Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Smith is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems appear in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, Tin House, The Believer, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Guernica, Plume, AGNI, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. PRI (Public Radio International) called it “the official poem of 2016.”
Chelsea Martin is an illustrator and author of five books, including Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow Life, Mickey, and Even Though I Don’t Miss You. Her website is jerkethics.com.
Wendy Oleson is the author of Please Find Us (winner of the Gertrude Press 2017 Fiction Chapbook Contest) and Our Daughter and Other Stories (winner of the Map Literary 2016 Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Award). Her stories and hybrid work have appeared recently in Copper Nickel, Cimarron Review, and Crab Orchard Review. Wendy teaches for Washington State at Tri-Cities, the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension, and serves as an associate editor for Fairy Tale Review and Memorious Magazine. She lives with her wife and a hiccup-prone dog named Winston in Walla Walla, Washington.
Born and raised on the East Coast in Buffalo, NY, Shantell Jackson moved to the Inland Northwest 13 years ago for work. She believes WA state is where she has found her passion for creating. Shantell’s artwork and other creative ventures are a part of a personal process. It is about the process not so much the product. The hope is that the viewer has a personal almost spiritual experience with the artwork.
Dawn Pichon Barron
Dawn Pichon Barron is a mixed blood–Indixicana/white–writer & educator, wife & mother, & fighter for social justice. She is currently the Director/Faculty of the Native Pathways Program at the Evergreen State College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrelhouse (ALPHA blog), Yellow Medicine Review, Pontoon, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Washington 129 Poetry Anthology, Of A Monstrous Child Anthology, No News Today, and The Olympian. Her chapbook, ESCAPE GIRL BLUES (Finishing Line Press) will be in the world January 2018. She can be reached @pigoengirlsgot.
Ana Marie Spagna
Ana Maria Spagna lives with her (now) wife, Laurie, in a remote community in the North Cascades accessible only by foot or boat. She is the author of several books including Reclaimers, the story of people reclaiming sacred land and water, the memoir/history Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey, winner of the River Teeth literary nonfiction prize, The Luckiest Scar on Earth, a novel for young people, and three essay collections, Potluck, Now Go Home, and most recently, Uplake: Restless Essays of Coming and Going. Her work has been recognized by the Society for Environmental Journalists, the Nautilus Book Awards, as a three-time finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and appears regularly in journals and magazines including Orion, Creative Nonfiction, Ecotone, Brevity, The Normal School, and High Country News. She teaches writing in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and in 2017/018 at Whitman College. Check out her website here.
Laura Zak is a queer writer from the Texas Panhandle. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she’s placed as a finalist in the Montana Book Festival’s 2017 Regional Emerging Writer’s Contest. Her work can be seen in NonBinary Review, The Manifest-Station, and TribTalk. She is a recent graduate from the University of Idaho’s MFA program and co-host of the POP-UP PROSE reading series in Moscow, Idaho.
Leah Sottile is an award-winning freelance journalist whose work has been featured by The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, The Washington Post, Playboy, Vice, Outside, and several other magazines. She is a frequent guest on public radio, an occasional fiction writer, a one-time comic strip author and is the former host of two very late-night heavy metal programs. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Born and raised in Spokane Washington, Asia Porter is curiously exploring what it means to express mental states, identity, and moments in time through spatial and abstract linework. Asia also orients many of her pieces around the human and imaginative face. Her other interests and pursuits include mask making, poetry, interior design and furniture refurbishment.
Kathryn Smith is the author of the poetry collection Book of Exodus (Scablands Books, 2017), the recipient of a Spokane Arts Grant Award, a graduate of Eastern’s MFA in creative writing, and a Best American Poetry and Pushcart nominee. Recent poems can be found in Poetry Northwest, Pinwheel, A Bad Penny Review, and The Boiler Journal. She lives in Spokane.
Matthew Sullivan’s debut novel, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore (Scribner, 2017) was an Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover pick, and a Goodreads Choice Award finalist. His stories have been awarded the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize and the Florida Review Editor’s Prize, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Lit Hub, Joyland, The Masters Review, and elsewhere. He was raised in a giant family in Colorado and received his M.F.A. from the University of Idaho, and for the past 15 years he has been teaching writing at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake. He lives with his wife and kids and pooch in Ephrata.
