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 Victoria Chang

    Victoria Chang

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    Leila Chatti

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    Felicia Rose Chavez

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    Jay Chavez

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    Chen Chen

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    Richard Chiem

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    Elizabeth Christman

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    Anna Clark

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    Ansley Clark

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    Arlene Naganawa & Colleen Barry

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    Tara Conklin

  • Headshot of Corinna Cook

    Corinna Cook

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    Stephanie Cooper, MD

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    Sierra Nelson & Corinne Manning

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    Kristi Coulter

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    Karen Finneyfrock & Courtney Bird

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    Samar Abulhassan & Courtney Bird

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    Laura Da’

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    Rachel Kessler and Daemond Arrindell

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    Naa Akua & Daemond Arrindell

  • Headshot of Molly Damm

    Molly Damm

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    Brian Dang

  • Headshot of Kimberly Dark

    Kimberly Dark

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    Piper Daugharty

Headshot of Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang

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Leila Chatti

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Felicia Rose Chavez

Headshot of Jay Chavez

Jay Chavez

Pronouns: they/them

j.chavez (they/them) is a Seattle based playwright, educator, and all around theatre maker. Through the power of Red Bulls they earned a BA in Theatre from Western Washington University, concentrating in Directing, Dramatic Writing, and Education. They are the founder and artistic director of Haus of Hazard Theatre Productions which does free theatre in the PNW. They were crowned the unofficial title of Lil’ Miss Kennedy Center for their play “how to clean your room (and remember all your trauma)” which was awarded The KCACTF National Undergraduate Playwriting Award 2020 and the David Mark Cohen National Award in 2021. “how to clean” is featured in the Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays, a first of it’s kind anthology of Trans plays written by Trans playwrights for Trans people. It’s been over two decades and Jay is still chasing the knowledge of how wind works. They are a teaching artist at Seattle Children’s Theatre. When they aren’t working, they love to drink coffee, write bad adaptations of classic plays, and cooking delicious meals their mother describes as “too spicy”. They are excited to teach with Hugo House.

Headshot of Chen Chen

Chen Chen

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which won the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and the GLCA New Writers Award. Longlisted for the National Book Award, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and was named one of the best of 2017 by The Brooklyn Rail, Entropy, Library Journal, and others. About the collection, Stephanie Burt says,“As Chen’s younger self had to escape from constricting familial expectations (become a lawyer, marry a woman, buy a house), the adult writer has to escape from the constrictions of autobiography, into hyperbole, stand-up comedy, fairy tale, twisted pastoral. It’s easy to imagine a young reader seeing himself here as he had not seen himself in poems before.” He is also the author of two chapbooks, Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Kissing the Sphinx (Two of Cups Press, 2016).

In an interview with NPR, Chen explained, ““I felt like I couldn’t be Chinese and American and gay all at the same time. I felt like the world I was in was telling me that these had to be very separate things.” As someone who was struggling with his sexuality and thinking about identity— with immigrant parents and wondering how to come out, “Poems were a way for those different experiences to come together, for them to be in the same room.”

His work has appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Recently, his work has been translated into French, Greek, Spanish, and Russian. Poets & Writers Magazine featured him in their Inspiration Issue as one of “Ten Poets Who Will Change the World.” He has received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Saltonstall Foundation.

Chen earned his MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing as an off-site Texas Tech University student. He lives in frequently snowy Rochester, NY with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles.

Chen is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.

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Richard Chiem

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Elizabeth Christman

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Anna Clark

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Ansley Clark

Pronouns: she/her

Ansley Clark is a writer and educator based in Bremerton. She received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Colorado and is the author of the chapbook Geography (dancing girl press 2015). Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. She currently manages the writing center and teaches English at South Puget Sound Community College. She also co-designs and teaches creativity and sexuality workshops for women and nonbinary individuals, LGBTQ-focused poetry workshops for teens at Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network, and community arts-based antiracism workshops with the artist Hannah Brancato.

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Arlene Naganawa & Colleen Barry

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Tara Conklin

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Corinna Cook

Corinna Cook is the author of Leavetakings, an essay collection (University of Alaska Press 2020). She is a former Fulbright Fellow, an Alaska Literary Award recipient, and a Rasmuson Foundation awardee. Corinna’s creative work appears in Flyway, Alaska Quarterly Review, Alaska Magazine, Brink, and elsewhere; her journalism appears in Yukon North of Ordinary and GlacierHub; her critical articles appear in Assay, New Writing, and Essay Daily; and she writes about teaching for Pedagogy and American Literary Studies. Corinna holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri. More at corinnacook.com.

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Stephanie Cooper, MD

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Sierra Nelson & Corinne Manning

Headshot of Kristi Coulter

Kristi Coulter

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Karen Finneyfrock & Courtney Bird

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Samar Abulhassan & Courtney Bird

Headshot of Laura Da’

Laura Da’

Pronouns: she/her

Laura Da’ is a poet and teacher. A lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and The Institute of American Indian Arts. Da’ is Eastern Shawnee. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Artist Trust, Hugo House, and the Jack Straw Writers Program. Her first book, Tributaries, won the 2016 American Book Award. Her newest book is Instruments of the True Measure (University of Arizona Press, 2018).

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Rachel Kessler and Daemond Arrindell

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Naa Akua & Daemond Arrindell

Headshot of Molly Damm

Molly Damm

Pronouns: she/her

Molly Damm is a Writing lecturer at Montana State University, as well as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in private practice in Bozeman, Montana. Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, Copper Nickel, Terrain.org, and Western Humanities Review, among other publications. She is the author of the poetry collection Ground-truth (Finishing Line Press, 2018), and was a Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, where she earned her MFA.

Headshot of Brian Dang

Brian Dang

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Vietnamese/Chinese playwright, poet, and mentor based in Duwamish Territory (Seattle). Brian is a proud resident playwright at Parley. For Brian, playwriting is an act of envisioning an eventual communing and an opportunity to freeze time as we know it. Their writing has been workshopped with Seattle Opera, Pork Filled Productions, Karen’s Secret Army, Theatre Battery, and the Undergraduate Theater Society. Brian was a 2020-21 Hugo House Fellow and their play h*llo k*tty syndrome was supported by 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Brian is also an arts administrator, serving as the Literary Manager of Washington Ensemble Theatre. They’re grateful for having somehow convinced the world they can read and write.

Headshot of Kimberly Dark

Kimberly Dark

Pronouns: she/her

Kimberly Dark is the author of Fat, Pretty and Soon to be Old, The Daddies, Love and Errors and Damaged Like Me. Her essays, stories and poetry are widely published in academic and popular online publications alike.

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Piper Daugharty