Elissa Washuta

Elissa WashutaElissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a writer of personal essays and memoir. She is the author of two books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules, named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Elissa has received fellowships and awards from Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund, and Hugo House. Born and raised in New Jersey, she now lives near Seattle. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. Elissa holds an MFA from The University of Washington and currently serves as the undergraduate adviser for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and a nonfiction faculty member in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a faculty adviser for Mud City Journal and Saturday editor for The Rumpus.

From Poets and Writers: “For a while, I tried to forgive myself for not writing every day, but now that the work of my first memoir is complete, I realize that taking long breaks, pacing my work, and allowing for retreat is nothing that needs forgiveness: My brain was protecting itself as it turned traumatic memory into crafted prose. An unflagging commitment to output might have gutted me. Now, with patience, I write when I feel that the work has begun to make itself inside of me.”

Take a look at the Book Trailer for My Body is a Book of Rules.

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