About the Program
Each year twelve writers/writing teams are selected by a curator out of dozens of applicants, based on artistic excellence, diversity of literary genres, and a cohesive grouping of writers. The program features voice and presentation training, in-studio interviews, public readings, a published anthology, and podcasts. Live readings are recorded, and selected portions are produced for podcasts and radio broadcast.
Meet our 2022 Jack Straw Writers
Helen Anderson READ MORE >
Helen Anderson is a fiction writer and software designer living in Seattle. Originally from Austin, Texas, she holds a B.S. in Science, Technology & Society and an M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction.
Ally Ang READ MORE >
Ally Ang is a gaysian poet living on occupied Duwamish and Coast Salish lands known as Seattle. Ally’s work has appeared in Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, The Journal, Foglifter, Palette Poetry, and elsewhere, and their work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Bettering American Poetry. They are the co-editor of an anthology of Southeast Asian art and writing titled All the Oils: On Friendship, Sex, and Other Warmths (Ginger Bug Press 2021) and they are an editor for Game Over Books. Ally received their MFA from the University of Washington and they currently work at Hugo House, a Seattle-based literary arts nonprofit.
Carrie Beyer READ MORE >
Carrie Beyer is a poet and essayist. A mother of three school-aged children, she grew up in rural Kansas and now lives in the Pacific Northwest where she works as a bookseller at Eagle Harbor Book Company. Carrie holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. Her poems have been published in Prairie Schooner, Apeiron Review, and as a contest finalist in Iron Horse Literary Review.
Julie Feng READ MORE >
Julie Feng is a poet, communications strategist, and scholar of stories. She holds a M.A. in Cultural Studies and is an incoming Ph.D. student in Communication at the University of Washington. Julie currently serves as the Director of Communications for Scholar Fund, supporting resources for communities of color and immigrant communities. Her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine, Pacifica Literary Review, Wildness, Quaint Magazine, and more.
Jessica Gigot READ MORE >
Jessica Gigot is a poet and farmer. Her second book of poems, Feeding Hour (Wandering Aengus Press, 2020), won a Nautilus Award and was a finalist for the 2021 Washington State Book Award. Jessica’s writing and reviews appear in several publications, such as Orion, Taproot, Terrain.org, Gastronomica, and Poetry Northwest. She is currently a poetry editor for The Hopper. Her memoir, A Little Bit of Land, will be published by Oregon State University Press in 2022.
Danielle Hayden READ MORE >
Danielle Hayden is a writer from Detroit. Her work has appeared in Seattle magazine, The Dillydoun Review, The Cleveland Review of Books, Ampersand, SELF, and elsewhere. Outside of writing, she finds additional ways to fill her life with words: as a polyglot with an insatiable appetite for learning languages, as an amateur calligrapher, and recently as creator of the website 3pistolary.com, which encourages people to send letters. Some of her volunteer work includes assisting language preservation-based nonprofits such as Our Golden Hour and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. Danielle also volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate and dabbles in photography.
Erin Langner READ MORE >
Erin Langner is an essayist whose work focuses on art, architecture and identity. She is a regular contributor to Hyperallergic and METROPOLIS magazines. Her writing has also appeared or is forthcoming in december, The Offing, The Normal School, Hobart, The Stranger, and ARCADE. She lives in Seattle and works on exhibitions and publications at the Frye Art Museum. Her debut collection, Souvenirs from Paradise, will be published by Zone 3 Press in 2022.
Jory Mickelson READ MORE >
Jory Mickelson (he/they) is a queer, non-binary writer who was raised by two visual artists. They received their BA in English from Western Washington University and their MFA in poetry from the University of Idaho. Their work can be found in Court Green, Painted Bride Quarterly, Jubilat, Sixth Finch, Ninth Letter, Diode, and The Rumpus. They are currently working on poems that explore the intersection of visual art, queerness, erasure, gender, and history.
Their first book, Wilderness//Kingdom (2019) was the inaugural winner of Floating Bridge Press’ Evergreen Award Tour and the 2020 High Plains Book Award winner in poetry. They received fellowships from the Port Townsend Writers Conference, Lambda Literary Foundation, Winter Tangerine, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico.