Thom Caraway is an English professor at Whitworth University, where he serves as editor-in-chief for Rock & Sling. He is also the publisher of Sage Hill Press, whose titles include Railtown Almanac and WA129. His work has appeared in the Pie & Whiskey anthology (Sasquatch Books), Redivider, North Dakota Quarterly, Sugar House Review, and elsewhere. His books include A Visitor’s Guide to North Dakota, No Secrets to Sell, and What the Sky Lacks (Korrectiv 2018). In 2016, he helped found Millwood Print Works, a letterpress and screen print teaching studio. He lives in Spokane, Washington, where he served as the city’s first poet laureate, from 2013-2015.
Montreux Rotholtz is the author of Unmark (Burnside Review Press, 2017), which was selected by Mary Szybist as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Press Book Award. Her poems appear in Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Prelude, jubilat, Lana Turner, and elsewhere. She lives in Seattle.
Jennifer Haupt went to Rwanda as a journalist in 2006, twelve years after the genocide that wiped out over one million people, to explore the connections between forgiveness and grief. She spent a month interviewing survivors and humanitarian aid workers, and returned to Seattle with something unexpected: the bones of a novel. Haupt’s essays and articles have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Rumpus, Spirituality & Health, Psychology Today, Travel & Leisure, The Sun and many other publications. In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills is her first novel.
Ben Cartwright’s poetry has appeared in Seneca Review, DIAGRAM, West Branch, and Prick of the Spindle, among others. His fiction has appeared in Crab Creek Review, The Stinging Fly, Johnny America, and Lilac City Fairy Tales. He collaborates with printmaker Lindsey Merrell, and their work has appeared in Duende. Ben’s poetry manuscript After Our Departure won the 2016 Powder Horn Prize judged by Nance Van Winckel, and was published by Sage Hill Press in October 2016. His chapbook The Meanest Things Pick Clean was published in October 2017 by Floating Bridge Press. Ben teaches at Spokane Falls Community College. He can be found online at benjamindcartwright.com.
Grayson Davey is a 19 year old poet and actor living in Spokane. He has never been published, but has a chapbook in the works. Grayson is a proud and out trans man who wishes to cultivate a safe space for queer people to be themselves! He is honored to have been chosen to take part in this year’s Get Lit! Festival.
Keegan Lawler is a queer writer from the University of Idaho. His study interests include creative nonfiction, queer studies, and feminist studies.
Brahiam Villanueva is a senior at Gonzaga University majoring in History and English Writing. His most recent publication appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of the journal Reflection. He participated in the 2017 Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, where he spent much of his free time observing the frigid sea, and relaxing on the toasty sand. He loves accepting every reading recommendation, and hardly finishes a book before starting three others. School is rough for him.
Michael Schmidtke was born and raised in the Seattle area, and now lives and works in Spokane, Washington. They do not maintain a specific gender identity at this point, although constant awareness of the implications of certain clothing haunts them. Gender dysphoria seems like the right phrase. Their primary mode of creative writing is poetry.
Tod Marshall was born in Buffalo, New York, and he grew up in Wichita, Kansas. He directs the writing concentration and coordinates the visiting writers series at Gonzaga University. He enjoys backpacking and fishing and spends about a month of every year in a tent. From 2016-2018, he served as the Washington State Poet Laureate. He is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Bugle (Canarium Books, 2014, and winner of the Washington State Book Award).
Matson’s first full-length collection of poetry, The Moons, was published by Blue Begonia Press in 2012 and was also included in the 2015 Blue Begonia Press boxed set, Tell Tall Women. She was the 2016 recipient of the Artist Trust GAP Award with Centrum Residency and her poems have appeared most recently in Poetry Northwest, The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Crab Creek Review, and Numéro Cinq.
Born and raised in the Music City, she is now proud to find a home in the cradle of the Spokane River. Bethany Taylor is a letterpress printer, owner of Interpunct-Press, co-founder of the community print shop, the Millwood Print Works, has authored and illustrated several children’s books and had her illustrations and letterpress works published in multiple publications, both digital and analog. She has 26 letters and 2 hands to work with.
Sarah Hauge is a regular contributor to Inland Northwest publications and writes the Run Wild column for Out There Outdoors. She also works as a freelance editor and has a day job in communications. She earned her MFA from Eastern Washington University. Sarah lives in Spokane with her husband and two daughters.
Trent Reedy served in the Iowa Army National Guard from 1999 to 2005, including a year’s tour of duty in Afghanistan. Based upon his experiences there, he wrote Words in the Dust, which won the Christopher Medal and was chosen for Al Roker’s Book Club for Kids on the Today show. His novels Stealing Air, If You’re Reading This, and the Divided We Fall trilogy were Junior Library Guild selections. His seventh novel, Gamer Army will be published November 27. Trent lives and writes outside Spokane, Washington.
