2016 Fall Convergence Bios

Laynie Browne Sarah Baker Joshua Beckman John Beer Aeron Bergman Anselm Berrigan Amaranth Borsuk Richard Chiem Don Mee Choi Allison Cobb Sarah Dowling Brian Evenson Lisa Fishman Jeanne Heuving Tyehimba Jess Joe Milutis Robert Mittenthal Tracie Morris Aaron Shurin Tree Swenson Kaitlin Young Matthew Zapruder

Sarah Baker lives in Seattle, Washington. She is a poet with an MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell. She is a co-director of APRIL, Seattle’s annual festival of small and independent publishing. She has also worked with Wave Books and is a co-editor at Letter [r] Press.

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker by Tomaž Šalamun (both by Ugly Duckling Presse), which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. Most recently, he has co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.

John Beer is the author of Lucinda (Canarium, 2016) and The Waste Land and Other Poems (Canarium, 2010), and the editor of Poems 1962-1997 by Robert Lax (Wave, 2013). He teaches creative writing at Portland State University.

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas work as a collaborative team, producing media, performance, internet, sound, publications and sculptural works and objects in their interdisciplinary, conceptual and socially engaged practice. Their work has been exhibited extensively in international venues, such as the 4th Athens Biennale and the 1st Bergen Triennial. Other recent exhibitions include Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Austria and the Bergen Assembly Triennial. Bergman and Salinas are Senior Artists-in-Residence in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. They are the founders of INCA, Institute for New Connotative Action.

Anselm Berrigan is the author of a dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, including Primitive State, Notes from Irrelevance, and Pregrets. He is the poetry editor for the Brooklyn Rail, a former Artistic Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, and co-editor with Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan. He is Co-Chair of Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and otherwise a part-time teacher and editor. He lives in Manhattan’s East Village, where he also grew up.

Amaranth Borsuk is the author, most recently, of Pomegranate Eater (Kore Press, 2016), a collection of poems. Abra (1913 Press, 2016), a book of mutating poems created with Kate Durbin, received an NEA-sponsored Expanded Artists’ Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and was recently released as a limited-edition book with a free iPad / iPhone app created by Ian Hatcher. Borsuk's other digital collaborations include The Deletionist, an erasure bookmarklet created with Nick Montfort and Jesper Juul; Whispering Galleries, a site-specific LeapMotion interactive textwork for the New Haven Free Public Library; and Between Page and Screen, a book of augmented reality poems created with Brad Bouse. Her practice encompasses print and digital poetics, book arts, installation, and performance. Borsuk is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.

Laynie Browne is the author of twelve collections of poetry and two novels. Her most recent collections of poems include P R A C T I C E (SplitLevel 2015), and Scorpyn Odes (Kore Press 2015). Forthcoming books include a collaboration with Bernadette Mayer titled The Complete Works of Apis Mellfica (Further Other Books); a novel, Periodic Companions, with drawings by artist Noah Saterstrom (Tinderbox Editions); and a book of poems, You Envelop Me (Omnidawn). She is a 2014 Pew Fellow and teaches at University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College.

Rebecca Brown is the author a dozen books published in the US and abroad, including American Romances, The Last Time I Saw You, The Dogs and The Terrible Girls (all with City Lights) and The Gifts Of The Body, (HarperCollins) and co-editor of two books, Experimental Theology with Robert Corbett (Seattle Research Institute) and Looking Together: Writers on Art (University of Washington Press) with Mary Jane Knecht. Her work has been translated into Japanese, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, etc.,  and awarded The Boston Book Review Award, Lambda Literary Award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, Washington State Book Award, Stranger Genius Award and grants from the MacDowell, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, etc. She is currently Senior Artist in Residence in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Bothell as well as a faculty member at the Master of Fine Arts program at Goddard College, Vermont.  

Andrew Carson is a writer and artist from Everett, WA and recent graduate of UW Bothell's MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics. His book Self Taut plays poetry and drawings against each other like sinew bowed on a nerve.

