About Us

Current Students

Read about some of our dynamic Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics students, their educational backgrounds, and writing interests.

2014 Cohort

Nikita Bailey Funches

Undergraduate Institution: Washington State University
Undergraduate Degree: Social Science
Other Degrees or Certificates: Juris Doctor, Seattle University School of Law

Writing Interests: Poetry, prose, short stories, children's books, critical legal theory/critical race theory, social justice pieces, and screenwriting

Other Interests: Soul searching, empowerment, happiness, family and friends, teaching, and mentoring

Leonora Balfour

Undergraduate Institution: University College, Dublin, Ireland
Undergraduate Degree: International Studies, French, History
Other Degrees or Certificates: Stategic Marketing Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Writing Interests: Historical fiction and non-fiction, writing about Irish themes such as the Irish experience in America, the social effects of its turbulent history on the Irish psyche, poetry

Other Interests: Historical and archival research, editing and publishing, photography. climbing and trail running

Ben Burland

Undergraduate Institution: The Evergreen State College
Undergraduate Degree: Creative Writing/English

Writing Interests: Short story, screenplay, semi-autobiographical fiction, general lies put to paper

Other Interests: Reading; bike-riding; travel; gardening; fame/fortune

Ellen Donnelly

Undergraduate Institution: Eugene Lang College the New School for Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Degree: Creative Writing

Writing Interests: Experimental fiction and literary video. The meaning of the human face, the language of the internet, convention and deviation, writing as a function of citizenship, ambiguity, marginality and Beauty

Other Interests: Film, music video, performance, sex politics, physical movement, and the pseudosciences

Tracy Gregory

Undergraduate Institution: San Francisco State University
Undergraduate Degree: English with an emphasis in Creative Writing

Writing Interests: Poetry, specifically erasure and loose forms of cento, collaging, and occasionally prose

Other Interests: Playing the bass guitar, hiking/camping, rock climbing, and tons of coffee

Andrew Hoffman

Undergraduate Institution: Western Washington University
Undergraduate Degree: English

Writing Interests: Fiction (both literary and speculative varieties) and screenplays.

Other Interests: Hiking, biking, movies and music

Anthony Johnson

Undergraduate Institution: University of New Orleans
Undergraduate Degree: English

Writing Interests: Modernist, postmodernist and surrealist fiction

 

Gregory Prichard

Undergraduate Institution:  Evergreen State
Undergraduate Degree: Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts

Writing Interests: Historical Fiction and Narrative Fiction

Other Interests: Painting, digital art, astronomy, civil war historical reenactment, guitar and music

David Sanders

Undergraduate Institution: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Undergraduate Degree: English
Other Degrees or Certificates: Master's Degree in Secondary Education Language Arts from Auburn University Montgomery

Writing Interests: Memoir, humor, travel, children's books

Other Interests: Running, basketball, surfing, golf

Trey Shanks

Undergraduate Institution: Middle Tennessee State University
Undergraduate Degree: Biology

Writing Interests: Since I was very small I've had a preoccupying interest in my soul, in others' souls. I was also once a very small person who read a lot. Whatever our relationship with God is, whatever our soul is, or becomes, must be an abstract sum of all our thoughts and actions in the world. The way we move through the various languages of life is our life. And so I've begun to pay careful attention to these languages, at least the ones I have introspective access to. The English sentence, the English word--when the active parts of my soul can be distilled into these, I am loosed. This precious kind of communication with the world that we first experience as small people discovering the power of words and science, as a writer I am interested in this.

Other Interests: I also love watching NBA basketball and playing it whenever I can.

Carol Anderson Shaw

Undergraduate Institution: Dartmouth College
Undergraduate Degree: English
Other Degrees or Certificates: UW extension certificates in poetry, screenplays, short-story writing

Writing Interests: Prose fiction and non-fiction. I plan to work on a collection of short-stores, exploring structure, lyricism and symbolism around themes of love and life. Archetypal stories with a modern twist. Character development and dialogue will be key. Also interested in multi-media, interdisciplinary projects on the arts and environmental issues.