Daniel Scully the is writer and illustrator of the wildly hilarious weekly(ish) webcomic, The Mealstorm. As a Spokane native, Daniel is heavily involved in the local arts and comics scene. He is a regular contributor to the Spokane Sequential, a local quarterly publication highlighting comic creators of the inland northwest; an active member of the Inland NW Association of Sequential Artists (INWASA), a community of local comics creators; and a regular participant in art shows such as Terrain, Bazaar, and First Friday. You can see his work on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by following him @TheMealstorm or you can visit his website at TheMealstorm.com
Laura O’Brien is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator, and SFCC alumni who spends her days hanging out with other people’s dogs. She grew up on a diet of Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, and Elfquest and has been living out the consequences ever since. Her most recent work can be seen at www.oh-laura.com.
Simeon Mills is a cartoonist, writer, and teacher living in Spokane. His debut novel, The Obsoletes, will be published in 2019 by Skybound Books. His graphic novel, Butcher Paper, is available from Scablands Books. His graphic stories have appeared in various journals, such as The Florida Review, RiverLit, Rock & Sling, and Okey-Panky. See his work at www.simeonmills.com.
Claire Rudolf Murphy
Claire Rudolf Murphy is the author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults, including Marching With Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Rights, which won the Amelia Bloomer award and the International Reader Association’s Teachers’ Choice Award. Her seventeenth book Martin and Bobby: A Journey to Justice will be published this year, fifty years after the tragic deaths of King and Kennedy. Today she writes in her hometown of Spokane and serves on the faculty of Hamline University‘s low residency Masters in Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Recent events have renewed her deep-seated passion for political activism.
David Axelrod is the editor of Sensational Nightingales: The Collected Poetry of Walter Pavlich, just published by Lynx House Press. His new collection of poems, The Open Hand,is also just out from Lost Horse Press. Other work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in About Place, American Poetry Journal, Cape Rock, Cascadia Review, Cloudbank, CrazyHorse, Fogged Clarity, The Hopper, Hubbub, Miramar, Southern Poetry Review, Stringtown, among others.
Travis Laurence Naught
Travis Laurence Naught is an author who happens to be a quadriplegic wheelchair user. His confessional poetry has been released in The Virgin Journals (ASD Publishing, 2012) and Still Journaling (e-book, 2013). A novel by Travis has also been published, Joyride (Black Rose Writing, 2016). His other interests include talking about writing while fishing, drinking, sitting around with a musician, or any combination of those activities!
Kate Lebo is the author of the cookbook Pie School (Sasquatch Books), the poetry chapbook From a Tree (Dancing Girl Press), and co-editor with Sam Ligon of the anthology Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze. Her writing has appeared in Best American Essays, Best New Poets, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. Her first collection of essays, The Book of Difficult Fruit, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. She lives in Spokane, Washington.
Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, Crooked Little Heart, and Imperfect Birds. She has also written several bestselling books of nonfiction, including, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son’s first year followed by Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son, and a writing guide; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. She has also authored three collections of autobiographical essays on faith; Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, and Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. In her book of non-fiction, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Ms. Lamott gives us three prayers to assist us in trying times. Her book Stitches; A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair, is an honest, funny book about how to make sense of life’s chaos. In 2014 she wrote a book of essays called Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. Her newest book, Hallelujah Anyway; Rediscovering Mercy (April 2017) is about mercy.
Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. Academy Award –winning filmmaker Freida Mock has made a documentary on Lamott, entitled “Bird by Bird with Annie” (1999). Anne Lamott has also been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
Bryant Terry is the author of the critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen (VSK): Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, which was named one of the best vegetarian/vegan cookbooks of the last 25 years by Cooking Light Magazine. He is also the author of The Inspired Vegan and the coauthor of Grub (with Anna Lappe), which The New York Times called “ingenious.” His newest book is Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean and Southern Flavors Remixed, which was named one of the best cookbooks of the year by Amazon.com. Check out his website here.
A former competitive and professional tree climber, Josh MacIvor-Andersen is the author of the memoir On Heights & Hunger and the editor of Rooted, The Best New Arboreal Nonfiction. His essays, reviews, and reportage have won numerous national awards and nominations for the Pushcart Prize and can be found in journals and magazines such as The Guardian, Normal School, Gulf Coast, Paris Review Daily, Fourth Genre, Arts and Letters, Sycamore Review, National Geographic/Glimpse, Diagram, The Drum, The Collagist, The Northwest Review, and many others. He is currently at work on a collection of meditations on the dynamics of arrival, and unschooling his two young children in Marquette, Michigan, which means they play a lot in the woods and lake.
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Buzzfeed, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.
