RWW Soundings

Announcements & Opportunities



Lauren Plitkins (2015), Sherry Nanninga Walker (2016), and Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (2017) presented at the NonfictioNOW 2015 conference in October. Their panel, “Inside/Outside: Blending Personal and Public Concerns in Nonfiction,” was organized by Peggy Shumaker and moderated by Dinah Lenney.


Kathryn Burgomaster (2018) gave a reading as part of the Rainier Valley Lit Crawl in Seattle on March 5th, 2016.

Chelsey Clammer (2016) won the 2015 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award for her RWW creative thesis, Circadian. The prize includes an honorarium and publication of the book by Red Hen Press in Fall 2017. Chelsey will be a part of the Queer Voices reading at Intermedia Arts on March 22nd, in Minneapolis, MN. She also gave a public reading for her book, BodyHome, at Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago on November 19, 2015. Finally, Chelsey will begin teaching creative nonfiction online courses with WOW! Women on Writing starting in June 2016.

Cate Hennessey (2016) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by a Pushcart contributing editor.

Bernard Grant (2016) Black Lawrence Press shortlisted his flash fiction chapbook, Fly Back at Me, as a semi-finalist for their Black River Chapbook Competition. On March 18th, at Fred Wildlife Refuge in Seattle, WA, he will give a short reading with nine other writers at APRIL’s 5th Anniversary Party.

Emily Holt (2016) Her poem, “Belfast, Béal Feirste, Winter 2001,” was a finalist for Hermeneutic Chaos’ 2015 Jane Plumly Prize. “No Wounds Here,” a multimedia exhibit with images by Braden Van Dragt and poems by Emily Holt, will be on display in the Mortvedt Library at PLU March 2-30, 2016. This exhibit explores the anxiety of identity and belonging in Ireland, north and south, via expressions of community life and public celebration.

Carol McMahon (2016) will be giving a presentation on her critical thesis, Exposing the Wound—The Traumatic Grief of Sibling Death and the Modern Elegiac Form, at the National Graduate Creative Writing Conference hosted by the University of West Georgia on April 15-16. She will also be part of a panel presenting her creative work.

John Milkereit (2016) will be reading at Piccolo Spoleto’s Sundown Poetry Reading Series in Charleston, SC on June 2nd at Dock Street Theater. Reception to follow at an art gallery.

Ann Quinn (2018) participated in a public reading of her work at a reception for “Ekphrasis: Art and Poetry” at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD on February 18th, 2016.

Tammy Robacker (2016) participated in an Author’s Panel event at Albany Regional Museum on January 13th, 2016.

Cindy Skaggs (2018) was interviewed by Jay Billups on Creative Magazine Radio Show, February 11, 2016.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (2017) was featured on Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen’s radio program on KUOW, December 9th, 2015.


Jessica Barksdale (2015) will hold her annual writing workshop July 22-24 in Oakland, California.

Sydney Elliott (2015) was appointed editor of The Community College Humanities Review, a publication of the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), and was also named Chair of CCHA’s National Publication Committee. In April, Sydney will present “Turning Darkness Inside Out,” a lecture based on her research for her RWW critical thesis, at Borough Community College’s conference, “Transitions & Transactions III: Literature and Journalism Pedagogies in Community Colleges.”

Eric Gnezda (2009) His TV series, Songs at the Center, has earned national distribution through American Public Television. The weekly program features songwriters performing “in the round,” surrounded by an onstage audience. In addition to performing his own work, Eric interviews guests about the craft of songwriting. Season One begins national broadcast on public television in April.

Alicia Hoffman (2015) Her poem, “Here Will Burn For Us,” (Rust + Moth, Fall 2015) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Alicia was also the featured reader for January’s installment of the Genesee Reading Series, featuring writers from the greater Genesee Valley Region, at Writers and Books Literary Center in Rochester, New York.

Jill McCabe Johnson (2008) is the recipient of a month-long artist residency fellowship at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in March, and taught a workshop on contemporary Asian-American poetry in February. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for Playa Summer Lake and is a judge for the 2016 Nautilus Book Awards.

