Writers in the Schools 2012-2013
Carl Adamshick is a poet who recently won the Walt Whitman Award and the Oregon Book Award for his collection of poems, Curses and Wishes.
Lorraine Bahr is an award-winning actress, playwright, and director. She teaches Acting at Portland State University, Washington and Oregon high schools, and at Young Musicians & Artists; she is co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of Sowelu Ensemble Theater in Portland. Lorraine is also a regular performer for Portland Playhouse. Her produced plays include Life Alone, Bottomless, Count Time, Charlie Stone, and Live Nude Fear. Her monologue, “Eight Break-ups” has been published in Poetry Northwest.
Carmen Bernier-Grand is the author of eight books for children and young adults. Her César: Yes, We Can! ¡Sí, se puede! and Diego: Bigger Than Life have been Oregon Book Awards finalists. Those biographies and her Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life have received Pura Belpré Author Honor Awards. Bernier-Grand also teaches writing in the Whidbey Island Writers MFA program. In 2008, the Oregon Library Association’s Children’s Division gave her the Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award for her significant contributions to the children of Oregon in the field of children’s literature. In 2010, she received an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship to research her book Picasso: I the King, Yo, el rey, published in 2012. Her latest book, Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina, received starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives with her husband, Jeremy Grand, and Maltese dog, Lily, in Portland, Oregon.
Chuck Carlise was born in Canton, Ohio, on the first Flag Day of the Jimmy Carter administration, and has lived in a dozen states and two continents since. He is the author of two chapbooks, A Broken Escalator Still Isn’t the Stairs (Concrete Wolf Poetry Series 2011) and Casual Insomniac (Bateau 2011; “Boom Contest” winner). He recently completed his PhD at the University of Houston, where he was awarded the 2012 InPrint/Paul Verlaine Poetry Prize and served as Non-Fiction Editor of the journal Gulf Coast. His poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in Southern Review, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, and Santa Cruz, California, where he teaches part time at UCSC.
Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg is a cartoonist and illustrator. Her comics have appeared in the anthologies Papercutter, So…Buttons, Bearfight!, Digestate, Runner Runner, and The Strumpet. Since 2008 she has self-published the series I Cut My Hair, a collection of fiction and nonfiction comics. She is a teaching artist with Young Audiences and a Comics Certificate Program Advisor at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. Lisa has also taught comics classes at Open Meadow Middle School, Stumptown Comics Fest, and Caldera.
Elyse Fenton is the author of the award-winning poetry collection Clamor. She has published poetry and nonfiction in The New York Times, Best New Poets, American Poetry Review, and Pleiades, and has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. She received a BA from Reed College and an MFA from the University of Oregon and has worked in the woods, on farms, and in schools in the Pacific Northwest, New Hampshire, Mongolia, and Texas. She currently teaches at Portland Community College.
Amanda Gersh is a South African-born writer of fiction and humorous nonfiction. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, One Story, Open City, The Believer, and The Mississippi Review. Writing as Amanda Howells, she is the author of a Young Adult novel, The Summer of Skinny Dipping (Sourcebooks, 2010). Amanda has an MFA from Columbia University and has taught fiction writing at PSU and Gotham Writers’ Workshop.
Poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez collaborates with musicians, thespians, and visual artists. Her collection, the small claim of bones, is forthcoming from Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe (Arizona State University). Poems and reviews appear in Borderlands, Calyx, Harvard’s Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, UNAM’s Periódico de poesía, Portland Review, and Rain Taxi. Her CD, “Emerald Heart,” reimagines Aztec poetry accompanied by pre-Hispanic music. Her plays have been produced by Miracle Theatre Group and Insight Out Theatre Collective. Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine.
Javier Hernandez is a journalist. He most recently worked as a staff reporter for the New York Times, where he wrote about everything from the unknown risks of government cancer-screening programs to the lives of nighttime beach wanderers. A graduate of North Eugene High School, he studied government and music at Harvard. He has appeared on national and international news programs, and his work has been quoted by US President Barack Obama.
Jonathan Hill is a graphic novelist cartoonist, and illustrator. His first graphic novel, Americus, a collaboration with MK Reed, has garnered a handful of accolades including YALSA 2012 Best Graphic Novel for Teens Nominee, ABC New Voices 2011 Title, Graphic Novel Reporter Best of 2011, and the 2012 Carla Cohen Free Speech Award. He currently freelances, teaches comics classes at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and is working on his next graphic novel, The Searchers.
