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 Intisaar

    Intisaar

  • Headshot of Ramon Isao

    Ramon Isao

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    Ramon Isao and Imani Sims

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    Ramon Isao and Jane Wong

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    Nalini Iyer

  • Headshot of Naomi Jackson

    Naomi Jackson

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    Mitchell S. Jackson

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    Major Jackson

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    Mira Jacob

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    Jessica Jacobs

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    Sara Jaffe

  • Hugo House logo

    Leslie Jamison

  • Headshot of Arni, Patrice, Kathleen Janes

    Arni, Patrice, Kathleen Janes

  • Headshot of The Go Janes

    The Go Janes

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    Jason Whitmarsh and Sierra Nelson

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    Samar Abulhassan & Jay Thompson

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    Jac Jemc

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    Jac Jemc

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    Gish Jen

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    Tyehimba Jess

  • Headshot of Maya Jewell Zeller

    Maya Jewell Zeller

  • Headshot of Sonora Jha

    Sonora Jha

  • Hugo House logo

    Sonora Jha and Peter Bacho

  • Headshot of Nanya Jhingran

    Nanya Jhingran

Headshot of Intisaar

Intisaar

Intisaar is a Seattle-based Palestinian-American singer/songwriter/guitarist. She is most known for her emotive and unique melody lines, powerful vocal range, and interesting chord progressions. When playing live, she is an acoustic/electric powerhouse that commands the room with the vulnerability and charm of a 90s female icon, and can still lighten the mood with humor and grace between songs. She has played famed Seattle venues like The Crocodile, The Moore, Neumos, The Sunset, and The Nectar Lounge, and toured across the US with her 2015 debut album, Borrowed Ground.

Headshot of Ramon Isao

Ramon Isao

Ramón Isao is a recipient of the Tim McGinness Award for Fiction, as well as fellowships from Artist Trust and Jack Straw Cultural Center. His stories appear in such journals as The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Moss, and Hobart, and his screen credits include ZMD and Dead Body. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and serves as Fiction Editor at New Orleans Review.

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Ramon Isao and Imani Sims

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Ramon Isao and Jane Wong

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Nalini Iyer

Headshot of Naomi Jackson

Naomi Jackson

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Mitchell S. Jackson

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Major Jackson

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Mira Jacob

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Jessica Jacobs

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Sara Jaffe

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Leslie Jamison

Headshot of Arni, Patrice, Kathleen Janes

Arni, Patrice, Kathleen Janes

The Go Janes feature ukulele, guitar, and generous doses of delicious harmony vocals. 

We have decades of experience as creative artists, community organizers, educators and inquisitive consumers of life. Arni and Patrice are members of the satirical trio Uncle Bonsai; Kathleen Tracy is an accomplished solo artist and community chorus director. Patrice has produced the Wintergrass Festival almost from its inception. Arni and Patrice are also visual artists. and Arni and Kathleen are both sought after educators and coaches working with children, adults and the differently-abled. 

Our writing ranges from tender and sweet love tributes to the simple act of being human with each other, to how weird it is that magicians used to (pretend to) saw women in half for entertainment. From monkey-infested golf courses in India, and what that teaches us about how to greet life’s challenges, to letting go of our independent children, and losing those we love in more lasting ways. Along the way we pay homage to our ancestors and to each others’ most idiosyncratic selves. And there are knife-throwers, and howling dogs, and how the pandemic made us fight with each other (and ourselves). 

Headshot of The Go Janes

The Go Janes

The Go Janes feature ukulele, guitar, and generous doses of delicious harmony vocals. 

We have decades of experience as creative artists, community organizers, educators and inquisitive consumers of life. Arni and Patrice are members of the satirical trio Uncle Bonsai; Kathleen Tracy is an accomplished solo artist and community chorus director. Patrice has produced the Wintergrass Festival almost from its inception. Arni and Patrice are also visual artists. and Arni and Kathleen are both sought after educators and coaches working with children, adults and the differently-abled. 

Our writing ranges from tender and sweet love tributes to the simple act of being human with each other, to how weird it is that magicians used to (pretend to) saw women in half for entertainment. From monkey-infested golf courses in India, and what that teaches us about how to greet life’s challenges, to letting go of our independent children, and losing those we love in more lasting ways. Along the way we pay homage to our ancestors and to each others’ most idiosyncratic selves. And there are knife-throwers, and howling dogs, and how the pandemic made us fight with each other (and ourselves). 

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Jason Whitmarsh and Sierra Nelson

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Samar Abulhassan & Jay Thompson

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Jac Jemc

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Jac Jemc

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Gish Jen

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Tyehimba Jess

Headshot of Maya Jewell Zeller

Maya Jewell Zeller

Maya Jewell Zeller is the author of the interdisciplinary collaboration (with visual artist Carrie DeBacker) Alchemy For Cells & Other Beasts, the chapbook Yesterday, the Bees, and the poetry collection Rust Fish; her prose appears in such places as Brevity and Gettysburg Review. Recipient of a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation as well as a Residency in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Maya is Associate Professor of English for Central Washington University, and Affiliate Poetry Faculty for Western Colorado University's low-res MFA. Find Maya on Twitter @MayaJZeller.

Headshot of Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha

Pronouns: she/her

Sonora Jha is the author of the memoir How to Raise a Feminist Son (2021) and the novel Foreign (2013). After a career as a journalist covering crime, politics, and culture in India and Singapore, she moved to the United States to earn a Ph.D. in media and public affairs. Sonora’s OpEds, essays, and public appearances have featured in The New York Times, on BBC, and elsewhere. She is a professor of journalism and lives in Seattle. She teaches fiction and essay writing for Hugo House, Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and Seattle Public Library. She is an alumna and board member of Hedgebrook and has served on the jury for awards for Artist Trust, Hedgebrook, and Hugo House. Her new novel, The Laughter, is forthcoming from Harper Via in early 2023.

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Sonora Jha and Peter Bacho

Headshot of Nanya Jhingran

Nanya Jhingran

Nanya Jhingran is a poet, scholar and teacher from Lucknow, India currently living by the coastal margin of the Salish Sea, on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish People (upon which the city of Seattle was built). She is an Associate Editor at Poetry Northwest, where she edits the book reviews section. Her recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Seventh Wave, Poetry Northwest, and Honey Literary, among others. You can find her online at nanyajhingran.com