A Conversation with Ahamefule J. Oluo

Monday, December 15th at 7:30pm at The Project Room

Musician/performer/comedian Ahamefule J. Oluo’s Now I’m Fine is a genre-spanning pop opera of “darkly funny personal stories about illness, despair, and regeneration.” Stemming from a period in his life in which everything seemed to be falling apart, Oluo’s Now I’m Fine is a creative exploration of how we navigate moments of hopelessness. Join us for a conversation with Oluo about this work, and how it dovetails with The Project Room’s current topic of Transformation.    

About the Presenter:

Ahamefule J. Oluo is a composer, comedian, and trumpet player. Oluo was the first Artist-in-Residence at Town Hall in Seattle. A longtime writing partner of comedian Hari Kondabolu, he has performed nationally with bands including Das Racist and Hey Marseilles, and is a fixture in the local and national comedy scenes. His garage-jazz quartet Industrial Revelation won the 2014 Stranger Genius Award. Oluo lives and works in Seattle.


Photograph by Bruce Tom

Photograph by Bruce Tom

Speed Dating 2.0: Art & Technology

Photography by Nicholas Strobelt

Photography by Nicholas Strobelt

On September 30th 2014, The Project Room gathered twelve artists and twelve technologists for the purpose of engaging in high-powered yet very brief conversations, under the watchful eyes of twelve "chaperones." The event was called Art & Technology: Speed Dating 2.0.

by Nicholas Strobelt

by Nicholas Strobelt

Thanks to our hard-working chaperones, we have notes from every conversation that took place, and we did our best to tweet as fast as we could during the one-minute break between "dates." We didn't have time to tweet everything--and some handwriting was just too indecipherable!--but we did our best.

Thank you to Siren, our co-host, and our wonderful participants, whose investment and curiosity made this event a success! Read more about structure of the event in our original invitation. Stay tuned for future Art & Technology events!

Below are some particularly good responses to a few of the questions we asked:


When do you do your best problem-solving?

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 9.20.17 PM.png

Which matters more to you, that your work be critically acclaimed, or that it be wildly popular?

by Nicholas Strobelt

by Nicholas Strobelt

Should your work last forever? If so, how and why?

What does it look like when your work fails?

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 11.29.21 AM.png
by Nicholas Strobelt

by Nicholas Strobelt

What would you do if you weren’t an artist/technologist?

by Nicholas Strobelt

by Nicholas Strobelt

What might a monument built for you look like?

Opposing Forces with Amy O'Neal & Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Sunday, October 26 at 12pm

at The Beacon/Massive Monkees Studio*

664 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

FREE - no registration required

Join us for a special presentation and conversation with choreographer Amy O'Neal and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Director of Performing Arts Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Using O'Neal's forthcoming debut of the same name, "Opposing Forces" addresses assumptions and rethinking of B-Boy culture, contemporary dance, gender roles, and other questions of opposition found in this new work. Part of The Project Room's investigation of the topic of "Transformation", this program draws on Joseph's dual expertise as hip hop generation curator and playwright and celebrates the world premiere of O'Neal's new work.

*Note the location- this program is not at The Project Room!

Opposing Forces debuts at On the Boards October 23, 24, 25, 26. Tickets and more info here!


About the Presenters:


Marc Bamuthi Joseph is one of America's most vital voices in performance, arts education, and artistic curation. After appearing on Broadway as a young actor, Joseph developed several poetry-based works for the stage including Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, and the break/s that have toured across the US, Europe, and Africa. Joseph's Word Becomes Flesh was re-mounted in December 2010 as part of the National Endowment for the Arts' American Masterpieces series, and will tour throughout the US and Canada. An acclaimed educator and essayist, Joseph has lectured at more than 200 colleges and universities, appeared as a commentator on NPR, and carried adjunct professorships at Stanford University, Lehigh University, Mills College, and the University of Wisconsin. He is the co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip-hop arts and focused environmental action. Joseph is also the artistic director of the seven-part HBO documentary "Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices" and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship. He is the 2011 Alpert Award winner in Theater and in April 2012, he was one of 21 artists to be named to the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists. He currently serves as Director of Performing Arts at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.


