Writers in the Schools 2018-2019:
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’s debut story collection, Planet Grim, came out in 2017 (7.13 Books). Her essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Salon, Nailed, and Cosmonauts Ave., among others. She teaches intermediate fiction at Portland State and has led fiction and creative nonfiction WITS residencies since 2014.
Arthur Bradford is the author of the books Dogwalker and Turtleface (nominated for a 2016 Oregon Book Award). He has told stories for The Moth MainStage and BackfencePDX and is a Moth Grandslam winner. He is also an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, most recently working with the creators of South Park and The Book of Mormon.
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.
Tanya Dickinson is a poet, teacher and continual student. Dickinson was raised in Missoula, Montana and moved to Portland in 2010. Her poetry focuses on issues ranging from family and community to nature, politics, race, feminism and philosophy. She is currently a Wellness teacher with the Hillsboro School District. She has shared her writing with Portland’s Resistance, Siren Nation Festival, Get Nervous, and Whitenoise Project. Her poems have appeared in Mused: The BellaOnline Literary Review, Clockwise Cat Literary Magazine, Westward Quarterly, Torrid Literature Journal, and Stone Highway Review.
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.
Michelle Ruiz Keil is a Latinx novelist and playwright with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. She teaches writing with a focus on fairytale, divination, and archetype and curates All Kinds of Fur: A Fairytale Reading Series and Salon in Portland, Oregon. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Lit Camp. Her published short fiction can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue and she has a forthcoming theater piece in collaboration with Shaking The Tree Theater. Her debut novel, All of Us with Wings, is forthcoming from Soho Teen in 2019.
Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. A fellow of Yaddo and Ragdale, her writing has appeared in Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere.
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.
Damien Miles-Paulson teaches slow dancing, writes and still dreams of an overseas basketball career. He is a founding member of the now disbanded experimental German noise band, Flu Shot. His stories, poems and sounds can be found at The Whole Beast Rag, The Washington Square Review, theNewerYork, Alice Blue Review, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Everyday Genius, Past-Ten, Axolotl and The Alarmist. He now walks the world with an MFA in Creative Writing from UCR in hand.
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.
Ryan Nakano is poet, journalist, and spoken word artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. He co-curates the White Noise Project, a monthly POC-centered literary reading series, and his work can be found in riksha magazine as well as Voicemail Poems.
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 an award-winning freelance multimedia journalist, writer, and educator living in Portland, Oregon. A Chicana native of the Bay Area, her work typically focuses amplifying the voices of people from marginalized communities. Her writing has appeared in nearly two dozen publications including NPR, The Oregonian, Marie Claire, Bitch Media, and the Portland Mercury where she writes a weekly column. She is the recipient of a 2018 Community Stories Fellowship presented in partnership with Oregon Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Pulitzer Prizes and earned a 2017 professional development grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council to attend a writer’s residency in Michoacan, Mexico. In her free time, she makes zines, DJs, and works as a WITS program specialist at Literary Arts.
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.
Laura Lampton Scott’s work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Tin House and The Guardian online, Electric Literature, Monkeybicycle, Okey-Panky, and No Tokens Journal. She has served as assistant and managing editor on books in the McSweeney’s Voice of Witness series, and she’s a MacDowell Colony fellow. Laura has taught fiction at the University of Montana, Literary Arts in Portland, and Hugo House in Seattle.
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 was a 2017-18 WITS apprentice.
Zulema Renee Summerfield is a writer, educator, and creative coach. Her first novel, Every Other Weekend, was 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.
WITS Apprentice Program for Writers of Color:
May Cat is an artist and writer who is inspired from her Thai-American roots. She attended school at the Cooper Union in New York City and is the 2018 recipient of the Precipice Fund and the Open Signal New Media Fellowship.
Ariana Rosales is multidisciplinary artist from Cochabamba, Bolivia presently based out of Portland, Oregon. They hold a Literature degree from George Mason University and their favorite rodent is the capybara. A Pride Foundation Scholar and an MFA Fiction candidate at Portland State University, they draw on the liminality of their immigrant and transgender experiences to create visual, written, and performed works of art.