Other Interests: Boating, skiing, dancing and yoga

David Shrauger

Undergraduate Institution: Seattle University
Undergraduate Degrees: History and English Literature
Other Degrees: AA in Liberal Arts, AAS in Logistics

Writing Interests: Graphic novels and quirky short fiction

Other Interests: Writing for the web and blogging. Swimming. Spy novels. Laughing at low-budget movies that take themselves too seriously. Things that are not obvious.

Natalie Singer-Velush

Undergraduate Institution: San Francisco State University
Undergraduate Degree: Journalism
Other Degrees or Certificates: Certificates in Memoir and Literary Fiction, University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education

Writing Interests: Memoir, creative nonfiction, exploring the place between what the memory knows is true and what it wishes the truth to be, the theme of assimilation, the geographies we chart, the shifting definitions of “home.”

Other Interests: Natalie is Californian by way of Canada, and the unexpected altering of her childhood landscape -- from buttoned-up East Coast to ice-cream-colored West, like a train jerking off track -- led to a stubborn obsession with stories and connection. Natalie spends much of her free time ushering her two heartbreakingly lovely daughters here, there, everywhere etc. ad nauseam. She also gets excited about eating, traveling, watching independent and foreign films, reading memoir, Mabel Challah Seahawk (her Labradoodle), cool sheets, and meals composed of Indian food, red velvet cupcakes and boozy ginger beer.

Deborah Taylor-Hough

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Tacoma
Undergraduate Degree: Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences: Arts, Media & Culture (Literature track)

Writing Interests: Creative non-fiction, personal essay/memoir, poetry, historical fiction, web-based writing, writing as healing

Other Interests: Voluntary simplicity, alternative education, renaissance literature, gender and ethnic studies, Washington state history, genealogy, board games, nature

Jack Wyss

Undergraduate Institution: The Evergreen State College
Undergraduate Degree: Writing, Creative Writing concentration

Writing Interests: Poetry

Other Interests: Spirituality

 

Kaitlin Young

Undergraduate Institution: Boston University
Undergraduate Degree: English

Writing interests: Zines, poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction

Other interests: Running, yoga, travel, art, cooking, gardening, and thumb wrestling

 

2013 Cohort

Sarah Baker

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Undergraduate Degree: Anthropology, minors in Linguistics and English

Writing Interests: Digital poetry, translation

Other Interests: Archaeology, teaching, culinary arts
 

Breka Blakeslee

Undergraduate Institution: Penn State University
Undergraduate Degree: Journalism

Writing Interests: Fiction, experimental and absurdist writing, collaborative writing, creative nonfiction 

Other Interests: Sustainable agriculture, media studies, backpacking and cooking
 

Scott Brown

Undergraduate Institution: Whitworth University
Undergraduate Degree: English (Writing track)

Writing Interests: “Writing interests me very much.”

Other Interests: “I like bikes, breakfast and basketball (note: this alliteration was not planned or contrived, I just apparently like "B" stuff.  See: honey).”
 

Laura Burgher

Undergraduate Institution: University of Michigan - Dearborn 
Undergraduate Degree: Anthropology, minor in English
Other Degrees or Certificates: Writing Certificate 

Writing Interests: Weaving fiction and reality, travel writing/memoir/journaling, intertwining poetry and prose, social change/empowerment, storytelling as culture making, the interaction of other arts with writing, the effects of spirituality/meditation on creativity and inspiration 

Other Interests: Spending time in the great outdoors - hiking/kayaking/backpacking/picking berries, reading, martial arts, meditation, myths/magic/archetypes/dreams, science of all sorts (biology, ecology, psychology, astronomy, quantum physics…), music
 

Denise Coville

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Seattle
Undergraduate Degree: English (Creative Writing track)

Writing Interests: Creative non-fiction and literary fiction, non-traditional forms and experimenting with new/social media as a medium for fiction

Other Interests: Denise likes board games, baking, dogs, craft beer and Seattle sports teams. Also, she aggressively collect teal, she likes the idea of traveling and might try it someday, and all she wants in life is to live on a boat and avoid jury duty.
 