Amy O’Neal is a diverse dancer, performer, choreographer, and dance educator based in Seattle WA. For the last 15 years, she has taught and performed throughout the US, Japan and Mexico and choreographed for stage, commercials, rock shows, galleries, dance films and music videos.  Her work is an amalgam of her diverse movement and life experiences presenting social commentary with dark humor and heavy beats. She is the recipient of numerous grants including awards from Creative Capital, the National Performance Network, the National Dance Project, Mid Atlantic Arts and the James W. Ray Project Venture Award. Amy has been an artist-in-residence at Bates Dance Festival, Headlands Center for the Arts, the US/Japan Choreographer’s Exchange, and Velocity Dance Center. She is a two-time Artist Trust Fellow, a DanceWEB Scholar, two-time Stranger Genius Awards nominee. She has worked extensively with musician/comedian Reggie Watts since 2002 both on stage and screen. She choreographed his Comedy Central produced “Fuck, Shit, Stack” video and toured nationally in his show Disinformation. She has created commissioned pieces for Degenerate Art Ensemble and Spectrum Dance Theater and collaborated with Savion Glover and Daniel Bernard Roumain through Seattle Theater Group. She has performed in the work of Pat Graney, Scott/Powell Performance, and Mark Haim.  From 2000 to 2010, she was co-director of locust (music/dance/video) with musician/composer Zeke Keeble, creating six evening-length works and several shorter works. She teaches Contemporary Dance and Hip-Hop/Urban Styles at Velocity Dance Center and House at The Beacon: Massive Monkees studio in Seattle. She also teaches dance composition and improvisation for Seattle Theater Group’s Dance This program and the Seattle Youth Dance Collective. She holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, and her dance writing has been published in Dance Magazine, City Arts Magazine, and ArtDish Forum.



Lit Crawl Seattle Presents Fairy Tales, Superheroes & Other Transformations


Thursday, October 23

7-7:45PM & 8-8:45pm

We are delighted to welcome back the annual Lit Crawl Seattle event to The Project Room! This year, two of the evening's program will take place at TPR in conjunction with our current "Transformation" topic. For the complete listing of all Lit Crawl activities, go here. 

7PM: Hedgebrook Presents: Past Lives featuring Emily White, Lisa Halpern, Kate Willette, and Janet Yoder, with Sonora Jha

8PM: Superheroes vs. Fairy Tales featuring Angela Jane Fountas, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Michael Schmeltzer, and Maya Sonenberg, with Evan J. Peterson

More info:

7PM: Hedgebrook Presents: Past Lives: Hedgebrook alumnae Emily White, Lisa Halpern, Kate Willette, and Janet Yoder read work on ghosts, gods, grief, and native tongues. Hosted by Sonora Jha (Foreign).

About Hedgebrook:

Hedgebrook is a global community of women writers and people who seek extraordinary books, poetry, plays, films and music by women. A literary nonprofit, our mission is to support visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. We offer writing residencies, master classes and salons at our 25-year-old retreat on Whidbey Island, and public programs that connect writers with readers and audiences around the world. Learn more at https://www.hedgebrook.org/

About the Readers:


Emily White is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. She has published two books of nonfiction with Scribner: Fast Girls, Teenage Tribes and the Myth of the Slut and You Will Make Money In Your Sleep, a biography of a con man who was also a close friend.  Her short stories have appeared in The Iowa ReviewThe Greensboro Review, The Sonora Review and Black Clock. Her articles - about topics like teenagers, con artists, military recruiters and gaming addicts - have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Stranger and Seattle Metropolitan among others.  She has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, as well as Editor in Chief of The Stranger. Recently she was invited to speak at the Harvard - Berlin dialogues about the persistence of the Slut archetype in American high schools. She teaches in the low residency MFA program at Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Award-winning writer/director/producer Lisa Halpern recently worked with Marta Kauffman (co-creator FRIENDS) to develop Lisa’s screenplay adaptation of the best-selling novel ‘Broken For You’. Lisa is a two time Hedgebrook alumni, and is a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Writers Group. Her first play ‘Flying Through Blue’ was a 2011 PlayPenn Finalist and was selected for staged readings at the Great Plains Theater Conference (Playlab) 2013, Uprooted Theater’s Playwrights Festival in Milwaukee 2013 and the Northwest Playwright’s Alliance 2014. Intiman Theatre commissioned Lisa to write ‘Metanoia: A Change of Mind’ which recently had a staged reading at the Seattle Repertory Theater. For more info go towww.thirdeyeproductions.org