Jill Kandel (2008 non-matric) won the Sarton Women’s Literary Award 2015 for her memoir So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village.

Lita Kurth (2009) Her satirical fiction, “Compassion: the Essence of Nursing,” was performed by Play on Words at their January event.

Debbie Clarke Moderow (2013) will be touring across the country to promote the publication of her memoir, Fast Into the Night, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Her memoir began life as her RWW creative thesis). More information is available on her website. Her radio interview on “Conversations Live with Vicki St. Clair” aired February 22nd on KKNW.

Ian Ramsey (2015) founded the Kauffmann Program for Environmental Writing and Wilderness Exploration. The program, which he will direct at North Yarmouth Academy, consists of a statewide environmental writing prize for Maine high school students, a writing/backcountry summer program for high school students, a speaker series, and a film series. In addition, he teaches an environmental writing class that culminates in a backcountry kayak trip in Alaska’s Glacier Bay. Ian’s essay, “I Lost My Shorts,” won iRunFar’s Running Humor Essay Contest, resulting in his attendance at a trail-running camp in Alaska this summer. In December, he was chosen as a member of “Runners of the Wild” for the Territory Run Company, and his essays will be appearing on their website. Finally, he has been spending time in Oaxaca, Mexico, exploring the possibilities of creating study-abroad programs involving creative writing for high school and college students.

Tina Schumann (2009) The anthology that Tina curated and edited, Two Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents, will be published in the fall of 2017 from Red Hen Press. This anthology of flash memoir, personal essays, and poetry contains the work of close to 70 contributors, including RWW alumni Michael Schmeltzer (2007), Natalie Tilghman (2011), and Kristy Webster (2009), as well as current participant Tammy Robacker (2016) and RWW faculty member Oliver de la PazOther contributors include: Richard Blanco, Tina Chang, Timothy Liu, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ira Sukrungruang, Ocean Vuong and many other talented writers. RWW alumna Jill McCabe Johnson (2008) served as Associate Editor.

Tarn Wilson (2008): Her nonfiction work, In Praise of Inadequate Gifts, was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award. Tarn also presented on the panel “Hydra-Headed Memoirs and Well-Connected Essays” at the NonfictioNow conference. The papers from the panel were published in the literary journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies.


Rick Barot His latest poetry collection, Chord, is the winner of the 2016 Rilke Prize from the University of North Texas. Chord is also a finalist for two other prizes: the PEN Open Book Award, for an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2015; and the L. A. Times Book Prize for poetry. Rick was featured on Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen’s radio program on KUOW, November 18, 2015.

Kevin Goodan His new poetry collection, Let the Voices, is available for pre-sale from Red Hen Press. Orders placed before April 20, 2016 will receive free shipping. Access the order form via this link.

Judith Kitchen A collection of her thirty years of poetry essay-reviews for Georgia Review is soon to be published by the University of Georgia Press. The book, What Persists: Essays on Poetry, contains her award-winning reviews and will launch at the AWP Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Ann Pancake was the recipient of the first Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and the Community Fellowship. The fellowship provides several weeks of solitude and support in a quiet environment in Hawai‘i to work on a project of her choosing. Ann will also participate in outreach events, and will present a public talk at Punahou School in Honolulu on the social responsibility of the contemporary writer.

Lia Purpura’s book of poems, It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful, was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by Baltimore Magazine. She will be giving readings in Seattle, Kalamazoo, the Baltimore/Washington, DC area, and elsewhere; visit her website for updates.

Marjorie Sandor will be teaching a workshop entitled “Haunted Borders: Exploring the Uncanny Through Creative Writing” at the Summer Fishtrap 2016 writers’ conference, July 10-16, Wallowa Lake, Oregon.


Jill McCabe Johnson (2008) The 2017 Artsmith Artist Residency on Orcas Island is open for applications until May 31, 2016.



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