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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 Rita Wirkala

    Rita Wirkala

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    Terri Witek

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    Jonathan Wittmaier

  • Headshot of Emily Wolahan

    Emily Wolahan

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    Simon Wolf

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    Terry Wolfisch Cole

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    Meg Wolitzer

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    Cecilia Woloch

  • Headshot of Shawn Wong

    Shawn Wong

  • Headshot of Jane Wong

    Jane Wong

  • Headshot of Deborah Woodard

    Deborah Woodard

  • Headshot of Chavisa Woods

    Chavisa Woods

  • Headshot of Geraldine Woods

    Geraldine Woods

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    Kenneth Workman

  • Headshot of Carolyne Wright

    Carolyne Wright

  • Headshot of Valentine Wulf

    Valentine Wulf

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    Mark Wunderlich

  • Hugo House logo

    Dandan Xin

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    Wendy Xu

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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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    Monica Youn

Headshot of Rita Wirkala

Rita Wirkala

Rita Wirkala is an award-winning Argentine writer and educator living in Seattle. After years of academic writing and teaching at the University of Washington, she now writes novels, short stories, children's poetry, and literary reviews, and works with emerging writers teaching classes and creative writing workshops. Her work has been published in Spain, Argentina, and the United States and has won praise from major Spanish-language newspapers. She holds a PhD in Spanish Literature.

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Terri Witek

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Jonathan Wittmaier

Pronouns: He/Him
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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Simon Wolf

Simon Wolf has his MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell. His work has been published with Leveler Poetry, featured in 'Coastal Poets – A Reading and Film Festival,' Clamor Journal, and is forthcoming in Inkwell. Check out more of Simon on Instagram @simon_sayspoems.

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Terry Wolfisch Cole

Pronouns: she/her
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Meg Wolitzer

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Cecilia Woloch

Headshot of Shawn Wong

Shawn Wong

Shawn Wong is the author of the novels Homebase and American Knees and an editor of several anthologies of Asian American literature, including Aiiieeeee! (all available from the University of Washington Press). He is a professor of English at the University of Washington, Seattle. Peter Bacho's memoir is the third book in the Shawn Wong Books/University of Washington Press series that includes Eat a Bowl of Tea by Louis Chu and Awake in the River and Shedding Silence by Janice Mirikitani.

Headshot of Jane Wong

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 holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and a PhD from the University of Washington. She is the author of Plato’s Bad Horse (Bear Star Press, 2006), Borrowed Tales (Stockport Flats, 2012), and No Finis: Triangle Testimonies, 1911 (Ravenna Press, 2018). Her chapbook Hunter Mnemonics (hemel press, 2008) was illustrated by artist Heide Hinrichs. She has translated Amelia Rosselli with Giuseppe Leporace in The Dragonfly: A Selection of Poems: 1953 – 1981 (Chelsea Editions, 2009) and with Roberta Antognini in Hospital Series (New Directions, 2015) and Obtuse Diary (Entre Ríos Books, 2018). Woodard teaches at Hugo House in Seattle and co-curates the reading series Margin Shift.

Headshot of Chavisa Woods

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.

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Kenneth Workman

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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.

Headshot of Valentine Wulf

Valentine Wulf

Valentine Wulf is a seventeen-year-old artist, writer, and puppeteer whose work combines the pastel kitsch of Americana with the comically macabre.

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Mark Wunderlich

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Dandan Xin

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Wendy Xu

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Tiphanie Yanique

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Sunil Yapa

Headshot of Becca Yenser

Becca Yenser

Pronouns: She/ her/ they/ them

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.

Website: www.inknode.com/beccayenser

Twitter: @beccayenser

Instagram: @beccayenser

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Charity E. Yoro

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Monica Youn