Richard Chiem is the author of You Private Person, a collection of short stories published by Scrambler Books in 2012. His work has appeared in City Arts Magazine, Fanzine, and Everyday Genius, among other places. An excerpt from his novel, King of Joy, was adapted into a short play by the Satori Group in Seattle in 2014.

Don Mee Choi is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, April 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), and translator of contemporary Korean women poets. She has received a Whiting Writers Award and the 2012 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. Her translation of Kim Hyesoon’s Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (Action Books, 2014) was a finalist for the 2015 PEN Poetry in Translation Award and shortlisted for ALTA's Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize. Her most recent works include a chapbook, Petite Manifesto (Vagabond Press, 2014), and a pamphlet, Freely Frayed,=q, Race=Nation (Wave Books, 2014). She was born in Seoul and came to the U.S. via Hong Kong. She now lives in Seattle. 

Allison Cobb is the author of Born2 (Chax Press), Green-Wood (Factory School), Plastic: an autobiography (Essay Press), and After We All Died, (forthcoming in 2016 from Ahsahta Press), which was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She works for Environmental Defense Fund and lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-curates the reading, art, and performance series The Switch.

Sarah Dowling is the author of DOWN (Coach House, 2014), Birds and Bees (Troll Thread, 2012), and Security Posture (Snare, 2009), which received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Sarah's literary criticism has appeared in journals such as American Quarterly, Canadian Literature, GLQ and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Bothell and teaches in its MFA program.

Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses.  He has received three O. Henry Prizes, has won the International Horror Guild Award, the ALA-RUSA award, and has been a finalist for, among other things, the Shirley Jackson Award and The Edgar Award.  His work has been translated into French, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He teaches at CalArts and lives in Los Angeles.

Lisa Fishman is the author of six books of poetry and several chapbooks. Her most recent book is 24 Pages and other poems (Wave Books, 2015); earlier collections include F L O W E R  C A R T (Ahsahta Press, 2011), Current (Parlor Press, 2011), and The Happiness Experiment (Ahsahta, 2007). She lives in Orfordville and Madison, Wisconsin and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.

Ted Hiebert is an interdisciplinary artist and theorist working at the intersection of the technological, the paradoxical and the imaginary. He is the author of In Praise of Nonsense: Aesthetics, Uncertainty and Postmodern Identity (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2012), A formalized forum for informal inquiry (Seattle: Noxious Sector Press, 2015), and (with David Cecchetto,Marc Couroux and Eldritch Priest) Ludic Dreaming: How to Listen Away from Contemporary Technoculture (London: Bloomsbury, 2017). His individual and collaborative artworks have been shown in galleries around the world, including: Open Space (Victoria, CAN), Grunt (Vancouver, CAN), The Museum of Art (Seoul, KOR), The Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle, USA), Plug-in Institute of Contemporary Art (Winnipeg, CAN), and The Goodman Arts Centre (Singapore, SGP), among others. Hiebert is a founding member of Noxious Sector Arts Collective, a member of the experimental theory group The Occulture, and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal CTheory. He is Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

Jeanne Heuving is a writer and a scholar. Her book-length study The Transmutation of Love and Avant-Garde Poetics is just out from the Modern and Contemporary Poetics series at the University of Alabama Press.  Other books include Incapacity (Chiasmus), Transducer (Chax), and Omissions Are Not Accidents:  Gender in the Art of Marianne Moore (Wayne State U P). Her cross genre book Incapacity won a 2004 Book of the Year Award from Small Press Traffic.  She recently published her long poem, “Miss Lonelyhearts,” in Hambone 20, and was one of two scholars to write an overview of American women’s poetry 1950-2000 for A History of Twentieth-Century American Women’s Poetry (Cambridge 2016).  She has an essay on Tisa Bryant forthcoming in The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of our Time (Northwestern 2017).  Heuving directs the MFA program in Creative Writing & Poetics in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Bothell and is on the graduate faculty in the English Department at UW Seattle.