Kate Willette is a 2003 Hedgebrook alumna. She has published short literary fiction (“Evidence,” Best of Writers at Work 1994), memoir (Some Things Are Unbreakable) and narrative non-fiction (Working 2 Walk 2012). She holds a variety of degrees and certificates from the University of Washington and the Seattle School of Psychology and Theology.

From her home in Bellevue, Kate is currently working on two projects: one is a novel about an unusual church run by a young atheist pastor, and the other is a manual for lay people interested in the science of spinal cord injury and its cure. She’s married to artist/musician/geek/pun-lover Bruce Hanson, with whom she’s raised a pair of insanely wonderful daughters.


Janet Yoder lives with her husband on their Seattle houseboat, the floating nation of Tui Tui. Her writing has appeared in Raven Chronicles, Bayou, Porcupine, PassagerThe MacGuffinNorth Dakota Quarterly, The Evansville ReviewThe Massachusetts ReviewPilgrimage, River Teeth, Chautauqua, and Signs of Life. She is currently at work on a collection of personal essays inspired by her friendship with Skagit tribal elder, the late Vi Hilbert. 


Sonora Jha is a novelist and a professor of journalism. She was born in India and had a successful career as a journalist in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Singapore before moving to the United States to earn a PhD in Political Communication. She is now Associate Professor of Journalism at Seattle University. Her debut novel, Foreign, exploring both Seattle and the suicide of farmers in the villages of contemporary India, has met with much critical acclaim and brings together her work as a journalist, an academic, and a creative writer. She is now writing a memoir.





8PM: Superheroes vs. Fairy Tales: Drawn to Marvel contributors Jeannine Hall Gailey (Becoming the Villainess) and Michael Schmeltzer (Floating Bridge Review) battle fairy tale writers Maya Sonenberg (Learning to Paint) and Angela Jane Fountas (Fairy Tale Review). Hosted by Minor Arcana Press editor-in-chief Evan J. Peterson. 

About the readers:


Jeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of four books of poetry: Becoming the VillainessShe Returns to the Floating WorldUnexplained Fevers, and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, out in 2015 from Mayapple Press. 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 ReviewThe Iowa Review and Prairie Schooner. Her web site is www.webbish6.com.



Michael Schmeltzer earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop. His honors include six Pushcart Prize nominations, the Gulf Stream Award for Poetry, and the Blue Earth Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. He has been a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro and Levis Prizes as well as the OSU Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. He helps edit A River & Sound Review and has been published in PANK, Rattle, Natural Bridge, and Mid-American Review, among others. 




Maya Sonenberg has been playing with fairy tales since she was 10 and wrote a story about a doll who was also a princess and also a fairy. Her more recent fiction—much of it fairy tale based—has appeared in two collections—Cartographies (winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize) and Voices from the Blue Hotel, and in numerous literary journals, including Fairy Tale Review, Web Conjunctions, and DIAGRAM. The Cupboard will publish a pamphlet of her fiction, with pictures, in 2015. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Washington—Seattle.


Angela Jane Fountas is a former Hugo House Writer-in-Residence and Jack Straw Writer. Her work has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Quick Fiction, Diagram, and elsewhere. She has been awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship and grants from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and 4Culture. She also serves on the board at Lit Crawl Seattle.



Evan J. Peterson is the author of Skin Job (2012 Minor Arcana Press) and The Midnight Channel (2013 Babel/Salvage Press), as well as volume editor of the 2014 Lambda Award finalist Gay City 5: Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam (Gay City Anthologies & Minor Arcana Press). His poetry, fiction, journalism, and criticism have appeared in Weird Tales, The Stranger, The Rumpus, Assaracus, Nailed, Court Green, and Aim for the Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry, from which his poetry was excerpted in The New York Times. He is the new Editor-in-Chief of Minor Arcana Press, recipient of a smART Ventures grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and publisher of the anthology Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books.