Maya Jewell Zeller
Maya Jewell Zeller is the author of Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts, a collaboration with visual artist Carrie DeBacker (Entre Rios Books); Yesterday, the Bees, a chapbook (Floating Bridge Press); and Rust Fish (Lost Horse Press, 2011). She is Assistant Professor for Central Washington University and Poetry Editor for Scablands Books. Maya lives in the Inland Northwest with her family.
Christopher Howell’s latest collection of poems, Love’s Last Number, was released in 2017 by Milkweed Editions and was a finalist for the 2017 Rilke Award. His selected volume, Dreamless and Possible, published by the University of Washington Press in 2010, encompasses three decades of distinguished work drawn from all of his previous books
Shawn Vestal’s debut novel Daredevils was published in 2016 with Penguin Press. His short-story collection Godforsaken Idaho was named the winner of the PEN/American Robert W. Bingham Prize, which honors a debut book that “represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.” Vestal is also a columnist for the Spokesman-Review. Check out his website here.
Nance Van Winckel
Nance Van Winckel is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Our Foreigner, winner of the Pacific Coast Poetry Series Prize (Beyond Baroque Press, 2017), Book of No Ledge (Pleiades Press Visual Poetry Series, 2016), and Pacific Walkers (U. of Washington Press, 2014). She’s also published five books of fiction, including Ever Yrs, a novel in the form of a scrapbook (Twisted Road Publications, 2014) and Boneland: Linked Stories (U. of Oklahoma Press, 2013). She is on the faculties of Eastern Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers and Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing Program. The recipient of two NEA poetry fellowships, the Paterson Fiction Prize, Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Poetry Award, a Christopher Isherwood Fiction Fellowship, and three Pushcart Prizes, Nance lives with her husband Rik Nelson in Spokane, Washington.
Her author website is: http://www.nancevanwinckel.com
T.J. Tranchell grew up in Utah and now lives in Moscow, Idaho, with his wife and son. He has a master’s in Literature from Central Washington University and is in his first year of the MFA in fiction program at the University of Idaho. He is the author of the novella Cry Down Dark and the collection Asleep in the Nightmare Room, both from Blysster Press, and the co-editor of GIVE: An Anthology of Anatomical Entries and Take: An Anthology of Anatomical Entries Volume II (coming in 2018) from When the Dead Books. He is a regular panelist and interviewer at Crypticon Seattle and recently published a story titled “Tell No Man” in the inaugural issue of Gallows Hill. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Horror Writers Association.
Donna Miscolta’s story collection Hola and Goodbye won the Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman and publication by Carolina Wren Press in 2016. It won the Independent Publishers gold medal for Best Regional Fiction and an International Latino Book Award silver medal for Best Latino Focused Fiction in English. She is also the author of the novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced (Signal 8 Press, 2011). Her stories, essays, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of journals, most recently in Moss,Blood Orange Review, and Seattle Review of Books. Her work has been supported by grants from 4Culture, Artist Trust, Bread Loaf/Rona Jaffe Foundation, Jack Straw, and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture as well as residencies at Artsmith, Anderson Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Find her at donnamiscolta.com.
Roin Morigeau (b. Oct 24, 1984) is an interdisciplinary artist experiencing and investigating pain through mixed-media such as drawing, painting, poetry, and sculpture. Living with physical limitations and daily chronic pain from a spinal injury, Roin centers their art practice as a form of protest and healing. Roin was chosen as a 2017 cohort member of the Window Dressing Creative Enterprise Program, was recently featured in Spokane/ CDA Living Magazine Dec ‘17 issue, and their work has been shown in locally curated shows and events such as: ‘17 Emerge Pop Up Show, Terrain Bazaar ‘17 and Terrain 10. Roin maintains a daily studio practice and lives with their matriarchs in occupied Spokane territories where they were raised. Their self-published poetry chapbook, “PAST PRESENT FUTURE”, was released in September ’17 and is available at www.roinmorigeau.com.
Lareign Ward’s prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Southeast Review, Under the Gum Tree, The Mary Sue, and other publications. She received an MFA in creative nonfiction from The MFA at EWU in 2015. A native of Northeast Texas, she worked for several years as a journalist in the South before relocating to the West Coast. She currently lives and works in Spokane.
Elliot Reed got his MFA from the University of Florida, where he first taught writing. He now teaches writing as an adjunct professor in Spokane. His debut novel, A Key to Treehouse Living, publishes this coming fall through Tin House Books.
