Writers in the Schools 2016-2017
Turiya Autry has spent nearly two decades educating, motivating and inspiring audiences of all ages. Her work incorporates the arts, pop culture and history with personal, community and political struggles. Author and performer, her recently released collection of poetry, Roots, Reality and Rhyme, is a poetic journey that bridges the personal and political, the mythic and the real. Turiya’s provided feature performances, workshops, panels and keynotes to over 20 colleges throughout the country, as well as hundreds of community venues across the country. As a teaching artist she’s provided assemblies, workshops and residencies to over 50 different K-12 schools. Creating and delivering almost 20 unique university courses, across four departments, Turiya has built a veritable trunk show on culture and identity.
Alex Behr is a writer, musician, and mom based in Portland, Oregon. She’s loved her WITS residencies at Portland high schools as she’s watched her students explore and thrive creatively. Her writing has appeared in many online and print publications, including Utne Reader, Propeller, Nailed, Salon, and Tin House. Her stories have been performed in L.A., and her first short story collection will be published in 2017. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State and a certificate in eLearning design and development.
Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. His writing appears in ten anthologies and many publications; most recently in The Kenyon Review, MATRIX, CutBank, and Nailed Magazine, and Original Plumbing. Cooper’s visual art was recently curated in an exhibition called “Intersectionality” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. He first taught writing to youth through WritersCorps in San Francisco—a program of Americorps—two decades ago, and currently teaches writing at Portland State University, the University of Portland, at Grant High School through Writers in The Schools, and online at LitReactor. Cooper is currently finishing his first book. Learn more at at www.cooperleebombardier.com
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.
Leslee Chan earned an MA from Miami University of Ohio, and an MFA in fiction from Florida State University. Born and raised in Eastern Oregon, she now lives in Portland. Chan is a 2016-17 WITS Apprentice.
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 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. As an actor he has guest starred on Seinfeld, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, and Kojak. As a screenwriter he has written for HBO, 20th Century Fox, and Aaron Spelling Productions. David holds a BFA Degree in Acting from The Catholic University of America and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.
Lisa Eisenberg is a cartoonist and illustrator. Her comics have been published at TheNib.com and in a number of anthologies, including Papercutter, Love in All Forms: The Big Book of Growing Up Queer, and The Strumpet. Since 2008 she has self-published the print and webcomic series I Cut My Hair, a collection of fiction and nonfiction comics. She also works as a teaching artist with Young Audiences, Caldera, and The Right Brain Initiative. Lisa is currently at work on a graphic novel about middle school.
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 late 2017 from Little, Brown.
Jamie Houghton is a poet and teaching artist. Her poetry can be found at La Fovea, torches n’ pitchforks, qarrtsiluni, Abramelin and Tribe Magazine‘s micro publication, Thief, and her book reviews can be found at High Desert Journal. She represented Smith College at Poetry Slam College Nationals in 2006, received a Fellowship Residency at Playa Arts in the fall of 2014, and was honored to be part of Young Audiences Teaching Artist Studio’s 2015/16 cohort. On the weekends she works at Relish Gastropub and spoils three large dogs.
Emiko Jean is a Young Adult author. Her debut novel, We’ll Never Be Apart, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s in October 2015. She is working on her third novel, a YA Japanese fantasy. She is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management. When she’s not writing, she’s reading. She lives in Vancouver, Washington with her husband and very large dog and loves the rain.
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.
Ramiza Koya’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as Washington Square Review, Lumina, and Catamaran, and she has been a fellow at both MacDowell Colony and Blue Mountain Center. She has both a BA and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught in Spain, the Czech Republic, and Morocco. In addition to teaching composition courses, she also works as a freelance writer and editor. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Portland Community College.
Kathleen Lane’s middle-grade novel, The Best Worst Thing, was published by Little, Brown in spring 2016, and she is currently working on a short story collection and young adult novel. She’s taught writing as a visiting instructor at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and before Portland co-founded ART 180, a nonprofit in Richmond, Virginia that gives kids living in challenging circumstances the chance to express themselves through art, and to share their stories with the community through readings, performances, exhibits, and public installations. Along with Margaret Malone, she hosts the Portland art and literary event series SHARE.
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.
Zeloszelos Marchandt is an 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.
Mark Pomeroy is the author of The Brightwood Stillness. He has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship for fiction and a residency at Caldera Arts. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Open Spaces, The Wordstock 10, Portland Magazine, NW Book Lovers, The Oregonian, and What Teaching Means: Stories from America’s Classrooms. A former classroom teacher, he holds an MA in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was a Fellow in Teaching. He lives with his family in northeast Portland.
Matthew Robinson is a writer and educator living in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of The Horse Latitudes (Propeller Books, 2016) and his words have most recently appeared in Grist, Clackamas Literary Review, O-Dark-Thirty, and the war anthology The Road Ahead (Pegasus Books, 2017). Matthew earned his MFA in fiction from Portland State University and is the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship for fiction.
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.
Stacey Tran is a writer from Portland, OR. She curates Tender Table and her writing can be found in diaCRITICS, The Fanzine, Gramma, and The Volta. Wendy’s Subway released her first chapbook, Fake Haiku (February 2017). Tran is a 2017-18 WITS apprentice.