Jack Straw Cultural Center











Jack Straw Writers Program

The Jack Straw Writers Program was created in 1997 to introduce local writers to the medium of recorded audio; to develop their presentation skills for both live and recorded readings; to encourage the creation of new literary work; to present the writers and their work in live readings, an anthology, on the web, and on the radio; and to build community among writers.

The 2021 Jack Straw Writers / Jack Straw Writers Events

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.

To date, the Jack Straw Writers Program has included over 300 writers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond who represent a diverse range of literary genres. Writers Program participants have included novelist Harold Taw (2011); Washington Poets Laureate Elizabeth Austen (2003), Kathleen Flenniken (2002), and Claudia Castro Luna (2014); legendary Litmus Inc. founder Charles Potts (2007); author Cheryl Strayed (2007); Seattle Civic Poets Jourdan Imani Keith (2006) and Anastacia-Renée (2014); Stranger Genius Award recipient for poetry John Olson (2004); Floating Bridge Press founder Peter Pereira (2001); Writers In The Schools founder Kip Robinson-Greenthal (2000), and humorist David Schmader (1998).

Top row: 2009-2017 Jack Straw Writers reading, writing, and recording at Jack Straw Cultural Center (photos by Sherwin Eng); Bottom row, L-R: 2015 Jack Straw Writers (photo by Levi Fuller); 2012 Jack Straw Writers at the Royal Room with the Bushwick Book Club Seattle (photos by Melissa Thompson); 2018 Jack Straw Writers at Jack Straw with the Bushwick Book Club Seattle; 2017 Jack Straw Writer Wancy Young Cho reading at the Jack Straw May Reading Series

2021 Jack Straw Writers Program

The 2021 Jack Straw Writers, selected by Curator E. J. Koh, are S. Erin Batiste, C.R. Glasgow, Patrycja Humienik, Grace Jahng Lee, José Luis Montero, Greg November, Tochukwu Okafor, Michael Overa, Paulette Perhach, Abi Pollokoff, Kristie Song, and Daniel Tam-Claiborne.

E. J. Koh
2021 Writers Program Curator E. J. Koh, a 2016 Jack Straw Writers Program fellow, is the author of the memoir The Magical Language of Others (Tin House Books, 2020) and poetry collection A Lesser Love (Louisiana State University Press, 2017)winner of the Pleiades Editors Prize for Poetry. Her poems, translations, and stories have appeared in Academy of American PoetsBoston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, PEN America, Slate, and World Literature Today. Koh is the recipient of The Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing from Prairie Schooner and has received fellowships from the American Literary Translators Association, Kundiman, MacDowell Colony, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and Vermont Studio Center. She is the editor for Pleiades: Poetry by Korean American Women and has appeared in anthologies: Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics, Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on Politics of Identity, and The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit. Koh earned her MFA at Columbia University in New York for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. She is completing her PhD at the University of Washington in English Language and Literature.


Jack Straw Cultural Center gratefully acknowledges 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 2020 Jack Straw CulturalCenter ~ All rights reserved

About the podcasts

Jack Straw Cultural Center produces SoundPages, a podcast featuring excerpts from live readings and interviews highlighting literary artists from the Jack Straw Writers Program.



Previous Jack Straw Writers Program

2020 Writers
2016 Writers
2015 Writers
2014 Writers
2012 Writers
2011 Writers

2009 Writers
2008 Writers
2007 Writers
2006 Writers
2005 Writers
2004 Writers
List of writers to date

Jack Straw Writers Program Events

Jack Straw Reading Series
Streaming Live via Facebook May 7, 14, and 21 at 7pm
Hosted by Curator E. J. Koh