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Roster of Featured Readers
Consult our
schedule for time and venue.

TOD MARSHALL, Washington State Poet Laureate was born in Buffalo, New York.  He grew up in Wichita, Kansas. He studied English and philosophy at Siena Heights University, earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and graduated with his PhD from The University of Kansas. He directs the writing concentration and coordinates the visiting writers series at Gonzaga University where he is the Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Endowed Professor in the Humanities. He enjoys backpacking and fishing and spends about a month of every year in a tent. 



His work has been published in many journals, including Narrative, The Southern Review, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Boulevard, The Colorado Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Columbia Poetry Review, Poetry East, Poetry Northwest, Volt, Interim, The Canary, Willow Springs, Cutbank, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.

JAKE ANDREWS is a senior at Ellensburg High School and the Washington State Poetry Out Loud 2016 Champion.

XAVIER CAVAZOS is the author of Barbarian at the Gate, selected and introduced by Thomas Sayers Ellis as part of the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets Chapbook Series, and has published poetry in groundbreaking anthologies such as Best American Experimental Writing (BAX2015) and forthcoming in IMANIMAN: Gloria Anzaldúa Anthology.

BRIAN COONEY grew up in New York and lives now in Spokane, WA, where he teaches literature at Gonzaga University. His poems have appeared in Lumina, Pacifica Literary Review and other journals. His two chapbooks, My Idea of Fun, a finalist for the 2015 Floating Bridge contest, and The Descent of Ham (alice blue) were published in 2015.   

MARY ELIZA CRANE is a Northeast native who migrated to the western slope of the Cascades three decades ago. Passionately in love with the natural world, her voice lives in the understory and fog of forest and river, her poetry fuses nature, politics, and intimate life. A regular feature at Northwest venues, Mary has read poetry from Woodstock to LA.

KATELYN DURST spends her days working with youth and empowering them to be involved in their communities, as well as teaching poetry therapy at a youth psychiatric hospital in Tacoma. She dreams of becoming an urban beekeeper, embarking on snow-filled adventures, and living in a world where all people could share their stories and experience healing. 

PENNY K JOHNSON has been writing poetry and prose while working as a psychiatric nurse all her life. These two disciplines combine in art to create a unique prism of perception. Johnson won the 2006 Kirkwood Award for short fiction through the UCLA Extension.  Both her poetry and short stories have been published in small, independent presses including Bellowing Ark, Spillway, Spectacles, City Primeval, Pawn to Infinity and Signals. Johnson has also read her lyrical poetry at slams, the University of Washington and the Seattle Center. She received an MFA from Goddard College.

KIMII KALAMITY is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian confessional poet, a Pokemon trainer, and a Hello Kitty aficionado. As a refugee from the Southeastern United States, Kimii is overjoyed to be attending Central Washington University as a senior in the professional and creative writing program. Her work has been published in Manastash, CWU’s literary journal.

NATHALIE KASSELIS was born in France but attended school in the U.S. and studied Spanish as her professional language. She teaches Spanish and French language and literature in the department of world languages at Central Washington University and is very interested in both the theory and practice of translation.

J.I. (JUDY) KLEINBERG wields scissors, x-acto knife and glue in the unrelenting battle against doggerel and sloth. Her series (1100+) of found poems, which populate a small landscape between Dada and Twitter, between ransom note and haiku, explore the accidental syntax of unintentional phrases. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, doesn’t own a television, and blogs most days at chocolateisaverb and thepoetrydepartment.

CHRISTOPHER LUNA, Clark County Poet Laureate and his wife, Toni Partington, founded Printed Matter Vancouver and co-host Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, the popular reading series Luna established in 2004. Luna’s books include GHOST TOWN, USA and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978.

SHANKAR NARAYAN explores identity in a world where the body is flung across borders, yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar's work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and he is a 2016 Kundiman Fellow. Shankar works for social justice and builds community in Seattle, where he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, and where his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

ARMANDO ORTIZ is a junior at Central Washington University studying sociology with a minor in ethnic studies. Having lived on both sides of Washington he has experienced many trials and tribulations. Poetry and music are his way of expressing and coping with what he's been through. #FastPoetMovement

EUGENIA HEPWORTH PETTY was born under a waning gibbous moon, in the Aztec astrological sign of Ozomatli. Nicknamed Popcorn by a Ukrainian friend, she may occasionally appear silent and encased, but a cacophonous mixed media explosion will invariably occur given the correct alignment of elements.

JOSEPH POWELL has published five collections of poetry, including Getting Here (QRL), Hard Earth (March Street), and Preamble to the Afterlife (March Street). He co-wrote a textbook on meter called Accent on Meter, (NCTE, 2004). His book of short stories, Fish Grooming & Other Stories, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and he won a National Endowment for the Arts Award (2009). He taught at Central Washington University and is now an emeritus professor. 

LAURA READ has published poems in a variety of journals, most recently in Rock and Sling and Crab Creek Review. Her chapbook, The Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard Reminds Me of You, was the 2010 winner of the Floating Bridge Chapbook Award, and her collection, Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral, was the 2011 winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and was published in 2012 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. She teaches english at Spokane Falls Community College.

JOHNNY ROGER SCHOFIELD adores destroying bass guitars, so at the tender age of twenty-two he moved to Seattle, seeking the glory of coffee, rain, and the vaporous vestiges of Nirvana and Soundgarden. His creative shenanigans have produced to date: 3 novels, 168 poems, 79 songs, 5 Eps, 3 LPs, 558 shows, lots of weird MTV exposure, and 1 babechild.

JOANNIE STANGELAND dreads penning the quirky bio like left turns and climbing ladders. Not a risk taker, except when she's poeming—and even then it’s slow going. She's always wanted to live in a small town but feels she wouldn't fit in, so she visits when she writes.

ED STOVER is a retired newspaper reporter/editor who lives in Yakima with his wife, Lynn. They have three grown children and three growing grandsons and a fourth on the way. Life is poetry!

TITO TITUS is a powerful performance poet who interrogates life with a delicate blow torch. He dickers with death and, with wry wistfulness, eroticism, fierceness, humor, and courage, introduces you to lovely women, dead men, bastards, saints, victims, flies and more idolized or cauterized by his pen. Read about his recently published collection I can still smile like Errol Flynn at

KATHARINE WHITCOMB is the author of four collections of poems: The Daughter’s Almanac, winner of the 2014 The Backwaters Press Prize, Lamp of Letters, winner of the 2009 Floating Bridge Chapbook Award, Saints of South Dakota & Other Poems, and Hosannas. She teaches at Central Washington University and lives in Ellensburg, Washington.

MAYA JEWELL ZELLER was born in the upstairs apartment of her parents' gas station on the Oregon Coast. Her books Rust Fish and Yesterday, the Bees tackle rural poverty and human relationships to Pacific Northwest landscapes. Maya lives in Spokane, where she teaches writing and coordinates the Beacon Hill Reading Series.

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