Podcast Episode 6

Tradition & Innovation: Noh Master Munenori Takeda and Composer Garrett Fisher

Japanese Noh Master Munenori Takeda was in Seattle recently, preparing for an opera collaboration with Composer Garrett Fisher and the Fisher Ensemble. At The Project Room we discuss our current topic, “Transformation,” and how it relates to the rich tradition of opera and Japanese Noh Theatre.

Read More

Art & Technology: Speed Dating 2.0

Tuesday, September 30, 6:30-8:30PM

at 10 degrees: 1312 E. Union St. (Capitol Hill)*

Live Twitter Feed: @projectroomSEA / #ArtTechSpeedDating

In a revival of The Project Room's 2012 Art & Technology Experiment, we are expanding the size and format of the event for Speed Dating, version 2.0! This time, the public is invited to join the experiment (registration required!) Featuring top-notch makers in art and technology, this event introduces creative people who may not meet each other otherwise for an entertaining evening of "first dates" that allows for 250 conversations to take place in one hour! 

A speed date from the 2012 event, with Computer Scientist Elisabeth Robson and Composer Byron Au Yong, under the dutifully-tweeting chaperone and  Seattle Magazine  Arts Editor Brangien Davis

A speed date from the 2012 event, with Computer Scientist Elisabeth Robson and Composer Byron Au Yong, under the dutifully-tweeting chaperone and Seattle Magazine Arts Editor Brangien Davis

Both art and technology are unavoidable aspects of life, so how can they be resources for each other? The goal of Speed Dating 2.0 is to explore the creative territory that is shared by art and technology and to begin conversation that could foster creative problem-solving between these fields. 

Format: Each "date" is six minutes long and includes one artist, one technologist, and one facilitator ("chaperone") who is a highly-respected leader in their field. There is also time for general mingling and socializing before and after. 

Players: Artists from a variety of disciplines including the performing, literary and visual arts; Technologists including programmers, developers, tech "evangelists" and more; Facilitators who produce ideas, such as artistic directors, CEO's, curators, editors, and attorneys.

Results: The chaperones will propose a topic for each date and will share their notes for live Twitter at #ArtTechSpeedDating. A final written response of our collective findings will be published on TPR's literary journal, Off Paper.

How to Prepare: Is there an issue or question about your work you'd like to ask your Art/Tech counterpart? Email it to jess@projectroomseattle.org in advance of the event so it can be worked into the topic questions during the dates! We would love to know what you are wrestling with that could be helpfully addressed by someone outside of your field. Other than that, just bring your curiosity and your conversation skills!

How to Register: If you are not one of our invited participants and want to join the fun, please write jess@projectroomseattle.org with your stated identity as "Artist", "Technologist" or "Producer" (who act as the facilitators) with a note about what kind of work you do. It's first-come, first-served, so write us soon! Update: We are currently at max capacity and unable to add any more participants; however if you would like to be added to the wait-list, let us know: jess@projectroomseattle.org


This program is inspired by Siren, the dating app created by artist Susie Lee and her technology team of Katrina Hess, Karen Caplan, Zuri Biringer, and Joren Winge. Responding to problems users often articulated in other online dating apps, Siren is a platform inspired by what works in real life and what women would choose their dating experience to be like. Siren represents Lee's creative skills as a visual and conceptual artist whose work examines contemporary issues, from aging to environmental fracking- more about her work can be found here



*We are making use of a larger space around the corner to accommodate this more ambitious format! It's three blocks from TPR next to Oola Distillery. Special thanks to our program partner, 10 degrees!

Podcast Episode 5

Empathy, Equity, Change: Musician and Visual Artist Paul Rucker

in 2009, Paul Rucker began making work that responded to the history of slavery and its relationship to current American issues about race and equality. This effort developed into the on-going work, "Recapitulation," which The Project Room is followed throughout 2014. Hear about Paul's progress and to see what he has learned so far in this ambitious and large-scale body of work. 