Fitz is a performance poet based out of Spokane Washington where they have made it their mission to fall in love with strangers through the written and spoken word. They were a member of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 National Poetry Slam teams representing Spokane, and also represented Spokane in the 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam and 2017 Women of the World poetry slam. They are also the current host of the weekly cult classic poetry open mic, Broken Mic and sit on the steering comittee of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane. Their often deals with issues from queer existence, mental health, truama, to romantic love, pastries, and other mysteries of the universe. Their work as appeared in numerous local publications such as Riverlit, HeavyEdit, Love and Outrage and local anthologies “I am a Town” and “Spokane Poetry Slam: Uncensored”. Their work as also appeared in online publications such as Beech Street Review, Nysai, and Voicemail Poems. They have performed in venues across the Pacific Northwest, at Spokane LGBT Pride, numerous social justice events, The Spokane Arts Awards, opened for traveling punk bands as well as slam poet legends Andrea Gibson and Buddy Wakefield.
Kailee Haong is a queer woman of color who primarily writes fiction. She is student in Eastern Washington University’s MFA program in Creative Writing. Her short stories have been published in Spokane Writes: A Poetry and Prose Anthology, and Lilac City Fairy Tales. She always strives to write from, for, and with marginalized perspectives.
Elissa Ball is a poet, non-fiction writer, and humorist born and raised in Yakima, WA. She writes a weekly astrology column called Space Witch for Seattle Weekly. Elissa also reads Tarot cards and teaches classes on Tarot. Her latest book, More or Less, is an illustrated collection of poetic jokes, published by Cold Cube Press in March 2018. In 2012 Blue Begonia Press published The Punks Are Writing Love Songs, Elissa’s debut poetry collection. In 2014 Monofonus Press published Personal Growth, her small book of jokes about boners (really).
Ruby Hansen Murray
Ruby Hansen Murray is a writer and photographer, whose work appears in World Literature Today, CutBank, The Rumpus, As/Us. Winner of the 2017 Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction, she’s a VONA fellow with an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Maureen McQuerry is a novelist, poet and teacher. Her novels include, The Peculiars (Abrams/Amulet) an ALA Best Book for YA 2013, Beyond the Door, a Booklist top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth and The Telling Stone, a finalist for the WA State Book awards. Her poetry appears in The Southern Review, Smartish Pace, and Georgetown Review among other journals. She lives in Washington State. www.maureenmcquerry.com
Lisa Laughlin received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The MFA at EWU in June, 2017. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor in the Spokane area. She recently had an essay about working wheat harvest in central Washington state published in High Desert Journal. She has a chapbook of flash essays, titled “Kindling,” forthcoming from Sweet Publications in 2018. She is a digital editor and contributor at Out There Outdoors magazine, writes copy for DOMA Coffee Roasting Company, and is the nonfiction editor for The Swamp Literary Magazine.
Jessica Wade is an account director at DH, a PR, branding and advertising firm. She is on the board for Spark Central, a nonprofit that provides creative learning opportunities for youth and adults. She is an English nerd who loves writing (and editing even more). She also paints watercolors (expressionist, colorful, animal subject matter), and she provided ink illustrations for Unloved, a chapbook about ostracized animals.
Dan Chaon’s most recent book is Ill Will, a novel. Other works include the short story collection Stay Awake (2012), a finalist for the Story Prize; the national bestseller Await Your Reply and Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, the Shirley Jackson Award, and he was the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Ohio and teaches at Oberlin College.
Twahan Simultaneous hails out of Spokane, WA. He spends his days creating poetry cyphers spontaneously at local diners and day dreaming on park benches. His poetry chapbook “Cold Summer” released in January. Twahan practices the ways of a mountain goat, often on the edge, yet content. Throughout his time on the Spokane poetry scene, Twahan has guest hosted and featured at some of the city’s biggest poetry events such as Broken Mic, 3 Minute Mic, Power 2 The Poetry Slam, Tinnabulation Music Festival, etc. Twahan was a finalist in the 2018 season of Spokane Poetry Slam and was an organizer for the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam. If you see him, feel free to make random goat noises.
Tony Russell is a stand-up comic and co-author of the Spokane based crime noir series Kiss the Messenger with partner Devin Devine. A combat veteran and world traveler gives him a unique perspective on life, love, and relationships. He has been performing on stage since 2006, honing his comedic skill. Although he has lived many places, he calls Spokane home with his partner and two dogs.
Tiffany Midge is an enrolled citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and was raised in the Pacific Northwest. Her work is featured in McSweeney’s, Waxwing, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Moss, World Literature Today, and her humor columns are published in Indian Country Media Network. Midge’s poetry collection “The Woman Who Married a Bear” (University of New Mexico Press) won the Kenyon Review’s Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry and a Western Heritage Award. She lives in Moscow, Idaho, where she is the Poet Laureate, and aspires to be a distinguished writer in residence in Seattle’s Space Needle.
