Our Founder Moves On…


It is our unhappy duty to report that Soundings’ founding editor, Katrina Hays, will be stepping down as Program Assistant to RWW at the end of this summer. Katrina conceived Soundings as a result of her OE as an intern at Copper Canyon Press back in 2008. She breathed life into it for several years until she graduated, and then continued to nurture Soundings as Editorial Consultant to student editors, assistant editors, and Web master for the last four years. She supervised its seamless transition from .pdf to handsome new website. katyA published poet and performer, enthusiastic organizer and newbie orientator (not a real word, but one we hope Katrina will let go by this time), champion and cheerleader for the program, and carouser non pareil, Katrina has been an indispensable part of the magical chemistry of RWW. We will miss her unique blend of energy, wit, and wisdom, which has made our experiences of putting together Soundings a distinct pleasure. Thank you for the gift of Soundings and for all you have done to help us, Katrina! Good luck in all your future endeavors and come visit us sometimes!

–Sidney and Sydney


Jessica Barksdale (2015): Her story, “The Possibility of Fire,” was the winner of Carve Magazine’s 2013 “Esoteric Award” for Themed Fiction.

Kari Fisher (2014) presented at the annual Minnesota Colleges and Universities English & Writing (MnCUEW)/Minnesota Writing and English (MnWE) conference. She was part of a three-person panel on “Best Practices for Working with Non-Native Speakers of English in the Composition Classroom.” Also in April, she spoke “On the Global Poetry Reading(s)” at the annual Normandale Community College Writing Festival.

Jennie Goode (2014): Her essay, “The Distance Between: A Lexicon,” placed third in the prose category of the Annual New South Writing Contest. The essay will appear in the Fall 2013 issue of the journal.

Marj Hahne (2015) has launched The Avocado Sisterhood, a membership organization for women and girl writers seeking a community and regular educational opportunities, to nurture and sustain their identities as writers.

Carrie Mesrobian (2013): Her YA novel, Sex & Violence, is now available for pre-order from Carolrhoda LAB, officially forthcoming in October 2013 (and a hardbound advance copy is in the PLU archives as her creative thesis for her graduation this August).


Barrie Jean Borich (2009): Her new book, The Body Geographic was reviewed in The Rumpus, May 14, 2013, Kirkus (starred review), Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Nancy Canyon (2007): Her novel manuscript, Celia’s Heaven, was 1st Place winner in the paranormal category of The Cygnus Awards Writing Contest from Chanticleer Book Reviews.

Bill Capossere (2009): His full-length play, Galileo’s, was given a staged reading as part of GEVA Theater’s Regional Writer’s Showcase this spring and chosen for another reading in the Festival of New Plays in the fall.

Kathleen Flenniken (2007): Her poetry collection Plume (University of Washington Press, 2012) was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and shortlisted for a Pacific Northwest Book Award. Kathleen was interviewed on The Story With Dick Gordon about Plume, which has also inspired a 5-minute documentary by Lou Karsen for the Document Challenge in March 2013 (featuring original music and interpretations of two poems from Plume). Meanwhile, composer Reginald Unterseher has set four poems from Plume to string quartet and soprano. “Hanford Songs” was performed in Wenatchee in June, with future performances and a recording forthcoming.

Erin Coughlin Hollowell (2009) was awarded one of three literary fellowships given this year by the Rasmuson Foundation. Erin will be our graduate reader at the RWW Garfield Book Company gathering the first day of residency, Sunday, Aug. 4, 4 PM (reading from her new book, Pause, Traveler, which was published by Boreal Books in June).

Holly Hughes (2006): Her poem, “The Bath,” from her anthology, Beyond Forgetting, was the inspiration for an art film written and directed by Mark Lundsten of Fidalgo Films. “The Bath” premiered last weekend at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle.

Lita Kurth (2009) and Kari Fisher (2014) read from their creative nonfiction essays at the 2013 National Working-Class Studies Association Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, June 13. Lita read from “This is the Way We Wash the Clothes,” and Kari read from “Episodes from Someone Else’s Previous Marriage.”

Kristina Moriconi (2011): Her collection, No Such Place, will be published by Finishing Line Press in Fall 2013.

Rebecca Saxton (2012) read her newest poems, “Postmark” and “Suspended in Time,” as a featured writer at the 2013 Pinoy Words Expressed/Kultura Arts Pagdiriwang Festival, Poets & Writers Reading, at the Seattle Center, June 8, 2013. She also co-presented the essay and poetry workshop, “You’ve Got the Write Stuff, Baby: Your Experience is a Great Story,” with Rick Barot at the 2013 NW Filipino American Students Association Conference at Western Washington University, April 20, 2013.

Tarn Wilson (2008) will be teaching a youth creative writing course at Fishtrap this July.


David Cates: His novel, Ben Armstrong’s Strange Trip Home, was given the Gold Medal for Best Fiction, Independent Book Publisher’s Award, Midwest region, 2012.

Peggy Shumaker’s poem, “Creation Stories,” is featured along with a painting by Kes Woodward on the poster for the 2013 Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. Letterpress printer Karla Elling of Mummy Mountain Press made a broadside of Peggy’s poem “Blue Morpho.”