WA state poet laureate
Tod Marhsall, 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 in Spokane, WA 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.
Roberto Ascalon has been a fellow with Artist Trust, Kundiman, and Jack Straw. He represented Seattle as a two-time National Poetry Slam team member. Ascalon’s poem, "THE FIRE THIS TIME, or How Come Some Brown Boys Get Blazed Right Before Class And Other Questions Without Marks" earned him the 2013 Rattle Poetry Prize and lead to a Pushcart nomination. He lives in a room in an old converted schoolhouse with a beautiful girl, a brand new baby, a wall-sized blackboard and books in every corner.
Susan Blair, aka Perri the Poetry Fairy, is a poet, writer, award-winning speaker and professional workshop presenter. She reads and discusses poems with elementary school children as a volunteer, to bring the magic of literacy and literature into their lives. She lives in Wenatchee, WA.
Allen Braden grew up in the Yakima Valley and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Washington University. He is the author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood and Elegy in the Passive Voice. Assistant poetry editor of Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments, Braden lives in Lakewood, WA.
Lorna dee cervantes
Born in San Francisco, CA to Native American and Mexican parents, Lorna Dee Cervantes began writing poetry as a child and won the American Book Award for her first volume, Emplumada (1981). Its poems, which detailed her coming-of-age as a writer and her complex relationship to her heritage, heralded the arrival of a major new Chicana voice. Subsequent work has explored her identity as a feminist and the politics of personal interactions. Long active as an editor, publisher and educator, Cervantes currently lives in Olympia, WA.
Richard Denner, aka Jampa Dorje, began his writing career as a street poet. He edited Berkeley Daze: Profiles of Poets in Berkeley in the ‘60s. Having completed a traditional solitary three-year retreat in the Tibetan tradition in the Colorado Rockies, this wandering poet-printer-yogi has returned to Ellensburg to study philosophy at CWU and be near family and friends.
mark j. fuzie
Mark J. Fuzie starts most days early, but by noon he’s awake and ready for the consequences. For at least ½ hour each day he writes, and in this way claims never to have suffered writer’s block. He “lives” in Yakima, WA with his wife, daughter, and other animals. Fifty.
Poet Edward Harkness is the author of Saying the Necessary and Beautiful Passing Lives, both from Pleasure Boat Studio Press. His poems have appeared in print and online journals, including Atticus Review, Cascadia Review, Great River Review, Hinchas de Poesia, The Humanist, The Louisville Review, Midwest Quarterly, Mudlark, Poetry Northwest, Raven Chronicles, Split Lip, Switched-On Gutenberg, and The Salt River Review, with work forthcoming in Miramar, Mudlark, and Terrain Journal. His most recent collection, Ice Children, was published by Split Lip Press in 2014. He lives in Shoreline, WA.
Keetje Kuipers is a former Stegner Fellow and the author of two really dark collections of poetry. Previously a professor at Auburn University, she now lives and writes in Seattle, where she is an associate editor at Poetry Northwest, teaches at Hugo House, and wrangles a toddler.
Peter Ludwin lives in Kent, WA where, as a Parks Department employee, he fights a never-ending battle to keep the parks looking like, well, parks! A world traveler who has roamed from the Amazon to Morocco to Tibet, he also plays a mean country blues guitar.
Amy MacLennan lives, works, and breathes in Ashland, OR. She hikes like mad and pays attention to all the glorious artistic and creative souls (no apologies). Give her music, poetry, acting... well, she'll sit up and beg. Oh, and she's grateful to Garrison Keillor. Amy adores summer.
Erin Malone is the author of Hover, and the chapbook What Sound Does It Make. Editor of Poetry Northwest, she lives in Seattle with her husband, their 14-year-old son, and a terrible terrier named Bea. www.erinmalone.net
Lisa Norris has become part of Ellensburg's "poetry problem" after years of writing and publishing short fiction and essays. Last year's Inland Poetry Prowl was among her motivators. She has since published two poems in Ascent and is thrilled to try her squeaky new poet's voice publicly this year.
Nancy Pagh burst onto the literary scene as a teenager, publishing "Is a Clam Clammy, Or Is It Just Wet?" in a local boating magazine. She’s authored three collections of (more serious) poetry, a creative writing textbook, and one book of nonfiction. She teaches at WWU in Bellingham, WA.
Born in Ellensburg in 1940, Belle Randall has been a published poet for over 50 years—too long to list all of her achievements here—a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a lecturer's chair at Stanford University, and (perhaps her most jaw-dropping honor) inclusion in the anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (2012).
Susan Rich’s four poetry collections include Cloud Pharmacy, The Alchemist's Kitchen, Cures Include Travel, and The Cartographer’s Tongue, winner of the PEN USA Award (White Pine Press). Her work appears in the Massachusetts Review, O Magazine, Plume, and World Literature Today. Along with Brian Turner, she co-edited The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Crossing Borders (The Poetry Foundation). Winner of the PEN Award for Poetry and the Peace Corps Writers Award, she received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and Washington State’s Artist Trust. www.susanrich.net
Ciara Shuttleworth's works are included in The New Yorker magazine, The Norton Introduction to Literature (11th edition), and The Southern Review. Shuttleworth's poetry chapbook, Night Holds Its Own (Blue Horse Press), and gonzo prose book, 4,500 Miles: Taking Jack Back on the Road (Humanitas Media Publishing) are available for purchase. She lives outside Soap Lake, WA. www.ciarashuttleworth.com
Megan Snyder-Camp is the author of three poetry collections: The Gunnywolf (Bear Star Press, 2016), Wintering (Tupelo Press, 2016) and The Forest of Sure Things (Tupelo Press, 2010). She lives in Seattle.
Kathleen Stancik is a melancholic-chocoholic-doxaholic from a Roslyn suburb. Her interests range from the paramecium to orange blossoms to the bewildering behavior of humans. She sings in community choir, acts in local theater productions, helps organize the Roslyn Annual Winter Poetry Series and hangs out with her dachshunds.
Armin Tolentino received his MFA at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ. He obsesses over fishing and witnessing the annual heartbreak that is the New York Knicks’ season. He lives in Vancouver, WA, is a former Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient, and hopes one day to earn a Guinness Record for world's loudest clap.
Ellen Welcker's bio reeks of ecological desperation and the anxiety of parenting in the Anthropocene. It is an epoch photo-bombing a selfie, a whale stuffed in a plastic bag, a multifarious assemblage of humor, conviction, animality, and profound human sadness. That stench, dear reader, is complicity, not easily washed away. Ellen lives in Spokane, WA.