2018 Conference Faculty

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We are utterly grateful to the faculty of the 2018 Chuckanut Writers Conference. They truly delivered on the conference's motto of Inspiration into Action. We are already looking forward to next year's conference, and we anticipate announcing the 2019 Chuckanut Writers Conference faculty in January 2019. 

Kathleen Alcalá — nonfiction, memoir, fiction


Kathleen Alcalá is the author of The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island (University of Washington Press, 2016). Combining memoir, historical records, and a blueprint for sustainability, Kathleen examines our relationship with food at the most local level, delving into our common pasts and cultures in order to prepare for the future.

Kathleen was born in Compton, California, to Mexican parents, and grew up in San Bernardino. She has a degree in linguistics from Stanford University, an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. A graduate of the Clarion West Science Fiction and Fantasy program, her work embraces both traditional and innovative storytelling techniques. She is the author of six books that include a collection of stories, three novels, a book of essays, and most recently, The Deepest Roots.

Recognition includes the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and two Artist Trust Fellowships. Kathleen has been a guest professor at Seattle University and the University of New Mexico, as well as a writer in residence at Hugo House in Seattle. Until recently, she taught at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, a low-residency MFA program. She lives on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington, where she has been designated an Island Treasure.

The Deepest Roots by Kathleen Alcalá The Desert Remembers My Name by Kathleen Alcalá  Treasures in Heaven by Kathleen Alcalá  The Flower in the Skull by Kathleen Alcalá  

Website: kathleenalcala.com


Daemond Arrindell — poetry, spoken word, drama

Daemond-ArrindellDaemond Arrindell is a poet, playwright, performer, and teaching artist. He was the August 2017 poet-in-residence for the Seattle Review of Books and he is the curator for the 2018 Jack Straw Writers Program. He co-authored the world premiere of a theatrical adaptation of T. Geronimo Johnson’s novel Welcome to Braggsville at Book-It Repertory Theatre in 2017. He is currently a faculty member of Freehold Theatre and is co-facilitating a poetry and theater residency at Monroe Correctional Complex for men, in addition to working as a Writer-In-Residence through the Writers in the Schools Program. In 2012, he taught Seattle University’s first course in Slam Poetry.

He has performed in venues across the country and has been repeatedly commissioned by both Seattle and Bellevue Arts Museums. He is a 2014 Jack Straw Writer, a VONA Voices Writers’ Workshop fellow and his work has been published by City Arts, Poetry NorthwestSpecter, and Crosscut magazines. 

Click here to read an interview with Daemond Arrindell published in the Seattle Review of Books. Click here to read a teacher spotlight on Sonder, a blog of Seattle Arts and Lectures.


Paula Becker — nonfiction, memoir

Paula-BeckerPaula Becker is the author of Looking For Betty MacDonald: The Egg, The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and I, and co-author of The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World's Fair and Its Legacy and Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Washington's First World's Fair. She is featured in the documentary films When Seattle Invented The Future: The 1962 World's Fair; Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Washington's Forgotten World's Fair; and Structural Engineers of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, which she narrated. Paula is a 2017-2018 Humanities Washington speaker. Her current project is a memoir, Long Way Down.

Paula Becker has written for HistoryLink.org since 2001, and is a staff historian. Her 300+ essays on the site document all aspects of Washington state history.



 Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition by Paula Becker The Future Remembered by Paula Becker 

Website: paulabecker.org


Kate Carroll de Gutes — nonfiction, memoir

Kate-Carroll-de-GutesKate Carroll de Gutes' book, Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, won the 2016 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and a 2016 Lambda Literary Award in Memoir. Her latest book, The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons From the Best & Worst Year of My Life, was released in August, 2017.  Kate has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and is a wry observer who writes about grief, the drama of perimenopause and dating, riding bikes, and the joys and challenges of authentic living.

You can find her on the interwebs at www.facebook.com/kcdgwriter or Twitter at @kcdegutes.



The Authenticity Experiment by Kate Carroll de Gutes Objects in Mirror










Website: katecarrolldegutes.com


Claudia Castro Luna — poetry, nonfiction

Claudia-Castro-LunaClaudia Castro Luna is the Washington State Poet Laureate (2018-2020). She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet from 2015-2017. She is the author of Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) and This City, (Floating Bridge Press), a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, a 2014 Jack Straw fellow, the recipient of a King County 4Culture grant and an individual artist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture.

Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry NorthwestLa Bloga, City Arts and Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, among others. Her non-fiction work can be read in the anthologies, The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the US, Northwestern University Press; Vanishing Points: Contemporary Salvadoran Narrative, Kalina Eds; and in This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home, Seal Press.

Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children. 