Adriana Janovich is the food editor at The Spokesman-Review. Her work has also appeared in the in-flight magazines for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, Fodor’s Pacific Northwest, Edible Seattle and newspapers throughout the state. She has a master’s degree from University of Southern California and teaches journalism at Gonzaga and Whitworth universities.
Shann Ray has served as a National Endowment for the Arts fellow, a research psychologist for the Centers for Disease Control, a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Research Division, and a visiting scholar in the Netherlands, the Philippines, Canada, South Africa, and Colombia. His collection of stories, American Masculine, named by Esquire for their Three Books Every Man Should Read series and selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book, won the Bakeless Prize, the High Plains Book Award, and the American Book Award. Sherman Alexie said Ray’s work is “tough and beautiful” and Dave Eggers called it “lyrical, prophetic, and brutal, yet ultimately hopeful.” Shann’s creative nonfiction book of leadership and political theory, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity, sheds light on the nature of categorical human transgressions and engages the question of ultimate forgiveness in the context of ultimate violence. He is the winner of the Subterrain Poetry Prize, the Crab Creek Review Fiction Award, the Poetry Quarterly Poetry Prize, the Pacific Northwest Inlander Short Story Award and the Ruminate Short Story Prize. His work has appeared in some of the nation’s leading literary venues including Poetry, McSweeney‘s, Narrative, and Northwest Review. Shann grew up in Montana and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. He lives with his wife and three daughters, in Spokane, Washington where he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, writer, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. With Big Lucks, Hanif released a limited edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in Summer 2017. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow and previously worked for MTV News, where he wrote about the intersections of music, culture, and identity. Hanif also wrote the 2016 live shows: MTV Video Music Awards and VH1’s Unsilent Night. His first full length collection, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was one of 2016s best-selling poetry books and was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book prize. Hanif’s debut collection of essays titled, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was published November of 2017 via Two Dollar Radio. He is a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve L. Ewing. Check out his website here.
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, a contemporary young adult novel from Simon & Schuster available now in bookstores everywhere. She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion alumni with a Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship. She has been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Lilliam’s work has appeared in Tin House, Tahoma Literary Review, Los Angeles Times, Latina, USA Today, Cosmo for Latinas, Sundog Lit, Midnight Breakfast, Bellevue Literary Review, The Rumpus.net, and Los Angeles Review of Books. Her next young adult novel Dealing in Dreams is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on March 2019.
Nathaniel Tarn (born 1928 in Paris) is an American poet, essayist, anthropologist, and translator. As poet, literary and cultural critic (two volumes: Views from the Weaving Mountain, University of New Mexico Press, 1991, and The Embattled Lyric, Stanford University Press, 2007), translator (he was the first to render Victor Segalen’s Stèles into English, continued work on Neruda, Latin American, and French poets) and editor (with many magazines), Tarn has published some thirty books and booklets in his various disciplines including Lyrics for the Bride of God and Ins and Outs of the Forest Rivers with New Directions. He has been translated into ten foreign languages. His papers are at Stanford.
An Indigenous daughter of the West, CMarie Fuhrman was born in Colorado and has lived in various rural towns all along the Rocky Mountains. She has earned degrees in Exercise Physiology, English, and American Indian Studies and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Idaho where she is an advisor for Native students and associate poetry editor for Fugue. CMarie’s poetry has been featured in Broadsided Press’s NoDapl compilation, two anthologies, and is included or forthcoming in several literary journals including Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Yellow Medicine Review and Whitefish Review. A recipient of the Burns Award for poetry and multiple fellowships, and a co-editor for a forthcoming anthology of Indigenous poetry and craft published by Tupelo Press. CMarie divides her time between Moscow, Idaho and the high mountains.
Jess Walter is the author of eight books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Beautiful Ruins. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and three times has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories. He lives, proudly, in Spokane.
Check out his website here.
Leyna Krow is the author of the short story collection I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking (Featherproof Books 2017). She has an MFA from EWU and she lives in Spokane with her husband and daughter.
Alexis M. Smith
Alexis M. Smith is the author of the novels Glaciers, a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, and Marrow Island, winner of a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Her work has appeared in The Portland Monthly, Bon Appétit, Portland Review, and elsewhere.
Aileen Keown Vaux
Aileen Keown Vaux earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. Currently, she lives in Spokane, WA, where she serves as a Career Advisor for the College of Arts, Letters, and Education at EWU. She writes non-fiction and poetry, and her collection of poems Consolation Prize, inspired by her passion for county fairs and her experiences growing up in Central Washington, was published by Scablands Books in 2018.