Hunt Holman is a playwright whose Willow Jade premiered at Portland Playhouse and received a 2010 Drammy Award for Outstanding Original Script. His other plays include Spanish Girl, which premiered off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in their New Plays Uptown Series and was published in the anthology New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2003. His play Gun Club was developed in Cherry Lane Theater’s Obie award-winning Mentor Project and later premiered at Hypothetical Theater, and his play The Dawn Patrol received a staged reading at Williamstown Theater Festival. Hunt graduated from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
John Isaacson is a cartoonist and writer whose comics and journalism have appeared in the Willamette Week, The East Bay Express, The Santa Barbara Independent, and the Side B and Bridge Project anthologies. His first graphic novel, Do It Yourself Screen-Printing, was published in 2007. He currently self-publishes a mini-comic, Feedback, which reviews concerts by local bands in comic form.
Sara Jaffe is a fiction writer whose short fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including Paul Revere’s Horse, NOON, Fourteen Hills, and Encyclopedia. She is co-founder and co-editor of New Herring Press, a purveyor of innovative prose chapbooks, and also edited The Art of Touring, an anthology of writing and visual art by touring musicians, available from Portland’s Yeti Publications. She received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Ramiza Koya’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as Washington Square Review, Lumina, and Catamaran, and she has been a fellow at both MacDowell Colony and Blue Mountain Center. She has both a BA and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and has taught in Spain, the Czech Republic, and Morocco. In addition to teaching composition courses, she also works as a freelance writer and editor. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Portland Community College.
Jennifer Lauck is a three-time Oregon Book Awards finalist and has penned three memoirs, including the New York Times bestsellers Blackbird, Still Waters, and Found (March, 2011). She has a collection of essays titled Show Me the Way, worked nearly ten years as an investigative reporter in TV news, and has a BA in journalism from Montana State University. Lauck received her MFA in creative writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2011.
Amy Minato is author of a memoir, Siesta Lane, published in 2009 and a poetry collection, The Wider Lens, published in 2004. Her poetry has appeared in Wilderness Magazine, Poetry East, Windfall, Cimarron Review, and The Oregonian Poetry Corner, and has been recognized with a 2003 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. She teaches creative writing independently and through Fishtrap, Breitenbush, Sitka, and Opal Creek.
Laura Moulton is the founder of Street Books, a bicycle-powered mobile library that serves people who live outside in Portland, Oregon (streetbooks.org). She has taught writing in public schools, prisons, and teen shelters, and is an adjunct professor at Marylhurst University and Lewis & Clark College. Her social art practice projects have involved postal workers, immigrants, prisoners and students. She earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University. For more information, visit lauramoulton.org.
Mark Pomeroy grew up in northeast Portland. He has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship for fiction and a residency at Caldera Arts. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Open Spaces, The Wordstock 10, Portland Magazine, The Oregonian, the Waco Tribune-Herald, and What Teaching Means: Stories from America’s Classrooms. A former classroom teacher, he holds an MA in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He lives with his family in northeast Portland, where he’s at work on a novel.
Ismet Prcic is a Bosnian-American writer, teacher, and theater artist. His debut novel, Shards, won an L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Ismet is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for fiction in 2010. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Bat City Review, Faultline, Prague Literary Review, and elsewhere. He is an adjunct instructor of theater arts at Clark College.
Joseph Rogers is an award-winning writer whose work has been published in places such as Pindeldyboz, Opium, Bridge, Verb, Exquisite Corpse and Painted Bride Quarterly. He has an MFA from Brooklyn College, where he taught fiction for five years before heading west. When he’s not teaching at Portland Community College, he writes stories and songs that are rarely performed.
Desmond Spann is on a mission to motivate and inspire positive changes in people’s lives while having a crapload of fun. Under the name DLUXTL (TL=The Light) he performs spoken word, plays keyboard with Hip-Hop fusion band Speaker Minds, emcees (rap), and produces. He has dedicated his life to creating more passionate people who express themselves freely. Desmond uses rap, poetry, and performance as vehicles to encourage students to be bold in finding their unique voice.
Matt Zrebski is a multi-award winning playwright, composer, script consultant, teaching artist, and producer-director whose career has been defined by new play development. As an Artistic Director, he mounted over 40 world premieres, and has had several of his plays produced, including Texting the Sun, 1 ½, Big Sis, and Ablaze. As the Resident Teaching Artist at Portland Center Stage, he teaches playwriting through Visions and Voices, and is on staff for Acting Academy at Oregon Children’s Theatre. Zrebski holds a BFA in Theatre from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.