Susan Jeffords is Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UW Bothell, where she oversees academic programs, the Teaching and Learning Center, Information Technologies, the Division of Enrollment Management and Admissions, Student Affairs, the Offices of Research Support and Institutional Research. Jeffords has written and taught broadly in the area of American popular culture, with a particular emphasis on Hollywood film, the Vietnam War, and feminism. Her books include The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War, Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era, and Covering bin Laden: Global Media and the World's Most Wanted Man. She is particularly committed to increasing opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented communities to participate actively in higher education, including expanding opportunities for international engagement.

Tyehimba Jess is a Detroit native whose first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in April 2016. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alum, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 – 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

Joe Milutis is a writer and media artist.  He is the author of Failure, A Writer’s Life (Zer0 Books), Ether: The Nothing That Connects Everything (Minnesota), and most recently “Bright Arrogance,” a column on experimental translation for Jacket2. His interdisciplinary practice encompasses both academic and creative work in a variety of media and distribution modes, including experiments in narrative and poetics; sound and radio; video; new media; performance and various media/literature hybrids.  His work has appeared in Fence, Gauss PDF, Cabinet, Triple Canopy, Leonardo and Film Comment, among other places. Milutis is Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Bothell.

Robert Mittenthal is author of Wax World (Chax, 2011), and a variety of chapbooks including: Value Unmapped, Martyr Economy, Ready Terms, andIrrational Dude. He was instrumental in creating and curating the Subtext Reading Series (1995-2009) in Seattle, and the last few years has been working to induce collective thought via a series of related reading groupuscles, a project called: autonomous university. He blogs at http://rmutts.blogspot.com/

Tracie Morris is a poet, singer, critic, scholar, bandleader, artist consultant, vocal coach, and actor. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College, has studied classical British acting technique at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, American acting technique at Michael Howard Studios, and is an alum of Cave Canem’s prestigious summer residency as well as residencies at MacDowell, Millay and Yaddo. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. Her work has been presented at the Whitney Biennial, Ron Feldman Gallery, The New Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Dia:Chelsea.  Morris also has dozens of musical recording projects. Her books include Intermission, Rhyme Scheme, and handholding: 5 kinds. She is co-editor of Best Experimental Writing (2016) with Charles Bernstein. Tracie is Professor and Coordinator of the MFA program in Performance + Performance Studies at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.

Aaron Shurin is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, most recently The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks (University of Michigan, 2016) and Citizen, a collection of prose poems (City Lights Books, 2012.) His writing has appeared in over thirty national and international anthologies, and has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Gerbode Foundation. He is Professor Emeritus in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.

Tree Swenson has been the executive director of Hugo House, Seattle’s literary center since early 2012.  She previously spent ten years as executive director of the Academy of American Poets in New York, where she launched the Poem-a-Day program and started the annual Poetry & the Creative Mind event at Lincoln Center. Swenson spent 20 years as executive director and publisher at Copper Canyon Press, which she co-founded. The Press produced books from poets including Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners, and garnered numerous awards. She also served as director of programs at the Massachusetts Cultural Council and she is a former board president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

Justin Waterhouse is a project manager, graphic designer, and artist. She was raised in Taiwan and now works in Seattle. Previously at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery as gallery assistant, she currently works at the Frye Art Museum. She collaborates with INCA Seattle as an editor and assistant curator. Justen holds a BFA from the University of Washington in Painting+Drawing.

Kaitlin Young is a Seattle-based writer and visual poet who received an MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from UW Bothell in June 2016. She uses embroidery, an inherited skill, to play in and against the domestic realm.  Her project, We/Me uses hand-stitched poems to explore how layers of fabric relate to layers of time and space. She creates poetry that is slowly made, with tactility and weight, which occupies a swath of three-dimensional space. Her house in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle inspires the poems that make up We/Me. She layers text and textiles to create a visual metaphor that addresses issues of gentrification, feminism, and land-ownership. These short, concrete poems use wordplay to create friction and elicit multiple meanings.

Mathew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear (Copper Canyon 2014). Why Poetry, a book of prose, is forthcoming from Ecco/Harper Collins in 2017. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship in Marfa, TX. An Associate Professor and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California, he is also Editor at Large at Wave Books. He lives in Oakland, CA.