Samar Abulhassan holds an M.F.A. from Colorado State University and has worked in public school classrooms for 15 years, the last ten years for Seattle Arts & Lectures’ WITS program and the last five years for the Skagit River Poetry Project. Born to Lebanese immigrants and raised with multiple languages, she is a 2006 Hedgebrook alum and the author of six chapbooks, including Farah and Nocturnal Temple and what departs/which arrivals. She recently received a 2016 CityArtist grant to complete a novel-in-poems, reflecting on memory, longing and the Arabic alphabet.
Daemond Arrindell is a poet, playwright, performer and teaching artist. He has written for City Arts and Cross Cut magazines has self-published two chapbooks, “Hungry for the Word,” and “Mission Statement,” and is working on his full-length poetry manuscript, “When the Music Box Won’t Open.”
Daemond is Adjunct Faculty at Seattle University; a 2013 Jack Straw Writer; and a 2014 VONA/Voices Writer’s Workshop fellow. He has performed across the country and has been repeatedly commissioned by Seattle and Bellevue Arts Museums. More recently, Daemond co-adapted the acclaimed contemporary and satirical novel “Welcome To Braggsville,” by T. Geronimo Johnson into a stage production for Book-It Repertory Theater. Braggsville debuted in June 2017.
Matt Gano is the author of Suits for the Swarm, a poetry collection from MoonPath Press, is a co-founder of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program, and the principal bricklayer of Abbey Arts’ NEXT STAGE program. He is also a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools, and a teaching artist for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. Matt’s dynamic work has led to recent invitations as a panelist and featured poet for the Skagit River Poetry Festival (2018), instructor for WRITE Doe Bay, and faculty member for the LiTFUSE writer’s conference.
Matt is the voice and lyrical drive behind ENTENDRES a Seattle based hip-hop project in collaboration with producer CRSCRL. He represented Seattle at the National Poetry Slam multiple years, is a former Seattle Grand-Slam champion, and has performed poetry across the United States touring nationally renowned venues, including NYC’s famous Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. He has led creative writing residencies internationally at the Hong Kong School of Creativity, and in Seoul Korea for the Youth Creativity Summit.
Matt’s poetry has appeared in City Arts Magazine, Drunk In a Midnight Choir,The Operating System Vol. 3., The Breadline anthology, Bestiary Magazine, and chapbooks: Up From the Mine, Bones For The Builder, Music Maker, Welcome Home, I Eight the Infinite and Art Barker, a poetry LP entitled “Music Maker,” and a live recording entitled “A Giant’s Pulse.”
Lorraine Healy was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from New England College, NH, and a post MFA in teaching Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Lorraine was a high school teacher and college instructor in Argentina before coming to the U.S. almost 25 years ago. She has taught at Antioch University Seattle, LITFuse Poetry Festival, Skagit Valley Poetry Festival, and as a guest poet in many universities. A Hedgebrook alumna, and the author of two full-length collections and three chapbooks, Lorraine feels comfortable teaching in English or in Spanish, or combinations of both. Her latest full-length collection, Mostly Luck. Odes & Other Poems of Praise, draws on the tradition of Pablo Neruda’s Elementary Odes.
An award-winning photographer who enjoys analog photography, she is also interested in combining poetry and photography in different ways.
Lorraine teaches at the high school and college levels.
Jourdan 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. She is the author of Soul Topography, an author’s edition chapbook focused on heritage and place. A storyteller in the Griot (Gree-oh) tradition, she keeps the culture and history of marginalized people alive through myths and legends 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 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 Jamaica to Seattle, Wyoming, and Zimbabwe. Her awards and fellowships include Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, Hedgebrook, and Jack Straw Writers Program for which she was 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 uses the arts to work for justice at the intersection of gender, culture, and environment. She teaches creative writing for Writers-in-the Schools and Skagit Poetry Foundation. She has developed curriculum and taught for 4 Culture, Seattle Office of Arts and Seattle Public Utilities’ drainage and wastewater High School Project. Jourdan is the Seattle Civic Poet for 2019-2023.
Jeffrey Morgan is the author of two poetry collections, Crying Shame (BlazeVOX [Books], 2011) and The Last Note Becomes Its Listener (Conduit Books & Ephemera, 2019), winner of the Minds on Fire Open Book Prize. His poems appear in Copper Nickel, The Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, Poetry Northwest, and Rattle. He lives with his wife, daughter, and brother in Bellingham, WA.
Ario has worked primarily with dual-immersion, K-5 students in San Francisco. He also has worked with high school and undergraduate students.
Martha has been teaching poetry writing at all grade levels (kindergarten through MFA/graduate school) for the last 25 years. Places she’s taught include Northern Michigan University, Edmonds Community College, Bellevue College (where she is currently an instructor), the Seattle Writers in the Schools program (Hamilton Int’l Middle School), the Seattle Public Library, San Juan Island Public Library, and at conferences and workshops across the country. She’s also co-editor, with Kelli Russell Agodon, of a book of 366 writing prompts (one for every day of the year), The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice. More information about upcoming appearances and workshops, as well as links to The Daily Poet and samples of her own work, can be found at marthasilano.net
Jeremy Voigt has been teaching in public schools for thirteen years and has taught literature and creative writing the entire time. He has taught middle school, high school, and community college courses. Jeremy has been a visiting writer in elementary schools and taught at conferences such as the Port Townsend Writer’s conference. https://skagitriverpoetry.org/interviews/2012/03/poet-as-activist-a-conversation-with-jeremy-voigt/