CPF 2016 Author Bios
Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University where his research concentrates on the intersection between Digital Humanities and Indigenous Literary Studies. Abel’s creative work has recently been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (Arbiter Ring), and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayword). Abel is the author of Injun, Un/inhabited, and The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award).
Samar Abulhassan is a teaching artist and poet living in Seattle. She has worked for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools Program since 2008. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Colorado State University, where she studied fiction. She is a Hedgebrook alum, has published five chapbooks (including Farah and Nocturnal Temple), and loves working between poetry and prose.
Greg Bem, originally of Maine, and subsequently of coastal Rhode Island, Philadelphia, and rural and urban Cambodia, has called Southeast Seattle home for six years. In addition to working as a bookseller and marketing specialist in the tech industry, Greg has been a seller of upscale chocolates and now, most prominently, is an educator, technologist, and librarian. His poetry lends itself to avant garde lineages including Dadaism, 20th Century Sound Poetry, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the Black Mountain School, and is found through gregbem.com. Bem’s a contributor editor for Queen Mob’s Tea House, and founder of Yellow Rabbits Review.
Joe Chiveney, SPLAB Board President. Joe is mental health therapist in private practice in Olympia Wa who also works at the Wa He Lut Indian school in Olympia–the town where he presently lives as a daily seeker of poems,Vipassanā and the decapitation Emily Dickinson wrote about when she said : ” If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”
Roger Fernandes is a Native American artist and storyteller whose work focuses on the Puget Salish tribes of western Washington. He is an enrolled member of the Lower Elwha Band of S’Klallam Indians and has a degree in Native American Studies from the Evergreen State College. He recently earned a masters degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University in Seattle. He has backgrounds in art, education, and social work and uses this unique combination of skills to shape his work and presentations. Roger has been a storyteller for over 25 years and incorporates stories into a wide range of topics such as education, culture, counseling, and personal empowerment. As a storyteller he shares the myths and legends of tribes across the region and looks at the “teachings” within those stories and examines their relevance to the modern life of indigenous people. He also teaches that storytelling is “healing”, helping people find the stories that can guide and inform them on their life journey. He also uses traditional stories as guides for community organizing and social change. As an artist he creates Coast Salish designs and paintings and prints that share the culture and beliefs of the local Salish tribes. He has received several arts commissions, both public and private, and teaches Coast Salish art classes to tribal artists from all around the region. He often connects art with traditional storytelling as a way of creating messages of social and cultural change that can be shared in multiple contexts.
Erin Fristad is of the Northwest: she is the spawn of loggers, miners, and commercial fisherman ⎯she grew up running wild through the wooded foothills of the Cascades on her horse. Erin survived fifteen years as deckhand on commercial fishing and research vessels and eventually returned to graduate school to earn her MFA. She works as a writer, educator and facilitator. Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies including Rosebud, americas review, The Blue Collar Review, Hanging Loose, The Seattle Review, Floating Bridge Review, National Fisherman, Working the Woods, Working the Sea: An Anthology of Northwest Writing, Poets of the American West, and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Occupy The Workspace. Erin was a subject in the documentary film FISHER POETS. Her first collection of poems, The Glass Jar, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2016. You can learn more on her website at erinfristad.com.
Sam Hamill was born in 1943 and grew up on a Utah farm. He is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and served as Editor there for thirty-two years. He taught in artist-in-residency programs in schools and prisons and worked with Domestic Violence programs. He directed the Port Townsend Writers Conference for nine years, and in 2003, founded Poets Against the War. He is the author of more than forty books, including celebrated translations from ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Latin. Habitation (Lost Horse Press, 2015) is his latest.
Brenda Hillman has published chapbooks with Penumbra Press, a+bend press, and EmPress; she is the author of nine full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Practical Water (2009), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013), which received the International Griffin Poetry Prize for 2014. With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003), and has co-translated Poems from Above the Hill by Ashur Etwebi and Instances by Jeongrye Choi. Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice. http://brendahillman.net/
Jared Leising is the author of a chapbook—The Widows and Orphans of Winesburg, Ohio—and a long-time volunteer for B.F.I. Seattle, a youth writing center in Greenwood. Before moving to Seattle, he received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, and in 2010, Jared curated the Jack Straw Writers Program. Currently, he’s teaching English at Cascadia College where he recently coordinated and co-taught the college’s first MOOC—a massive open online course exploring the innovative poetics of the Cascadia bioregion.
Nadine Antoinette Maestas is a poet’s poet and believes that the empire of the sentence is an extremely oppressive totalitarian regime. She prefers the company of poems so much that she would rather read a bad poem than a good novel, but when she is not doing poetry, Nadine loves mountain biking in dangerous and remote places in the Northwest. She teaches Creative Writing and Literature in San Francisco and New Hampshire, has facilitated writing workshops through Youthspeaks and has helped to pioneer poetry workshops in several public schools in California and Michigan. Nadine holds an M.F.A. from University of Michigan’s Hellen Zell Writer’s Program where she was awarded the Faraar award for playwriting. Her hybrid poem play “Hellen on Wheels: a Play of Rhyme and Reason” was performed at California College of the Arts. She is the co-author with Karen Weiser of Beneath the Bright Discus (Potes & Poets Press, 2000), and is a co-editor for the poetry anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. You can also find more her poems published in Pageboy Magazine, Lyric &, The Germ, and Poor Mojo’s Almana(k). Her dissertation, Calling out the State: Postmodern American Anthropoetics landed her a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
Daphne Marlatt, known as a poet (Steveston, Liquidities), has also published works of fiction, poetics and oral history. In 2006 she was made a member of the Order of Canada, and in 2009 her long poem The Given was awarded the Dorothy Livesay Prize for Poetry. In 2012 she received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work includes The Gull, the first contemporary Canadian Noh play, produced by Pangaea Arts in 2006 in the tradition of classical Japanese Noh theatre. Rivering, her selected poetry edited by Susan Knutson, was published by Wilfred Laurier University Press (2014). Reading Sveva, a series of poems responding to the life and work of the Italian-Canadian painter Sveva Caetani, arrives from Talonbooks this fall.