Killing MariasThisCity_Cover_Cropped-200x300










Website: castroluna.com


Janie Chang — fiction

Janie-ChangJanie Chang writes historical novels set in China with a twist of the supernatural – thanks to the influence of family stories about ancestors who encountered dragons, ghosts, and immortals, and about life in a small Chinese town in the years before the Second World War. She is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Born in Taiwan, Janie has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and New Zealand. She now lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

Her first novel, Three Souls, was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and one of 9 Canadian books nominated for the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel, Dragon Springs Road, released in 2017, has been a Canadian bestseller. 



Dragon Springs Road

Three Souls










Website: janiechang.com


Charmaine Craig — fiction

Charmaine-CraigCharmaine Craig studied literature at Harvard College, received her MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside, where she particularly enjoys teaching literature, the art of the paragraph, and forms of narration.

Her first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages. Her second novel, Miss Burma (Grove), is based on the lives of her mother and grandparents, all born in Burma.

Formerly an actor in film and television, she grew up in Los Angeles, where she now resides with her husband, author Andrew Winer, and their daughters.



Miss BurmaThe Good Men










Website: charmainecraig.com


William Dietrich — fiction, nonfiction, environmental writing

William-DietrichWilliam (Bill) Dietrich is a New York Times bestselling author of the Ethan Gage historical fiction series and a Pulitzer-winning journalist.

He has written 15 novels and 7 nonfiction books, most of them on the Pacific Northwest. He worked as a newspaper reporter in his native Washington state and Washington, D.C., and his writing research has taken him from the South Pole to Tibet.

He taught environmental journalism at Western Washington University and presently lives in Anacortes, WA.



The Trojan IconNapoleons RulesThe Three EmperorsThe Murder of Adam and Eve










Website: williamdietrich.com


Jonathan Evison — fiction

Jonathan EvisonJonathan Evison is the New York Times Bestselling author of All About Lulu; West of Here; The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving;This is Your Life, Harriet Chance; and Lawn Boy.

He has written for The New York TimesWashington PostNPRSalon, and The Wall Street Journal.






Lawn BoyThis Is Your Life Harriet ChanceRevised Fundamentals of CaregivingWest of Here










Website: jonathanevison.net


Natalie Goldberg — nonfiction, poetry, fiction, painting

Natalie-GoldbergNatalie Goldberg is the author of fifteen books, including the legendary Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within (1986), which broke open the world of creativity and started a revolution in the way we practice writing in this country. The book has sold over 1.5 million copies and been translated into fourteen languages. 

Since then she has written fourteen other books, including the novel Banana Rose (1995). A forthcoming coming book in June 2018 is Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir.  

Natalie is also a prolific painter. Her book Living Color: A Writer Paints Her World (1997, 2014), describes painting as her second art form. Her lively paintings can be viewed on her website, www.nataliegoldberg.com

Top of My Lungs (2002), contains forty poems, twenty of her paintings in color, and an essay, “How Poetry Saved My Life.” 

Natalie has been teaching seminars in writing as a practice for the last forty years. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher. The Oprah Winfrey Show sent a film crew to spend the day with Natalie for a segment on Spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. She currently lives in Northern New Mexico.

Writing Down the Bones

The Great SpringThe True Secret of WritingTop of My Lungs 









Website: nataliegoldberg.com


Clelia Gore — literary agent, publishing

Clelia Gore

Clelia Gore heads the children and young adult division at Martin Literary & Media Management.

Clelia is a former attorney from New York City who much prefers her life in Seattle as a literary agent. She represents picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction.

She tweets at @MadmoiselleClel and you can learn more about her at www.cleliagore.com and www.martinlit.com.



Website: cleliagore.com



Iris Graville — nonfiction, profiles, memoir

Iris-GravilleIris Graville is a writer and teacher, bookseller and bookbinder, and a retired nurse who lives on Lopez Island, WA.

Her profiles and personal essays have been published in national and regional journals and magazines. She is the author of Hands at Work: Portraits and Profiles of People Who Work with Their Hands (recipient of numerous accolades including a Nautilus Gold Book Award) and BOUNTY—Lopez Island Farmers, Food, and Community.

Hiking Naked is her first memoir. Iris also serves as publisher of SHARK REEF Literary Magazine.



Hiking NakedBounty

Hands at Work










Website: irisgraville.com


Jourdan Imani Keith — poetry, nonfiction, memoir, environmental writing

Jourdan-Imani-KeithJourdan Imani Keith is a poet, playwright, essayist, lecturer and storyteller. A contributing writer for Orion Magazine and Sierra Magazine, her environmental memoir Tugging at the Web is forthcoming from University of Washington Press in 2018. 

A performer in the Griot tradition, she keeps the culture and history of marginalized people alive through stories of the land. Keith's TEDx Talk "Your Body of Water" is the theme for King County's 2016-2018 Poetry on Buses program. Her essays, "Desegregating Wilderness" and "At Risk" were both chosen for the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology (Houghton Mifflin). 

