RWW Soundings




Chelsey Clammer (2016) is now the Editorial Coordinator and Staff Writer for World of DQ, International Dairy Queen’s monthly 32-page magazine sent to over 75,000 vendors, operators, investors, and other stakeholders worldwide. Chelsey was also hired by Greenleaf Book Group in Austin, Texas, as a contract editor. She is now a reader for Creative Nonfiction magazine, and her first collection of essays, BodyHome, was a finalist in the memoir category for the 2015 Bisexual Book Awards. In August, Chelsey will be teaching an online writing workshop about humor writing through the WOW! Women on Writing Workshop Series.

Cate Gable (2016) has joined the editorial board for Floating Bridge Press, a non-profit arts organization that promotes the work of Washington State poets. Also, for the third year, Cate is a member of the jurors’ panel for Willapa Bay AIR (Artists in Residence) in Oysterville, Washington.

Bernard Grant (2016) has received the Yates Fellowship, a full-tuition fellowship, and a teaching assistantship from the University of Cincinnati, where he will begin his PhD studies in Creative Writing and Literature in the fall. He is also the recipient of a June Dodge Fellowship from Mineral School, which will cover the cost of a two-week summer residency. On July 28, he will read in Seattle, Washington at Common Area Maintenance for Margin Shift Presents: Ginger Ko, Bernard Grant, and Lindsay Tingue. His flash fiction chapbook Fly Back at Me is currently under contract with Yellow Chair Press and will be published early next year. A review of Bernard’s chapbook Puzzle Pieces appeared in Yellow Chair Review (“Lonely and Liberating” by Trish Hopkinson, April 2016). Interviews with Bernard have appeared in Sequestrum (“Contributor Spotlight: Bernard Grant,” April 2016) and Nicole Rollender’s Carpe Noctem Interview Series (“Chapbook Interview with Bernard Grant,” May 2016).

Cate Hennessey (2016) received a Pushcart Prize for her essay, “Beets,” originally published in Fourth Genre. “Beets” will appear in The Pushcart Prize XLI: Best of the Small Presses 2017 edition. She was also a finalist for the 2016 Arts and Letters Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction.

Emily Holt (2016) and Braden Van Dragt presented an exhibition of photographs and poetry, “No Wounds Here,” at Wykoff Auditorium at Seattle University on April 21, 2016. The work explored the anxiety of identity and belonging in Northern Ireland, via expressions of community life and public celebration.

Carol McMahon (2016) presented her RWW 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 was also part of a panel presenting her creative work.

Jasminne Mendez (2019) was awarded an honorable mention in the Barry Lopez Creative Non-Fiction Prize contest by Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts for her essay “El Corte.” The award included publication in their Spring 2016 issue The Best of Cutthroat. On June 25 she will be the keynote speaker for the Communities in Schools Baytown Teen Summit: The Beauty Within, where she will perform poetry and speak to a group of young girls at Lee College, Baytown, Texas, about overcoming challenges and obtaining personal success. She was also recently accepted into both the Macondo Writer’s Workshop at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas, July 2016, and the VONA/Voices Writing Workshops for Writers of Color held at the University of Miami, June 2016.

John Milkereit (2016) gave a reading at Piccolo Spoleto’s Sundown Poetry Reading Series in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 2 at Dock Street Theater.

Sarah Pape (2016): Her long essay “Grand Avenue” won the Iron Horse Literary Review Trifecta in Nonfiction (published in June 2016). She will be teaching creative writing at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in July.

Tammy Robacker (2016) won Second Place in the 2016 Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize for Poetry for her poem, “Mother, Morgue,” at Jabberwock Review. She was the featured reader at a reading sponsored by VoiceCatcher at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, on April 14.

Billie Swift (2016) will take over in the fall of 2016 as the new owner of Open Books: A Poem Emporium, a poetry-only bookstore in Seattle. The founding owners, poets John Marshall and Christine Deavel, are retiring after more than twenty years. One of the few poetry-only bookstores in the United States, Open Books is a beloved Seattle institution.


Jessica Barksdale’s (2015) short story collection Caught and Other Stories was a finalist in Press 53’s Award for Short Fiction. Jessica will not be touring the country with her new novel The Burning Hour, but she will be reading at the start of the 2016 RWW residency on July 31 and teaching at Write on the Sound in Edmonds on October 1. She will hold her annual writing workshop July 22-24 in Oakland, California, and will be reading and presenting at the Montana Book Festival September 20-25 to promote her new novel The Burning Hour.