Bruce Holbert is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Hotel America, The Antioch Review, Crab Creek Review, Other Voices, The Contemporary West and the New York Times. His first novel, Lonesome Animals was a top ten pick in 2012 for The Seattle Times; it was followed by The Hour of Lead in 2014 (both Counterpoint), which won the Washington State Book Award 2015 and was named by Kirkus as a top 100 pick for 2014. Holbert’s next novel, Whiskey, will be published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in March of 2018.
Stephanie Oakes lives in Spokane, Washington. She holds an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University. Her debut novel, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, was a Morris Award finalist, a Golden Kite Honor book, ad a New York Public Library Best Book for Teens. Her most recent novel, The Arsonist, was published in 2017.
Juan Carlos Reyes
Juan Carlos Reyes was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He’s the product of a math degree, though only words hold his attention anymore. His first book, A Summer’s Lynching, won the Quarterly West 2016 novella prize, and his chapbook, Elements of a Bystander, won the 2017 Arcadia Press Chapbook Prize. His stories, poems and essays have appeared in Ascentos Review, KGB Lit, and Hawai’i Review, among others. He is currently a Jack Straw Fellow and serves as an assistant professor of creative writing at Seattle University.
Mark L. Anderson
Mark L. Anderson is a poet from Spokane, Washington. In November 2017 he was named Spokane’s third Poet Laureate. He is a co-founder of the popular Broken Mic reading series, as well as a former organizer of the Spokane Poetry Slam. In 2012 he was named the inaugural Ken Warfel Fellow by the Bellingham Poetrynight Organization.
Janelle Cordero is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in the seventh most hipster city in the U.S. Both her writing and her paintings are sparse narratives that emphasize the disconnected nature of the human condition. Her writing has been published in dozens of literary journals, including Harpur Palate and The Louisville Review, while her paintings have been featured in venues throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her debut poetry collection, Two Cups of Tomatoes, was published in 2015, and her chapbook with Black Sand Press is forthcoming in 2018. Janelle’s artistic priority is to collaborate with other creators to push for social and political change. Stay connected with Janelle’s work at www.janellecordero.com.
Jamie Boyd is a nationally touring Native American comedian from the Choctaw Nation. Her unique style and perspective on everyday life has made her a crowd favorite time and time again. She is known for saying the things people don’t say outloud but everyone can relate to. She has placed in the top three of every competition she has entered for nearly a decade, including Native America’s Got Talent, Valleyfest PG Rated Competition, and on the other side of the coin, Chans X-Rated Comedy Competition. In 2013 she was named one of the Northwest’s Top Comedians and has not stopped her momentum. She is sure to win all types of crowds over and never disappoints!
Melinda Mueller was born in Helena, Montana. She earned a degree in Botany at the University of Washington (while also studying poetry with Nelson Bentley) and earned a Masters in Biology at Central Washington. Mueller’s most recent poetry collection, Mary’s Dust, was published by Entre Rios Books in 2018. Seal Press published Melinda’s first book in 1976 (a chapbook, Private Gallery). Her second book (Asleep in Another Country) was published by Jawbone Press in 1979. Grey Spider Press published a chapbook, Apocrypha, in 1998. What the Ice Gets: Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916 (2000, Van West & Company) received a 2001 Washington State Book Award and the American Library Notable Books Award for Poetry, in 2002. A chapbook, The After, was released by Entre Rios Press in October, 2017. Melinda was a coauthor of an early list of rare, threatened and endangered plant species of Washington State. She is on the science faculty at Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Kevin Craft lives in Seattle and directs the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College. His first book, Solar Prominence (2005), was selected by Vern Rutsala for the Gorsline Prize from Cloudbank Books. A new collection, Vagrants & Accidentals, was recently published in the Pacific Northwest Poets Series of the University of Washington Press. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared widely in such places as Poetry, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Stranger. He has received fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, MacDowell Colony, the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), the Camargo Foundation (France), 4Culture, The Jack Straw Cultural Center, and Artist Trust. Craft served as editor of Poetry Northwest from 2009 – 2016. He is now executive editor of Poetry NW Editions, and a director of the UW Writers in Rome program which he has led for nearly 20 years. He believes that poems, like good travelers, live in the go-between.
Tiffany Patterson is a prolific painter, illustrator, and graphic designer. She’s self-taught and has been showing her work in Spokane for over 10 years. Her work can be found around town on everything from bridge underpasses to billboards and coffee bags. Her art is a celebration of little victories, tiny moments, happiness and humor.