A student of Sonia Sanchez, she loves haiku, mythology and writing in response to visual arts. As a result, her ekphrastic poems and stories have been featured installations at the Northwest African American Museum  as part of the Glass Orchidarium exhibit, MOHAI's Queering the Museum exhibition and at the Seattle Art Museum's REMIX . 

Keith has performed from Philadelphia to Seattle, Wyoming and Zimababwe. Her awards and fellowships include Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, Hedgebrook, and Jack Straw Writer's Program for which she is the 2017 curator. As Seattle Public Library’s first naturalist-in-Residence she designed "Natural Literacy," linking environmental and early childhood literacy. She continues her service to community as a Seattle Poet Populist Emeritus and received awards from University of Washington, Artist Trust, 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture for her work as an activist, educator and wilderness leader. 

She is the founder and director of Urban Wilderness Project which works for justice at the intersection of gender, culture and environment. She teaches creative writing for Writers-in-the Schools and Skagit Poetry Foundation. 

Soul Topography Jourdan Imani Keith










Website: jourdankeith.wordpress.com


Gary Luke — publishing

Gary-LukeGary Luke is the publisher of Sasquatch Books in Seattle. Authors he has worked with include Nancy Pearl, David Ulin, Bruce Barcott, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Ciscoe Morris, and Jack Nisbet.

He has toiled in the fields of publishing at Simon & Schuster, Plume/Dutton/Penguin, and Dell/Delacorte in New York, and The Seattle Times (where he was involved in hard-copy content delivery at the residential level).

He was an English major at Western when it was called a state college. He is currently reading The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Website: sasquatchbooks.com



Frances McCue — poetry, nonfiction

Frances-McCueFrances McCue is a poet, writer, teacher, and arts instigator. From 1996-2006, she was the founding director of Richard Hugo House in Seattle and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington where she teaches in the English Department, Integrated Social Sciences program, the University Honors Program and creates cross-disciplinary humanities courses.

She has published fivebooks, including a book of essays about Richard Hugo and the Northwest Towns that inspired his poems: The Car that Brought You Here Still Runs. The book was a Finalist for the Washington State book award, also in 2011.

Frances has written three books of poems, including The Bled, which won the Washington State Book Award. Her most recent book of prose, Mary Randlett Portraits was released in 2014 and was a finalist for the State Book Award. Currently, she is working on Where the House Was, a documentary film about the demolition of the Richard Hugo House building in Seattle. Timber Curtain, McCue’s just released fifth book (2017), forms the narrative spine of the film.

Timber CurtainThe Bled by Frances McCue

The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs










Website: francesmccue.com


Kevin Murphy — poetry

Kevin-MurphyKevin Murphy has been performing his exuberant, surreal, comical poetry for over 35 years. He lives in Bellingham, Washington, where he was awarded a Mayor’s Arts Award in 2017. He is the “poet-in-residence” of the Chuckanut Radio Hour, and has performed poetry throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, as a member of the New Old Time Chautauqua.

He teaches creative writing through the Whatcom Community College Community Education program and through the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project.

Kevin is the author of A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy (2007) and has released two poetry CDs, Between Onions and Oxygen (2002) and The Bird of Pure Midnight (2015). A collection of new and selected poems will be released in Spring 2018. He frequently accompanies himself on guitar and percussion.


A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy










For samples of Kevin Murphy’s work, go to soundcloud.com/kevjumu.


Kate Troll — memoir, journalism, environmental writing, screenwriter

Kate-TrollKate Troll is an author, op-ed columnist, wilderness adventurer, and speaker on conservation and climate issues. She moved to Alaska in 1977, seeking wilderness and a career in natural resource management. 

As Executive Director of the Alaska Conservation Voters, Kate helped draft the creation of the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund and lobbied for the Sustainable Energy Act, a comprehensive roadmap to generate 50% of Alaska’s electrical energy from renewable sources by 2025. She served as Executive Director for United Fishermen of Alaska (nation’s largest fishing organization). She also worked as a fisheries development specialist and policy analyst for the State of Alaska. Internationally, Kate was Regional Fisheries Director (North and South America) for the Marine Stewardship Council, a global eco-label program. 

She was elected to public office twice, serving on the Juneau-Douglas Borough and Ketchikan Borough Assembly. Kate was appointed by Governor Palin to serve on the Alaska Climate Mitigation Advisory Board, and was the only Alaskan invited to participate in Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2008 Global Climate Summit. 

From 2010-2016, she wrote for the Juneau Empire and is currently a columnist for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s only statewide paper. She is currently finishing her third screenplay, Hot Ice, Cold Lies, drawing upon her activist career and wilderness adventures.