Read More

Transforming into Film: A conversation with filmmakers Jane Charles and Shawn Telford

May 29, 6pm:

Producer Jane Charles adapted the book SOLD by Patricia McCormick into the film of the same name, and Shawn Telford turned his short film The Last Virgin in to the feature film BFE. Come hear a presentation from both filmmakers about how they created new work from something else, as we continue our current topic, "Transformation." Both films are featured at this year's Seattle International Film Festival- for dates and times of the SIFF screenings, please go here:

Watch the trailers below:

About the Presenters:


Jane Charles has more than 20 years of experience in the film industry, and has recently produced the films Switchmas, Fat Kid Rules the World, Grassroots and SOLD, with Oscar-winning director Jeffrey Brown and executive producer Emma Thompson, which wrapped shooting April 2013 in India & Nepal.

As a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, Jane worked in production on the original Cannel Films shows 21 Jump Street, Booker, Wise Guy, Neon Rider (with the late Winston Reckert) and the feature films Bird On A Wire (Goldie Hawn, Mel Gibson), Run (Patrick Dempsey, Kelly Preston) and Pure Luck (Danny Glover and Martin Short), as well as several TV movies.

Jane’s first feature films as producer, Cyberteens In Love and Once In a Blue Moon, were distributed internationally, and premiered at the Montreal and Toronto International Film Festivals.  She has also produced countless television commercials, television shows and music videos for Sting, Harry Connick Jr and Our Lady Peace.  Beginning in 1996, as Executive Producer, Jane successfully ran Apple Box Productions (1996 – 2002) and Run Spot Run Films (2002 – 2007) before relocating to Seattle, WA where she makes cause-based films that entertain and enlighten and is co-founder of the non-profit Stolen Youth.


Shawn Telford is an Actor/Writer/Director whose debut feature film BFE won a Special Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival for Best Ensemble and was also awarded a Special Mention at US in Progress, Paris, part of the Champs-Élysées Film Festival. His short films have played in a number of festivals, most notably the Seattle International Film Festival, 1 Reel, San Francisco Independent Film Festival and the Jecheon Int'l Music & Film Festival in Korea, among others. 

He received his MFA in acting from the University of Washington’s prestigious PATP (Professional Actor Training Program), where his favorite roles included Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Haroun in Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Other stage credits include Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch, Steven Dietz’s Yankee Tavern, Martin McDonagh’s Pillowman and Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent in Brixton (all at ACT), Nicky Giblin in The Seafarer (Seattle Rep), Grapes of Wrath (Intiman), as well as Red Badge of Courage and Jason and the Golden Fleece (Seattle Childrens Theater).  

Shawn has also acted in numerous short, feature and student films as well as the TV series Grimm, Leverage, and The Fugitive. Film credits include Nothing Against Life, Dishonesty, un Film de James, The Delivery, 8 Minutes To Love and Professional Courtesy. Yet, despite all of this real acting, he is most often recognized as 'the train guy' from the Washington Lottery commercials and the ‘bearded BECU guy,’ from an ad campaign that appeared on buses, billboards, ATMs and in-flight magazines all over the Northwest.

In addition to acting, casting, teaching and filmmaking, Shawn is also a professional writer. Since 1998, he has written music criticism as well as arts & entertainment pieces for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Rocket, the Tablet, Seattle Sound Magazine, the Louisville Eccentric Observer and eyeheartmusic.com. He is currently working on a memoir “I Gave My Ears to Rock ‘N’ Roll” which chronicles his experiences, observations and philosophies related to music, music appreciation and music criticism while slowly going deaf.

This event is in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival!

Difficult Fruit: February 28th, 6pm with Lauren K. Alleyne and friends

Friday February 28, 6pm: Difficult Fruit
Poet Lauren K. Alleyne presentation and book release for her new poetry collection, Difficult Fruit. Moderated by Catherine Chung and featuring guest writers David Mura, Anastacia Tolbert, Dawn Lonsinger, and Patricia Smith. In conjunction with the Annual AWP Conference.