Sidney Brammer (2013) won first place in the poetry competition of the 2016 Friends of the Library Writing Contest, Washington County, Oklahoma, for her poem, “Cat Box Winter.” The same poem placed third in the long poem category of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation writing competition. 

Kate Carroll de Gutes (2010) won the 2016 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography, and the Next Generation Independent Publishing Award for Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appearthe last manuscript chosen by Judith Kitchen for Ovenbird Books. Kate’s second book, a curated collection of her essays from The Authenticity Experiment, will be released by Kelli Russell Agodon’s (2007) Two Sylvias Press in mid-2017.

Sydney Elliott (2015) became the Editor for The Humanities Review and the National Director of Publications for the Community College Humanities Association.

Katrina Hays (2010) and photographer Steven McBurnett were chosen to be the Fall 2016 Emerging Artists in Residence at Crater Lake National Park.

Ned Hayes (2015): The Eagle Tree was the bestselling YA book on Amazon’s e-book list in April 2016. Recent press has included interviews on TLC Book Tours and in various publications, including The Olympian (“Ned Hayes’ newest book, ‘The Eagle Tree,’ set in Olympia,” June 2, 2016). More information about The Eagle Tree is available at Ned’s website,

Alicia Hoffman’s (2015) full-length poetry manuscript and RWW Creative Thesis, Railroad, Phoenix, has been accepted for publication by Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, for release in March 2017.

Jill McCabe Johnson’s (2008) second full-length poetry collection, Revolutions We’d Hoped We’d Outgrown, is due out from Finishing Line Press in September, and available for pre-order until July 29. The book is based in part on the Daesh attacks in Paris, which took place during Jill’s month-long walking & writing trek last fall. Jill was also the recipient of a month-long, private writing retreat in Seattle in May, and she taught a two-day workshop, “Walk, Sketch, Write,” at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in June.

Meghan McClure (2013) has joined the editorial board for Floating Bridge Press, a non-profit arts organization that promotes the work of Washington State poets. The collaborative creative nonfiction work she wrote with Michael Schmeltzer (2007), A Single Throat Opens, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in the summer of 2017.

Michael Schmeltzer (2007) participated in a reading and panel discussion at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle on April 30 to celebrate the release of his poetry chapbook, Blood Song, from Two Sylvias Press. He has joined the editorial board for Floating Bridge Press, a non-profit arts organization that promotes the work of Washington State poets. The collaborative creative nonfiction work Michael wrote with Meghan McClure (2013), A Single Throat Opens, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in the summer of 2017.

Bill Sommer (2012) and Natalie Tilghman (2011): Their YA novel, A 52-Hertz Whale, was shortlisted for the 2016 Green Earth Book Award.

Wendy Willis (2013) is the guest poetry editor for Prime Number Magazine, Issue 103, January-March 2017.

Tarn Wilson (2008) gave readings from her memoir The Slow Farm on Orcas and Lopez Islands as part of Artsmith’s Salon Series, founded by RWW alumna Jill McCabe Johnson (2008).


Rick Barot has received a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry. At the PEN Literary Awards in New York City, Rick received the PEN Open Book Award for his poetry collection Chord. The award is for “an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2015.” Chord also won The Publishing Triangle’s 2016 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

David Biespiel won the Oregon Book Awards‘ Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction for his book, A Long High Whistle: Selected Columns on Poetry from the Portland Oregonian, from Antilever Press.

Barrie Jean Borich: The DePaul University Newsline featured a Q&A with Barrie on June 10. News of her current work is available via her online magazine SLAG GLASS CITY and her website BARRIEJEANBORICH.COM.

Fleda Brown: A high school mathematics and science academy group has nominated Fleda to be our next United States Poet Laureate.

David Allen Cates: Video artists Kate MacDonald and Tim van der Meer made short videos based on the text and audio recordings from David’s new chapbook, The Mysterious Location of Kyrgyzstan. The videos are available via the Satellite Press website.

Kevin Goodan and his wife, poet Kimberly Burwick, have launched K-2 Editing, a poetry editing business.

Peggy Shumaker was a featured poet in a reading to celebrate Alaska Quarterly Review’s 34th year of publication. The reading took place on May 14 at the Anchorage Museum.



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