The Great Unconformity










Website: katetroll.com


Elizabeth Wales — literary agent, publishing


Elizabeth Wales is the principal agent and owner of Wales Literary Agency, Inc., established in Seattle in 1990 and described as a “discerning Seattle outfit in search of literary nonfiction and fiction from the Pacific Rim and beyond.”  Client books have appeared on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and other national bestseller lists, and earned strong reviews and many national awards. 

Subjects of interest for the agency are mainstream and literary fiction, graphic novels, narrative driven nonfiction and memoirs —with special interests in science, nature, social justice, politics, health, food writing, and culture.

Forthcoming and recently published titles include At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life by Samuel Harrington, MD (Hachette, 2018); Our Native Bees by Paige Embry (Timber/Workman, 2018); Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David R. Montgomery (Norton, 2017), a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing; Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, 2017); Witness Tree by Lynda Mapes (Bloomsbury, 2017);  Be Brave, Be Kind, Be Thankful: A Year in Small Town Government (Algonquin, 2019) by Heather Lende, author of NY Times Bestseller, If You Lived Here, You’d Know My Nameand Find the Good (Algonquin, 2016) — the latter two titles have been optioned for TV by Freemantle Media; and Victory Parade, a graphic novel about WWII by Leela Corman (Schocken/Pantheon, 2019), author of Unterzakhn, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, 2013 Le Prix Artemisia, and the Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album.

Jean Hegland’s most recent novel, Still Time (Arcade, 2016), will appear in paperback this year. The indie movie of Into the Forest, directed by Patricia Rozema and starring Ellen Page, sparked fresh interest in Hegland’s Into the Forest; translations have been sold to France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, and Korea. In France, it spent weeks on the  French national bestseller list, and a graphic novel adaptation, featuring art by Lomig, is forthcoming.

The Agency also represents Dan Savage, David Mas Masumoto, Gordon Edgar, Julia A. Boyd, Peter Donahue, Kenny Fries, Martin Laird, Cinthia Ritchie and Robert Spector, among about fifty clients.

Elizabeth began her publishing career at Oxford University Press in New York; she also worked at the Strand and Viking Penguin. A graduate of Smith College, she did graduate work in American Literature at Columbia University. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR), and the Authors Guild.

Website: waleslit.com


Ian Weir — fiction, drama, screenwriting

Ian-WeirBorn in North Carolina, raised in British Columbia, Ian Weir is a West Coast novelist, playwright, screenwriter and TV showrunner. His debut novel, Daniel O’Thunder, was named one of the top historical novels of 2010 by The Library Journal, and was a finalist for four awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. His second novel, Will Starling, was longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. The Death and Life of Strother Purcell is scheduled for publication in Fall, 2018.

For television, he was creator and showrunner of the hit one-hour adventure/drama series Arctic Air, which ran for three seasons on CBC. Previously he was creator, writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed gangland miniseries Dragon Boys, and creator and showrunner of the long-running teen drama series Edgemont, which launched the careers of (among others) Grace Park and Kristin Kreuk. Otherwise, he has written nearly 150 episodes for two dozen series in the U.S. and Canada, ranging from ReBoot to Flashpoint to One Life to Live. His stage plays have been produced across Canada and the U.S., as well as in the U.K. and New Zealand; his radio dramas have been produced by BBC and CBC. Awards include two Geminis, four Leos, a Writers’ Guild of Canada Award and a Jessie.

Educated at the University of British Columbia and King’s College, University of London, Ian lives near Vancouver, B.C., with his wife, Jude, and their daughter Amy.

Will Starling

Daniel O'Thunder










Website: ianweir.net


Robert Wilder — fiction, nonfiction

Robert-WilderRobert Wilder is the author of two critically acclaimed books of essays: Tales From The Teachers' Lounge and Daddy Needs a Drink. His debut novel, NICKEL, was called “A humorous, poignant, and formidable debut” by Booklist (starred review).

He has published essays in NewsweekDetailsSalonParentingCreative NonfictionWorking Mother and numerous anthologies.

He has been a commentator for NPR's Morning Edition, The Madeleine Brand Show, On Point and other national and regional radio programs. Wilder's column, "Daddy Needs A Drink," was printed monthly in the Santa Fe Reporter for close to a decade.

He was awarded the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. Wilder lives and teaches in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

NickelTales from the Teachers LoungeDaddy Needs A Drink










Website: robertwilder.com


Jane Wong — poetry


Jane Wong's poems can be found in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry ReviewThird Coastjubilat and others.

A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, and Bread Loaf.

She is the author of Overpour (Action Books, 2016) and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University. In 2017, she received the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award for Washington artists.



OverpourImpossible MapKudzu Does Not Stop










Website: janewong.tumblr.com

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