

Headshot of Deborah Woodard

Deborah Woodard

Pronouns: she / her

Deborah Woodard's first full-length collection, Plato's Bad Horse, appeared in 2006 (Bear Star Press). Deborah Woodard's most recent books are Borrowed Tales (Stockport Flats); No Finis: Triangle Testimonies, 1911 (Ravenna Press); and Obtuse Diary, from the Italian of Amelia Rosselli (Entre Rios Books). She co-curates the reading series Margin Shift: Friends in Poetry.

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Chavisa Woods

Headshot of Geraldine Woods

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.

Headshot of Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright

Pronouns: she / her

Carolyne Wright’s new book is Masquerade, a memoir in poetry (Lost Horse Press, 2021). Previous books include This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse, 2017), whose title poem won a Pushcart Prize and also appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009; and the anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), which received ten Pushcart Prize nominations. Carolyne has also received NEA and 4Culture grants, and a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award. Visit https://carolynewright.wordpress.com for more information.

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Mark Wunderlich