Transformation is the heart of Lauren K. Alleyne’s debut collection of poetry, Difficult Fruit. In these poems, bodies transform to smoke; passion becomes love, then memory; a girl flowers into womanhood; and innocence becomes knowledge. This launch event celebrates another transformative event--the publication of this collection of poems. The program, hosted by Catherine Chung, will feature readings by Lauren K. Alleyne, and the mentors and friends, who in one way or another nurtured the seeds that became Difficult Fruit.


About the Presenters:

Lauren K. Alleyne is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is currently the Poet-in-Residence and an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Dubuque. She has been published in several journals and anthologies, including Crab Orchard Review, The Cimarron Review, Black Arts Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, The Belleview Literary Review, Growing Up Girl and Gathering Ground. Difficult Fruit( Peepal Tree Press) is her first collection.

Dawn Lonsinger is the author of Whelm (2012 Idaho Poetry Prize winner), the linoleum crop (Jeanne Duval), and The Nested Object (Dancing Girl Press). Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Black Warrior Review, Guernica, Best New Poets 2010, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Cornell University and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Muhlenberg College.

David Mura’s newest poetry book is The Last Incantations. His other poetry books are Angels for the Burning, The Colors of Desire (Carl Sandburg Literary Award), After We Lost Our Way (a National Poetry Contest winner). His memoirs are Turning Japanese, which won an award from the Oakland PEN and was in the New York Times Notable Books of Year, and Where the Body Meets Memory. His novel is Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire.

Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, and in Best American Poetry, Best American Essays and Best American Mystery Stories. Patricia is a professor at CUNY and an instructor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

Anastacia Tolbert is a writer, Cave Canem Fellow, Hedgebrook Alumna, VONA Alum and Artist Trust EDGE Program Graduate. She is the recipient of the 2004 San Diego Journalism Press Club Award for the article "War Torn." She is writer, co-director, and co-producer of GOTBREAST? (2007), a documentary about the views of women regarding breast and body image. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published widely.

Transforming Text: Behind the Scenes of a Poem

Thursday February 276-7pm 

Featuring poets Hannah Stephenson, Nick Courtright, Leah Umansky, Luisa Igloria, and Justin Runge
In conjunction with the 2014 AWP Conference & Bookfair

How does a poem become a poem? How do the lines take shape? What if a book of poems came with a blooper reel? Join us as five poets candidly present the transformation of one of their pieces. Presentations will be accompanied by excerpts from journals and notes, drafts, photographs, and short video. Part of TPR’sTransformation topic, this event is for anyone interested in inspiration, artistic process, creativity, and words.


About the Presenters

Leah Umansky.jpg

Hannah Stephenson is a poet, editor, and instructor living in Columbus, Ohio (where she also runs a monthly literary event series called Paging Columbus). Her writing has appeared in The AtlanticThe Weekly Rumpus, Verse Daily, The Huffington PostHobartContraryMAYDAY, and The Nervous Breakdown; her collection, In the Kettle, the Shriek, is now available from Gold Wake Press. You can visit her online at The Storialist (www.thestorialist.com).

Nick Courtright’s debut full-length, Punchline, came out in April 2012 with Gold Wake Press, and a chapbook, Elegy for the Builder’s Wife, is available from Blue Hour Press. His poetry has also appeared in many literary journals, including The Southern Review,Kenyon Review OnlineBoston ReviewThe Iowa Review, and many others.

In Austin, Texas, he teaches classes such as Creative Writing, Classicism, Romanticism, and Writing for Publication, among other literature and writing courses.

From 2007-2013 he was a music journalist and Interviews Editor for the Austinist, and he has interviewed such interesting personalities as “Weird Al” Yankovic, Nick Offerman, Michael Ian Black, Henry Rollins, and Paul Giamatti, and musicians from bands like St. Vincent, MGMT, Odd Future, and Destroyer.

Less résumé-ly, he is an Ohio native and the oldest of six kids.  And lastly, but most importantly, he lives with his wife Michelle, who works in media, and his sons William and Samuel.

