LiTFUSE 2013

Friday-Sunday, September 27-29

God, but we had fun!

"An Embarrassment of Riches!" 
featuring . . . 

Dorianne Bio Pic

Dorianne Laux

Dorianne Laux, Featured Artist (1st Master Class) is the author of Facts About the Moon (W. W. Norton, 2005), which was the recipient of the Oregon Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Her other collections include The Book of Men (W.W. Norton, 2011) winner of the Paterson Prize for Poetry; The Book of Women (Red Dragonfly Press, 2012); Smoke (BOA Editions, 2000); What We Carry (1994), finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Awake (1990), which was nominated for the San Francisco Bay Area Book Critics Award for Poetry.  With Kim Addonizio, Dorianne is also the co-author of The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (W.W. Norton, 1997). About Laux's work, the poet Tony Hoagland says, "Her poems are those of a grown American woman, one who looks clearly, passionately, and affectionately at rites of passage, motherhood, the life of work, sisterhood, and especially sexual love, in a celebratory fashion." Among Dorianne’s awards are a Pushcart Prize, an Editor's Choice III Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Laux has taught at the University of Oregon's Program in Creative Writing. She now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she is Director of North Carolina State University's MFA Program.

Jennifer K. Sweeney (2nd Master Class) is the author of two poetry collections, most recently, How to Live on Bread and Music, winner of the prestigious 2009 James Laughlin Award (sometimes called the “young poet’s Pulitzer”), the Perugia Press Prize and nominated for the Poet's Prize. Her first collection, Salt Memory won the 2006 Main Street Rag Poetry Award. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Elinor Benedict Poetry Award from Passages North and two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg awards.  Her poems have been translated into Turkish and published widely in literary journals including American Poetry Review and Poetry Daily.The poet Afaa Michael Weaver says, “Jennifer K. Sweeney's How to Live on Bread and Music is a remarkable achievement from the hand of a poet with a subtle and compassionate mindfulness. . . . Adept at the delicate project of inventiveness in the line, she shows us time and again that language is the matter of the poet and that there is surprise in the gift, as this book is sure evidence of the gift.” Sweeney holds an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She now lives in Redlands, CA with her husband, poet Chad Sweeney and their son, Liam, where she teaches writing classes and workshops and also works privately assisting students with poetry and manuscript critiques.

Performing Artist Andre Feriante . . . See below!

Christopher Howell’s tenth collection of poetry, Gaze, was released in 2012 by Milkweed Editions. His New and Selected volume, Dreamless and Possible, was chosen by Linda Bierds for the University of Washington Press’ Northwest Poets Series; and his Light’s Ladder, from the same series, won the Washington State Book Award in 2005. His poems, essays, and translations have also appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including American Poetry Review, Antioch ReviewColorado ReviewCrazyhorse, Denver QuarterlyFieldGettysburg ReviewHarper’sHudson ReviewIowa ReviewNorthwest ReviewPoetry Northwest, Southern Review and Volt. He has been recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and two National Endowment fellowships, as well as a number of other awards.  Christopher teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University and is also director and principal editor for Lynx House Press.

About Peggy Shumaker's new book poet Alice Friman writes, “Shumaker’s vivid Toucan Nest is about learning to see—Costa Rica serving as the textbook. Between the parentheses of arrival and departure, the pages burst with lessons—rich, beautiful, and sometimes terrifying. For us, looking over her shoulder, it is education by proxy. So iridescent is Shumaker’s language, we are there, floating downriver with the crocodiles, watching panicky iguanas hustling from a fire, the basilisk lizard “zipping / zigzag on hind legs,” a flash of green and ruby eyes, and oh, did you hear it? the love cry of the jaguar and the cry of the quetzal whose morning song brings the whole blessed world to life. A dazzle of a book.”  Red Hen Press published Toucan Nest in 2013.  Peggy Shumaker was the 2010-2012 Alaska State Writer Laureate.  Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally.  Professor emerita from University of Alaska Fairbanks, Shumaker teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop. She is founding editor of Boreal Books, publisher of literature and fine art from Alaska.  She edits the Alaska Literary Series at University of Alaska Press.

Joseph Millar is the author of several poetry collections, including Blue Rust (2012), Fortune (2007), and Overtime (2001), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac and has won a Pushcart Prize. The poems – stark, clean, unsparing – record the narrative of a life fully lived among fathers, sons, brothers, daughters, weddings and divorce, men and women. They have appeared in such magazines as DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, APR, and PloughsharesMillar has taught at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, and is now core faculty at Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program.

Chad Sweeney is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James Books) and Wolf’s Milk: Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney (Forklift Books, bilingual Spanish/English)Sweeney’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2008, The Pushcart Prize Anthology 2012, American Poetry Review,Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac.He is co-translator of the Selected Poems of contemporary Iranian poet H.E. Sayeh (White Pine) and editor of the City Lights anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: the Teaching Artists of WritersCorps. Chad teaches in the MFA program at California State University San Bernardino and lives in Redlands with his wife, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney, and their son Liam.

Oh No!  Lauren Zuniga can't make it!  More info soon for those of you signed up for her classes. 