Emily Parzybok READ MORE >
Emily Parzybok is a writer, political consultant and teacher from Seattle. She serves as the Executive Director of Balance Our Tax Code advocating for progressive solutions to balance the tax code at the state legislature and on the ballot. She is a writer and an MFA candidate at New York University’s low residency program. Her work has been published in Poetry Northwest, The Syndrome Mag and Points in Case. She has work forthcoming in the Uncertain Girls, Uncertain Times anthology, a collection of inspiration and encouragement for young women. Above all else, she is a dedicated reader who can often be found in bed with her three cats, a cup of breakfast tea and a book. You can write with her at A Very Important Meeting!
Vincent Rendoni READ MORE >
Vincent Antonio Rendoni (he / him / his) is a Seattle-based poet and writer. He is the winner of Blue Earth Review’s 2021 Annual Flash Fiction Contest. He is a contributor to What They Leave Behind: A Latinx Anthology. His work has appeared / will be appearing in the Texas Review, Juked, Fiction Southeast, Sky Island Journal, Door is a Jar, and more. He received his BA from Western Washington University and MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. He has previously taught poetry and fiction in the Allegheny County Jail as part of the Words Without Walls program in Pittsburgh, PA. His work focuses on the intersection of family, truth, death, and the mixed-race/Latinx experience.
Ruth Schemmel READ MORE >
Ruth Schemmel’s short fiction has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Fiction, and New Orleans Review, among other places. She has been a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open and a fifth-place overall winner in the NYC Midnight Short Fiction Challenge. A former Peace Corps volunteer, she works as a teacher of high school English language learners in the greater Seattle area, where she lives with her family.
Katharine Strange READ MORE >
Katharine Strange specializes in questioning received wisdom with a wink and a smirk. She writes personal essays, short stories, novels, and now, memoir! Her work has appeared in The Seattle Times, The Stranger, OC87 Diaries, Literary Yard, ScaryMommy, and anthology The Pandemic Midlife Crisis: Gen X Women on the Brink. She was a 2021 Mainstage Storyteller for The Moth. Formerly she wrote a column for Fundamentally Free, a blog for Exvangelicals and heretics. She lives in south Seattle with her family and is represented by Savannah Brooks of Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. As a rule, she never turns down champagne.
2022 Writers Program Curator
Michael Schmeltzer is a biracial author originally from Japan. He currently lives in Seattle where he serves as Editor-in-Chief of Floating Bridge Press. His poetry book Empire of Surrender (2022) is the winner of the 2021 Wandering Aengus Book Award. Along with Meghan McClure, he is the co-author of the nonfiction book A Single Throat Opens, a lyric exploration of addiction and family. His debut full-length Blood Song was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in Poetry, the Julie Suk Award, and the Coil Book Award. His honors include a 2019 Jack Straw Fellowship, the Gulf Stream Award for Poetry, and Blue Earth Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. He has been a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro and Levis Prizes, the Zone 3 Press First Book Prize, the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry from BkMk Press, the OSU Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and most recently the Jake Adam York Prize.
Recent Posts About This Program
Join us in person or online, as the Jack Straw Reading Series continues for the 26th year, with a series of readings featuring new poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from the 2022 Jack Straw Writers. Poet and program curator Michael Schmeltzer will host three readings with the writers, in person in the studio and streamed […]
Categories: Writers Program
Curator Michael Schmeltzer has selected the 2022 Jack Straw Writers! Our fellows this year are Helen Anderson, Ally Ang, Carrie Beyer, Julie Feng, Jessica Gigot, Danielle Hayden, Erin Langner, Jory Mickelson, Emily Parzybok, Vincent Rendoni, Ruth Schemmel, and Katharine Strange. Our writing fellows will be hard at work for the next few months writing and […]
Categories: Writers Program
If you missed the November group reading with E.J. Koh and our 2021 Jack Straw Writers, our friends at Seattle Public Library have made it available for you to watch whenever you want, right here: Enjoy! And thank you, as always, to our brilliant curator E.J. Koh and the wonderful 2021 Jack Straw Writers.
Categories: Writers Program
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