Frances McCue is a poet, writer and arts instigator. She was the founding director of Richard Hugo House for its first decade and currently she is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Washington. McCue’s forthcoming book, Where the House Was, will arrive in the Fall, 2017. Her other books include The Bled, Winner of the 2011 Washington State Book Award and the Grub Street National Book Prize, and The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs, a book that traces the Cascadia origins of Richard Hugo’s poems.
Colleen J. McElroy is professor emeritus of English and creative writing at the University of Washington. Former editor in chief of the Seattle Review, she’s published numerous poetry collections, Here I Throw Down My Heart and the brand new Blood Memory, was published as part of the Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh press. She has published creative nonfiction including A Long Way from St. Louie and Over the Lip of the World: Among the Storytellers of Madagascar and received numerous prestigious literary awards.
Tim McNulty is a Northwest poet, essayist, and nature writer. His work draws from a long-standing engagement with the natural world and its inhabitants. He is the author of three poetry collections: Ascendance, In Blue Mountain Dusk, and Pawtracks, and ten poetry chapbooks, including Cloud Studies, and Through High Still Air: A Season at Sourdough Mountain. Tim is also the author of eleven books on natural history, including Olympic National Park: A Natural History, From the Air: Olympic Peninsula, and Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park. He has received the Washington State Book Award and the National Outdoor Book Award. He lives in the foothills of Washington’s Olympic Mountains. timmcnultypoet.com.
JM Miller is a trans-identified poet, essayist, instructor and healer living on someone else’s amazing farm on Vashon Island, WA. Their debut collection, Wilderness Lessons, is out from FutureCycle Press and they have one chapbook, Primitive Elegy (alicebluebooks). They won the Grand Prize for the Eco Arts Awards in 2014 & was a finalist for terrain.org’s 2013 poetry contest. JM is a professor of creative writing at the University of Washington in Tacoma & teaches at Richard Hugo House. Their work explores eco-justice poetry from a queer perspective, hybrid forms, extinction and the environmental imagination.
Peter Munro was born in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1957, raised in small fishing towns, most notably Sitka, Alaska. Permanently afflicted with a love of fishing, he currently lives in Kenmore, with my wife and our two sons. By day, he conducts research fishing in the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands for NOAA, using the data to help estimate annual harvest levels of commercially important demersal fishes. When not at sea, he’s analyzing data and failing to write papers. He is finalizing his first book of poems tentatively titled Fisheries Science in the North Pacific.
Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson founded SPLAB & the Cascadia Poetry Festival, published: American Sentences (Apprentice House 2015); A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (essay, Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). He’s interviewed many poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, George Bowering and Brenda Hillman, presented poetry/poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai & Beijing, China, and published work in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster and Hambone. Awarded The Capilano Review’s 2014 Robin Blaser Award, he writes an American Sentence daily. www.PaulENelson.com
Judith Roche is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, All Fire All Water, Black Heron Press, 2015. Her book Wisdom of the Body, was an American Book Award winner, and Judith has published widely in various journals and magazines, & has had poems installed on several Seattle area public art projects. As Literary Arts Director for One Reel she produced the Bumbershoot Bookfair and Literary Program for over twenty years. She was Distinguished Northwest Writer-in-Residence at Seattle University in 2007 and has also taught at the Richard Hugo House and at Cornish College of the Arts.
Marilyn Stablein, poet and artist, exhibits her artist books in museums, libraries, and galleries in the US and abroad. Her work is included in Lark’s 1000 Artist Books, Lark’s 500 Artists Books and in magazines (Raven Chronicles, Rattle Magazine, Gargoyle, & Kyoto Review.) A monograph Bind, Alter, Fold: Artist Books recently published by Book Arts Editions, was featured in the Vancouver Canada Sun, Guild of Bookworkers news and Bound and Lettered Magazine. Her books include Sleeping in Caves: A Himalayan Memoir; a collection of environmental essays set in the Northwest, Climate of Extremes: Landscape and Imagination and Splitting Hard Ground which won the New Mexico Book Award and the National Federation of Press Women Book Award. Visit: marilynstablein.com
Matt Trease is a poet, artist, and esoteric living in Southeast Seattle. His poems have recently appeared in filling station, otoliths, VLAK, small po[r]tions, Vestiges, Juked, and Hotel Amerika. He is the author of the chapbook Later Heaven:Production Cycles (busylittle1way designs, 2013).
Connie Walle, from Tacoma Washington, has been writing “since before Hallmark”. She is founder and President of Puget Sound Poetry Connection and for over 25 years the facilitator for the Distinguished Writer Series in Tacoma.
Thomas Walton‘s work has appeared in several journals online and off, including in The Chaos Journal, ZYZZYVA, Gold Man Review, Gambling the Aisle, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, etc. A few of his poems were anthologized in Make It True; Poetry from Cascadia (Leaf Press 2015). He has a micro chapbook out this winter – A Name Is Just A Mane – from Rinky Dink Press. He edits PageBoy Magazine in Seattle WA.