Kathryn Nuernberger is the author of The End of Pink (BOA, 2016), which won the 2015 James Laughlin prize from the Academy of American Poets, and Rag & Bone (Elixir, 2011), which won the 2010 Antivenom Prize. A collection of lyric essays, Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past (Ohio State University Press, 2017), won the Non/Fiction Prize from The Journal. She teaches in the creative writing program at University of Central Missouri, where she also serves as the director of Pleiades Press. She has received grants from the NEA, American Antiquarian Society and the Bakken Museum of Electricity in Life.
Ellen Welcker is the author of Ram Hands (Scablands Books, 2016), The Botanical Garden (Astrophil Press, 2010) and several chapbooks, including The Pink Tablet (Fact-Simile Editions, 2018). She lives in Spokane, WA, works for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry, and curates literary events locally.
R. Cassandra Bruner
R. Cassandra Bruner was born and raised in Indiana. Currently, she is an MFA poetry candidate at Eastern Washington University, where she serves as Managing Editor for Willow Springs Books and Web Editor for Willow Springs. Recipient of the 2017 Montan Book Festival’s Emerging Writers’ Contest, her poetry has previously appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Hunger Mountain, Indiana Review, Pleiades, and Vinyl Poetry.
Andy Lang teaches English, AP Literature, and Creative Writing at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from EWU, and went back there several years later for his teaching credentials. He’s dug ditches, poured concrete, waded rivers, counted bugs, roofed houses, and published poetry.
Devin Devine is a writer, comedian, and performer from Spokane, Washington. One of the current slam masters for Spokane Poetry Slam and a member of Spokane’s 2015 & 2017 NPS Teams. She laughs and writes her way through issues of mental health, sexuality, recovery, and love. She is the author of three self-published chapbooks Feral Empathy, Crying on the Toilet, and her most recent Domestic & Fowl. She is also currently writing and self-publishing crime series Kiss the Messenger with partner and co-author Tony Russell. Her work has been published on ThoughtCatalog and in Lilac City Fairy Tales Vol. IV. She hopes one day to have an office with a corkboard, a library, and a succulent that she cannot over water.
Christine Holbert, founder and publisher of Lost Horse Press, earned her MA in Publishing from Eastern Washington University in 1998. In addition to running Lost Horse Press, Holbert is dedicated to contributing to the community: she organizes creative writing workshops and literary readings in Sandpoint, Idaho; hosts the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks annual play in Sandpoint; and oversees the annual poetry book contest—The Idaho Prize for Poetry—to promote the literary arts in Idaho and nationally.
Melissa Huggins is a prose writer whose stories and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in The Oyez Review, Lilac City Fairy Tales, Railtown Almanac, and elsewhere. Her author interviews with Joyce Carol Oates, William T. Vollmann, and Emily St. John Mandel have appeared in Willow Springs. She is the executive director of Spokane Arts, and spent five years as the director of Get Lit! Programs. She serves on the boards of Scablands Books and Pivot: A Live Storytelling Series. A graduate of EWU’s MFA program, she was recently awarded a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Sheri Boggs is the Youth Collection Development Librarian for the Spokane County Library District. She’s worked as a bookseller, librarian, editor and writer. Currently she lives in Spokane with her librarian husband and two rescue dogs.
Gary Copeland Lilley
Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of seven books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman’s Medicine Show from Lost Horse Press (2017). He is originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, and was a finalist for 2018 -2020 Washington State Poet Laureate. He is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, Waxwing, the Taos International Journal of Poetry, and the African American Review. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.
Kim Kent is a poet from New England, currently at home in the Pacific Northwest. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University and a great appreciation for the stretch of Interstate 90 that connects Seattle to Spokane. Her work has appeared in CloudBank, Nimrod, [PANK], and others.
Desiré Aguirre is a singer/songwriter/musician/poet who lives in Sandpoint, Idaho. She plays in the string band Ruff Shodd. She belongs to a women’s writing group that inspires her, runs a blog for bereaved parents, and writes articles for Idaho Magazine. Her poem, “Dancing Horses” was accepted for inclusion in the anthology, NASTY WOMEN POETS: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, edited by Grace Bauer & Julie Kane (Lost Horse Press, 2017). When she’s not writing or playing music, she rides her horses into the mountains.
Samuel Ligon is the author of two novels—Among the Dead and Dreaming and Safe in Heaven Dead—and two collections of stories, Wonderland, illustrated by Stephen Knezovich, and Drift and Swerve. He’s co-editor, with Kate Lebo, of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze. His stories have appeared in Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and is Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference.
Check out his website here.