Writers in the Schools 2017-2018
Britt Ashley makes poems and biscuits. Born and raised in Texas, she now lives in Portland with her handsome husbian and their small animal circus. Her writing and artwork has appeared or is forthcoming from cream city review, Filter Literary Journal, juked, Winter Tangerine Review, The Offing,and elsewhere. She has taught courses in composition, creative writing, literature, and publishing at Western Washington University, Indiana University, The Monroe County Correctional Center, Thames International College in Kathmandu, and Bent Queer Writing Institute in Seattle.
Bettina de León Barrera is a joyful, bilingual writer born in Los Angeles, California of Guatemalan descent whose writing stems from a natural inclination to transform words into meaningful exchanges. In addition to being a community activist, she is a Graduate of UC Berkeley and attended graduate studies at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her poetry recently appeared in New American Writing and was chosen as a finalist for the Boston Review 2014 Discovery contest.
Alex Behr is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. She’s taught eight WITS residencies throughout Portland and is looking forward to her ninth. Her writing has appeared in many online and print publications, including Utne Reader, Propeller, Nailed, Salon, andTin House. Her debut story collection, Planet Grim, was published in 2017 (7.13 Books).
Arthur Bradford is an O Henry Award-winning writer, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and Moth GrandSLAM winner. He is the author of the books Dogwalker, Benny’s Brigade, and Turtleface, a 2016 Oregon Book Award finalist. He directed the “How’s your News?” documentary series for HBO and MTV and also the film Six Days to Air, about the making of South Park, for Comedy Central. He’s currently shooting a feature documentary about Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park and the musical The Book of Mormon. He lives in Portland and works part-time at a juvenile detention facility.
David Ciminello is a Portland-based writer and educator. His fiction has appeared in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City, The Frozen Moment: Contemporary Writers on the Choices That Change Our Lives, the literary journal Lumina, the online anthology Underwater New York, Nailed Magazine, and on Broadcastr. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest. He is a 2011 Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and a proud recipient of a 2013 annual Table 4 Writers Foundation grant. His original screenplay Bruno appears on DVD as The Dress Code.
Jeffrey Denight is a playwright, educator, and theatre artist happily stuck on the planet Earth. They are a core member of Portland-based theatre company, Playwrights West, where they produced and co-wrote Last Broadcast: A Reading of New Works and is currently commissioned to write a new play for the Teen West program, premiering at Wilson High School in 2018. They are also a two-time Waukegan Theatre Festival playwright fellow with Three Bros. Theatre, where they developed their play Pictorial Anatomy of an M—– and premiered Daddy Daughter Dance. Jeffrey’s work also includes Cirque Du Tomber, C.O.P.E., and Postpartum. Jeffrey has been the editor of multiple creative journals, including Voicemail Poems and Proscenium Journal. They received their BA in theatre and BFA in creative writing at Truman State University.
Lisa Eisenberg is a cartoonist and teaching artist based in Portland, Oregon (by way of the Garden State). She has self-published the print and webcomic series I Cut My Hair, a collection of fiction and non-fiction comics. Her work has appeared in a variety of comics anthologies, including Papercutter, Love In All Forms, The Strumpet, and Digestate. Lisa’s current projects include comics for the online magazine The Nib and the graphic novels Middle and My Plath Year. She teaches comics-making throughout the Portland area with Young Audiences, Right Brain Initiative, and at her studio located in Comic Cave PDX—the comic shop jewel of St. Johns.
James Gendron is the author of Weirde Sister, Sexual Boat (Sex Boats), and the chapbook Money Poems. His poetry has appeared in Tin House, The PEN Poetry Series, Fence, The Fanzine, and Pinwheel Journal.
Courtenay Hameister is a columnist, playwright, and screenwriter whose projects include co-writing the web series The Benefits of Gusbandry and the satirical stage adaptations Roadhouse: The Play! and Lost Boys: Live!. She also created the storytelling series True Stories and SEED, and was the host and head writer for the nationally syndicated radio show Live Wire for a decade. Her first book, Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went From Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things, is due in July 2018 from Little, Brown.
Brian Kettler recently earned his MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas-Austin, where he studied under Steven Dietz. His full-length plays include Poor Boys’ Chorus and Lyla School, both of which received full productions at UT-Austin. His short play, Clown Room, was selected for the 2014 Theater Masters National MFA Playwrights Festival, with productions in Aspen and New York City. This year, Brian was commissioned by Orphic Theater Company to write an original adaptation of Euripides’ Iphigenia Among the Taurians. In Portland, Brian has worked with the August Wilson Red Door Project, the Right Brain Initiative and Playwrite Inc. He is a former recipient of the Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama.
Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Zeloszelos Marchandt is a multi-media creative and arts journalist based in Portland, Oregon. Their background in performance and journalism comes from a passionate belief in receiving and processing information somatically to further understand the world around us. Their articles, opinions, photography and illustrations have been published in the Willamette Week, Portland Mercury, Northwest Kids Magazine, Portland Family Magazine, Drainage Magazine and more. They’ve covered a myriad of music festivals, interdisciplinary events and have directed projects aimed to preserve and project ethnic American history while responding supportively to communities made of different experiences.