Leah Umansky’s first book of poems, Domestic Uncertainties, is out now by BlazeVOX [Books.] Her Mad-Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream is forthcoming from Kattywompus Press in early 2014.  She has been a contributing writer for BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG and Tin House,  a poetry reviewer for The Rumpus and a live twitterer for the Best American Poetry Blog. She also hosts and curates the COUPLET Reading Series. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Thrush Poetry Journal, and The Brooklyn Rail. Read more at: http://iammyownheroine.com

Originally from Baguio City in the Philippines, Luisa Igloria (previously published as Maria Luisa Aguilar-Cariño) has four daughters, and now makes her home in Virginia with most of her family. She is a Professor of Creative Writing and English, and Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University.

Her work has appeared or been accepted in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Poetry East, Umbrella, Sweet, qarrtsiluni, poemeleon, Smartish Pace, Rattle, The North American Review, Bellingham Review, Shearsman (UK), PRISM International (Canada), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), The Asian Pacific American Journal, and TriQuarterly.

Various national and international literary awards include  the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for JUAN LUNA’S REVOLVER (University of Notre Dame Press), the 2007 49th Parallel Poetry Prize (selected by Carolyne Wright for the Bellingham Review), the 2007 James Hearst Poetry Prize (selected by former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser for the North American Review); Honorable Mention in the 2010 Potomac Review Poetry Contest; Finalist in the first Narrative Poetry Contest (2009); Finalist, the 2007 Indiana Review Poetry Prize; the 2006 National Writers Union Poetry Prize (selected by Adrienne Rich); the 2006 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize (Crab Orchard Review); the 2006 Stephen Dunn Award for Poetry; Finalist, the 2005 George Bogin Memorial Award for Poetry (Poetry Society of America); the 2004 Fugue Poetry Prize(selected by Ellen Bryant Voigt); Finalist, the 2003 Larry Levis Editors Prize for Poetry from The Missouri Review; Finalist, the 2003 Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press); the first Sylvia Clare Brown Fellowship, Ragdale Foundation (2007); a 2003 partial fellowship to the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg; two Pushcart Prize nominations; a 1998 Fellowship at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Lasswade, the Midlothians, Scotland; and the 1998 George Kent Award for Poetry.

Luisa is an eleven-time recipient of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in three genres (poetry, nonfiction, and short fiction) and its Hall of Fame distinction; the Palanca award is the Philippines’ highest literary prize.

Justin Range is a writer, designer, and raconteur, currently living in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and cat.

Photos above of: Leah Umansky (top) and Hannah Stephenson


Introducing: Transformation

Transformation is one of TPR’s topics of focus during the 2014 Big Question, “How Are We Remembered?” As with all of the programs at TPR, this topic will be looked at through the lens of creativity. Questions will be asked such as, “How does a new idea go from its seed into a finished work?” “What’s it like to make something that’s pretty good into something that’s outstanding?” and “Why might someone successful in a particular creative area change directions and make something entirely different?” Throughout the Transformation topic, we will explore and learn from a diverse group of presenters and online contributors whose work speaks to sudden change, different directions, and the mystery of how an artistic thing comes to be.

See the Online Calendar for Upcoming Events!

About the image: A detail of Origami Butterfly instructions by Darren Abbey. My five year-old daughter received a “Geogami” kit for Christmas, which, if anyone has tried anything in the origami family before before, is NOT for young children. It is also not for impatient adults. She asked me to make one of the forms for her (not sure if that’s the right term for these tiny pieces of finger torture), and I ended up cursing out the lovely squares of paper and the ridiculous instructions they are meant to correspond with. I felt like I was in a reverse Ikea vortex, in which something which should not be hard is made heard by the instructions- except, with Ikea furniture everything is drawn and I want them to TYPE the words for me, and here, everything is in words that make no sense when you are dealing with making your hands do something special that I will never be able to do. After having my little fit in front of my mother who was the giver of this cruel gift she replied, “I thought it would be relaxing.” This made me feel greatly misunderstood, for if anyone knows me (especially if they have raised me) they should know how making origami plays into all my worst qualities, like sitting quietly and exercising patience. However, parenthood trumps everything, so I continue to try geogami in the hopes of making myself a better person for my daughter. In the meantime, she has happily used most of the remaining paper to draw pictures of princesses.