Lynarra Featherly

Undergraduate Institution: St. John's College
Undergraduate Degree: Liberal Arts (Philosophy, Literature, Mathematics)
Other Degrees or Certificates: Level 2 German Language Certificate, Goethe Institute 

Writing Interests: Lynarra is interested in questions of time and space, agency and affect, muck and ethereality.  These come together in the way writing can open things up, allow for or constrain movement, beyond what looks like it should be possible in our everyday use of language, allowing us to expand or choke off time and space.  She has some beginning sense of the dialectical possibility between freedom and constraint, between anarchy and culture—to be with or without words.

Other Interests: Existential phenomenological psychology, questions of crisis and communication, exteriority and interiority, and more generally what it means to be ‘in a family’ (and other forms of sociability) over time. Lynarra is also left with a set of questions about “material” from her year studying at the Appalachian Center for Craft (emphasis Wood Studio).
 

Samuel Iniguez

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Davis
Undergraduate Degree: Chicano/a Studies; Rhetoric & Communication
Other Degrees or Certificates: MA English, San Francisco State University

Writing Interests: Playwriting, screenplays, poetry, prose, fiction, memoir, rap lyrics, short story

Other Interests: Photography, cooking, freestyling/cyphering, Photoshop, reading, Dungeons & Dragons, grant writing, hiking, social justice networking, editing, publishing
 

Colin McArthur

Undergraduate Institution: Northern Arizona University
Undergraduate Degree: Electronic Media
Other Degrees or Certificates: Editing Certificate, University of Washington

Writing Interests: Semi-autobiographical exploration of community, friendship, relationship, rivalry, and desire in prose and poetry

Other Interests: Colin is an avid storyteller, drawing on his rural upbringing in the desert southwest, and someday hopes to watch "Field of Dreams" without crying. 
 

Megan McGinnis

Undergraduate Institution: Principia College
Undergraduate Degree: English - Creative Writing, minor in Religion

Writing Interests: Historical fiction, children's literature, screenwriting, fairy tales, feminism

Other Interests: Movies, music, reading, yoga, hiking, religion, card making
 

Penny Quinteros

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Seattle
Undergraduate Degree: Political Science, focus in American Government

Writing Interests: Penny is interested in writing genre novels particularly fantasy and young adult, but she enjoys other types of writing including speeches and political essays. She thinks one of the best things about writing is the entertainment it gives to the reader, so she wants to develop powerful and moving stories that can really make someone’s day.

Other Interests: Penny spends most of her free time reading (aka “researching”), but she also likes video games, movies and all sorts of technology.  She tries to constantly learn new things, like horseback riding.
 

Travis Sharp

Undergraduate Institution: Athens State University
Undergraduate Degree: English and Drama

Writing Interests: Cross-genre writing; prosetry; flash fiction; vignettes; playwriting; creative writing which explores the post-gender mind, the fluctuations of identity throughout event(s), and the intersections of identity, the mental/emotional state, and the everyday; academic writing focusing on literary criticism and gender studies

Other Interests: Teaching, tutoring, editing, journal management, theatre, photography, LGBTQ rights, queer theory, gender studies
 

Todd Simmons

Undergraduate Institution: Whitworth University
Undergraduate Degree: English, minor in Philosophy
Other Degrees or Certificates: Washington State Certified Teacher: English/Language Arts grades 4-12 

Writing Interests: Children’s fiction, adolescent fiction, surrealistic fiction, and comedy – fiction and non-fiction – Funny is funny whether it’s real or not.

Other Interests: Coaching Special Olympics basketball and track, running, reading, and many other fun activities
 

Christine Smith

Undergraduate Institution: Seattle Pacific University
Undergraduate Degree: Creative Writing and English Literature

Writing Interests: As a writer Christine enjoys exploring the extraordinary aspects of ordinary human lives, and making the emotion and experience of another person tangible and available to the reader.

Other Interests: Christine is interested in curating space for different artistic media to come together to produce one cohesive experience. She is drawn to travel, Spanish poetry, surrealist art, and full-bodied evocative music across many genres. She strives to better understand how humanity, while overflowing with potential for kindness and mercy, so often chooses hate and judgment. She dreams of using art as a way to help heal trauma and produce a movement of understanding and grace.