Oh Joy!  Tatyana Brown will take her place!  Tatyana Brown is the founding Captain of The Lit Slam, a San Francisco-based, live audience-curated literary journal--the only show/publication of its kind ( She ranked 4th in the world of competitive performance poetry at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam. Since then, Tatyana has coached a number of poets in editing and performance to Finals at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her most recent chapbook, Lucky Girl, earned her a spot on Muzzle Magazine’s “Top 30 Poets Under 30” list in April of 2013. She has toured North America as a poet, read poems to teenagers on the mountaintops of British Columbia, told tales on NPR’s true-life storytelling show, Snap Judgment, and sold instant literature ranging from short fiction to wedding vows as a street vending freelance writer in New York City. Her work challenges audience members, readers, and students alike to imagine transcending cultural patterns of violence and inequity. She has played an instrumental role in creating platforms to recognize excellence achieved through performance poetry to be recognized—including editing Alight: The Best-Loved Poems of WoWPS 2013 and serving on the 2012 “Golden Poem” Selection Committee at The 2012 National Poetry Slam. Tatyana is also a celebrated workshop facilitator and lecturer, visiting university classrooms (including the Indiana University, Washington University, and Yale University) to speak on poetry slam as a contemporary American literary tradition, and the rich, vibrant, vital, and progressive nature of American oral tradition. She teaches workshops everywhere from coffeeshops and bars to middle school classrooms to homeless shelters, on critical analysis/writing for poetry, storytelling, performance, and the use of various forms of media (including shock-value comedy) as a tool to interrupt and dismantle systemic oppression.

Alice Derry is the author of four full collections of poetry – Tremelo (Red Hen Press, 2012), Strangers to their Courage (Louisiana State Univ. Press, 2001), Clearwater (Blue Begonia Press, 1997), and Stages of Twilight (Breitenbush, 1986) – as well as three chapbooks – Not as You Once Imagined (Trask House, 1993), and Getting Used to the Body (Sagittarius Press, 1989) – and a translation from the German, Rainer Rilke:  Selected New Poems (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2002, now in its third printing).  Alice taught English and German at Peninsula College in Port Angeles for many years, where she co-created and directed the Foothills Writers’ Series from 1980 to 2009.  Of Alice's most recent book, Tess Gallagher writes:  "TREMOLO is a tour de force of vibratory power that marks Alice Derry as having come into her own as one of our very best poets.  I am greatly moved by these narratives with their rushing crescendos, the way they sweep us into our own inner chambers.  Derry possesses an exquisite emotional and moral register. She is unstintingly frank about our failures with each other while witnessing the tenderness, the give and take that let us cleave to each other.” Alice has been a recipient of an Artists Trust GAP Grant, a Washington State Arts Commission Individual Artist Award, several exceptional faculty awards, and her book Strangers to their Courage was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award.  Alice has an MFA from Goddard College, and lives in Port Angeles.

Performing Artist Andre Feriante!  After over 20 years of performing and recording, award-winning virtuoso guitarist Andre Feriante has left his musical mark on the classical, world music and fusion scenes. A cross-over artist in the vein of YoYo Ma or Sting, his performance program represents a bold but fluid musical fusion, featuring music from Bach to Leonard Cohen, flamenco improvisation to jazz standards, and poetry by Federico Garcia Lorca, Rumi and Feriante himself.  Born in Naples, Italy, Feriante spent his formative years between Southern Italy and Manziana, a village just outside Rome. At age nine he announced his intentions to be a flamenco guitarist. He worked and saved to buy his first instrument, then at age 13, he began studying at the Overseas School of Rome. By the time he was 16, Feriante was already performing the works of Bach, Vivaldi, Albeniz and Scarlatti, and by age 18, he had launched his musical career, playing concerts in Rome, Berlin and North and South America. He continued his studies with world-renowned classical guitarists Andres Segovia and Jose Tomas (Segovia’s assistant) in Madrid, Henry Rivas in Bogota, Columbia, and Leon Atkinson in New York.  Andre also has a Yakima connection – he moved with his parents to Yakima when he was in his late teens.

Andre has recorded nine CDs, including one of poetry set to music, and his most recent interpreting songs of the Beatles.  He is the author of a poetry collection, Anatomie de la Luna.  He has performed widely, including at Benaroya Hall for his annual Valentine’s concert, The King Cat Theatre (where he opened for Olita Adams and David Benoit), The Frye Art Museum, The Paramount Theater, and with the Northwest Symphony at Benaroya Hall with “Heart” and “Alice and Chains.” In addition to his busy performance schedule, Feriante currently hosts “La Guitarra,” on Classic King FM 98.1.

Doug Johnson is the founder and editor of Cave Moon Press, a non-profit dedicated to bridging global and local issues through literary arts. He publishes a monthly poetry e-zine dedicated to emerging poets. His original books include The Golden Years: the First Half, Ten Years to Hold Your Breath Home on the Range, Frank's Diary, and Black Mountain Whispers: A Tribute to Raymond Carver.  He teaches English at Carver’s old high school in Yakima. His poems, short stories, photos, and artwork have appeared in various literary arts journals, including Audience Review, Tipton Review, ESC Magazine, Whitefish, Poesia, and Skive Short Story Quarterly (Australia). His drawings entitled the Cracked Pot series of drawings appeared in Houston Literary Review and in Gallery of Thum as a featured artist. He won "Best Letter Press Design" from Bumbershoot Arts Festival in 1998. Naomi Shihab Nye has called Doug a “visionary artist of words and visual images, [who] responds deeply and generously to the mysteries and complexities we are living through.”

Michael Schein, LiTFUSE Artistic Director, is the author of two novels and a slew of poems.  His novels are Bones Beneath Our Feet (2011), and Just Deceits (2008).  Michael has taught poetry and fiction at a number of venues, and is a listed speaker on Northwest history for Humanities Washington.  His poetry is supported by a grant from 4Culture; it has been nominated for the Pushcart twice, and stuck to refrigerators by magnets.


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