Monty Mickelson is the author of the novel Purgatory (St. Martin’s Press), for which he received a Bush Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship. Mickelson’s short fiction has been published in Loonfeather, in Minnesota Monthly magazine, and online at The Whistling Fire. His creative journalism and essays have been published online at Gently Read Literature and Salon.com. Two of his YA feature film scripts have been produced for cable television. Mickelson has an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside.
Amy Minato is the author of a memoir Siesta Lane, (Skyhorse Press, 2009) and two poetry collections Hermit Thrush (Inkwater Press, 2016) and The Wider Lens (Ice River Press, 2004). Amy has been a recipient of both a Literary Arts Fellowship for her poetry and a Walden Residency for her prose. She teaches writing through Literary Arts, Multnomah Art Center, Fishtrap and at Breitenbush Retreat Center as well as a community service course in sustainable living at Portland State University. She holds both an MFA in Creative Writing and an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.
Laura Moulton is the founder of Street Books, a bicycle-powered mobile library that serves people who live outside in Portland, Oregon. She has taught writing in public schools, prisons, and teen shelters, and is an adjunct professor at Marylhurst University and Lewis & Clark College. Her social art practice projects have involved postal workers, immigrants, prisoners, and students. She earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University.
Jules Ohman is a writer and teacher based in Portland. She co-founded the nonprofit the Free Verse Project, which teaches creative writing in juvenile halls. Her chapbook of stories, Vertical Streets, was awarded the Merriam-Frontier Award, and her work has been published in Willow Springs and Camas. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the University of Montana. She has completed her first novel, and is represented by Dan Conaway and Taylor Templeton at Writers House.
Brian Parker grew up in Alaska, then Mississippi, and has always been in love with storytelling in every medium. He earned a BFA in graphic design & illustration and an MA in writing & publishing, and now spends his days working in youth publishing (so cool, right?) through his company, Believe In Wonder, which he co-owns with his wife. He is the author of Crow in the Hollow, You Can Rely on Platypi, and The Wondrous Science.
Mark Pomeroy’s first novel, The Brightwood Stillness, was published by Oregon State University Press in 2014. He has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship for fiction, and his short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Open Spaces, The Wordstock 10, Portland Magazine, The Oregonian, NW Book Lovers, and What Teaching Means: Stories from America’s Classrooms. He holds an MA in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was a Fellow in Teaching.
Emilly Prado is a writer, photographer, and library assistant living in Portland, Oregon. Her writing has appeared in over a dozen publications including Marie Claire, Remezcla, Bitch Media, Travel Portland, and the Portland Mercury where she pens a weekly column called ‘From Slacktivism to Activism.’ She is the recipient of a 2016 Spectrum Scholarship through the American Library Association and was awarded a 2017 Professional Development Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to attend a month-long writing residency at the Guapamacátaro Center for Art & Ecology in Michoacán, Mexico. Selected creative nonfiction works that explores themes of identity, biculturality, and family history can be found in her bilingual zine, Con las dos manos/With both hands. When not writing or teaching, Emilly makes zines and homemade pinback buttons under the moniker of Sludge Judy.
Joanna Rose is the author of the award-winning novel Little Miss Strange (PNBA Fiction Prize). Other work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Her story “A Good Crack and Break” is in the new Forest Avenue Press anthology, The Rain, and the Night, and the River, and an essay, “The Thing with Feathers” (Oregon Humanities) was listed as a Notable in 2015 Best American Essays. She is known to readers of the Oregonian as a reviewer on the books page and contributor to Poet’s Corner. She started out with the Dangerous Writers oh so many years ago, and now she and her teaching partner Stevan Allred host the regular Pinewood Table prose critique group.
Arab-American writer and teacher Claudia F. Savage’s latest poetry collection, Bruising Continents (Spuyten Duyvil) has been called “a love story that reveals that eros properly seen is a force as monumental as continental drift.” Her poetry, interviews, and essays have been published in numerous journals such as The Denver Quarterly, Columbia, Nimrod, Water-Stone Review, BOMB, and Drunken Boat. She has been a Pushcart and Best New Poets nominee, is a member of the performance duo Thick in the Throat, Honey, and a co-founder of the poetry-music label Thrum Recordings. She’s been awarded honors at Ucross, Jentel, The Atlantic Center for the Arts and RACC, and taught throughout the country. Her collaboration, reductions, about motherhood and ephemerality, with Detroit visual artist Jacklyn Brickman, is forthcoming in Chicago in 2018. Find her at www.claudiafsavage.com and www.thickinthethroathoney.com.
Zulema Renee Summerfield is a writer, educator, and creative coach. Her first novel, Every Other Weekend, will be published by Little, Brown in the spring of 2018. She is also the author of Everything Faces All Ways at Once, a book of flash fiction and dreams available from Fourteen Hills Press. Her short fiction has been published in a number of literary journals, including Guernica and The Threepenny Review. A MacDowell colony fellow, Zulema lives in Portland, Oregon.
Matt Smith grew up in Iowa and Arizona. He earned his BA in English Literature from Arizona State University. He spent the subsequent four years after college in South Korea as an ESL teacher. His short fiction work centers on the intersections of race and identity. He is currently working on a collection of short stories focused what it means to be multi-racial in America. Matt is a 2017-18 WITS apprentice.