2013 Jack Straw Writers Program

The 2013 Jack Straw Writers, selected by Curator Stephanie Kallos, are Daemond Arrindell, Kate Carroll de Gutes, Dennis Caswell, Larry Crist, Josephine Ensign, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Jay McAleer, Peter Munro, Emily Pérez, Judith Skillman, Corry Venema-Weiss, and Chelsea Werner-Jatzke.

In November 2013 Jack Straw resident artists The Bushwick Book Club Seattle performed a night of original music inspired by the work of the 2013 Jack Straw Writers. See video from the night here:

2013 Writers Program Curator Stephanie Kallos spent twenty years in the theatre as an actress and teacher before turning her full time attention to writing. She was a resident in the Jack Straw Writers Program in 2001, while working on her first novel, Broken for You, which won the PNBA and Washington Book awards and was selected by Sue Monk Kidd for The Today Show book club. Her second novel, Sing Them Home, was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of the Top Ten Books of 2009. Her short fiction has received a Raymond Carver Short Story Award and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Stephanie lives in north Seattle with her husband and sons and is currently working on her third novel.

Daemond Arrindell is a teaching artist, workshop facilitator, community organizer, and wants to be a poet when he grows up. He is producer and curator of the Seattle Poetry Slam, the longest running weekly show in Seattle; 8-time coach of the Seattle National Slam Team; faculty member of the Freehold Theatre; Writer-in-Residence with SAL's Writers in the Schools; and facilitates residencies at Monroe Correctional Complex and Echo Glen Children's Center.

A stickler for the serial comma, Kate Carroll de Gutes believes that there should always be two spaces between a period and the beginning of the next sentence. Her work has been featured in various anthologies and journals, including Fourth Genre, Seattle Review, New Plains Journal, Crosscurrents, and The Raven Chronicles. Kate holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop, and lives, writes, and rides her bike in Portland, Oregon.

Dennis Caswell is the author of the poetry collection Phlogiston, published in 2012 by Floating Bridge Press. His work has appeared in Floating Bridge Review, Crab Creek Review, Monarch Review online, and assorted other journals and anthologies. He lives outside Woodinville, Washington and works as a software engineer in the aviation industry.

Larry Crist has lived in Seattle for the past 20 years and is originally from California, specifically Humboldt County (among other places). He has also lived in Chicago, Houston, London, and Philadelphia, where he received his MFA in theatre. He's been widely published. Among some of his favorites are Pearl, Slipstream, Alimentum, Dos Passos Review, Floating Bridge Press, Evening Street Review, and Clover. He's been nominated for 3 Pushcarts.

Josephine Ensign teaches health policy at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her literary non-fiction essays have appeared in The Sun, The Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Silk Road, The Examined Life Journal, Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine and in I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, edited by Lee Gutkind (In Fact Books, 2013). She is writing a book titled Catching Homelessness, a narrative nonfiction account of her work as a nurse practitioner providing health care to homeless people while navigating her own passage through homelessness. She writes "Medical Margins," a blog on health policy and nursing.

Jeannine Hall Gailey is the Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington and the author of three books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006), She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books, 2011), and Unexplained Fevers, out from New Binary Press this spring. Her work has been featured on NPR's The Writer's Almanac, Verse Daily, and in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review and Prairie Schooner (as well as Indiana Review.) She volunteers for Crab Creek Review.  

Jay McAleer is a poetry and fiction writer from Seattle. He has a BFA from DePaul University and a certificate in Literary Fiction from the University of Washington. He has previously published essays in the short-lived magazine The Austin Idealist and is currently at work on a novel.

Peter Munro is a fisheries scientist who works in the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands, the Gulf of Alaska, and Seattle. He has had poems published here and there.

Emily Pérez is the author of Backyard Migration Route (Finishing Line Press), a chapbook drawn from her roots in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. She earned a BA at Stanford University and an MFA from the University of Houston where she worked as a poetry editor for Gulf Coast and a writer-in-residence with Houston's Writers in the Schools. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Borderlands, New Ohio Review, Ocho, Nimrod, and DIAGRAM, as well as other journals. She teaches English and Gender Studies at a high school in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband and sons.

Judith Skillman's collection, The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems 2007­-2013, is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press. She's the recipient of awards from Academy of American Poets, Washington State Arts Commission, and other organizations. Two of her books (RedTown, Prisoner of the Swifts) have been finalists for the Washington State Book Award. Skillman currently teaches at Yellow Wood Academy, Mercer Island, Washington.

Corry Venema-Weiss longed to write about strange worlds from her youth, but was deterred by the daunting task of imagining them from scratch. Then she discovered a fascinating world ready-made: the 18th century. The result of nearly ten years of research, her novel, The Genius of Desire, is the story of Will Theroux, his fall from a careful, respectable life and his redemption in a world hidden from history: Georgian London's nascent gay subculture. A graduate of the inaugural class of Artist's Trust Edge program, she is a past recipient of a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and a residency at the Whaletown Institute. A midwife by training, she currently works in HIV research. She lives on an urban farm in Everett, Washington with her husband, one cat, and four chickens. Her proudest achievement: being the parent of another emerging writer.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke holds an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, where she completed a collection of linked short stories, 1742 Second Avenue, pieces of which have been published in Guideword, The Conium Review, and ListenParty.com. Her music journalism, art criticism, and further published fiction can be found in Performer Magazine, The Stranger, The Brooklyn Rail, threeimaginarygirls.com, and Release Literary Journal. When she isn't writing, Chelsea is teaching a continuing education creative writing course at Seattle Central Community College and co-organizing Lit.mustest, a bi-annual reading series at the Richard Hugo House.


Jack Straw Productions gratefully acknowledges The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture King County Lodging Tax Fund, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, ArtsFund, and individual contributors for their support of the Jack Straw Writers Program.

Copyright 2013 Jack Straw Productions ~ All rights reserved

About the podcasts

Jack Straw Productions produces bi-monthly podcasts featuring excerpts from live readings and interviews highlighting literary artists from the Jack Straw Writers Program.


Previous Jack Straw Writers Program

2012 Writers
2011 Writers

2009 Writers
2008 Writers
2007 Writers
2006 Writers
2005 Writers
2004 Writers
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