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Michelle PenalozaMichelle Penaloza reaches deep into her writing to pull out words that will touch her readers. She boldly tackles sentimental subject matter and presents feelings with a flair.

Penaloza grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and earned her M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Hobart, TriQuarterly, The Weekly Rumpus, and Hyphen Magazine. She is the recipient of the Miriam McFall Starlin Poetry Award, fellowships from Kundiman, the Richard Hugo House, and Oregon Literary Arts, as well as scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, VONA/Voices Workshop, Vermont Studio Center, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Raul SanchezRaul Sanchez connects to his readers with his unreserved storytelling about his own background. With bright descriptions and mixed English and Spanish lines, Sanchez’s poems paint cultural scenes that open a world to his audience.

Sanchez comes from a place south where the sun shines fiercely, where Indigenous and European cultures collided. He is a translator, a Bio-Tech technician, and an avid collector of poetry books, who occasionally volunteers as a DJ for KBCS 91.3 FM. His inaugural collection, All Our Brown-Skinned Angels, published by MoonPath Press, was nominated for the Washington State Book Award in Poetry for 2013. He has read the book from Vancouver, WA to Bellingham since May 2012.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Margot KahnMargot Kahn reflects on her cultural heritage through the lens of her teenage self. Her memories and observations reveal a warm innocence and resonate as a coming of age story.

Kahn is the author of Horses That Buck: The Story of Champion Bronc Rider Bill Smith. She is the recipient of awards from the Ohioana Library Association, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and 4Culture. Her essays have appeared in the collections Night Lights: Stories and Essays by 22 Northwest Authors, What to Read in the Rain 2012, and YOU: An Anthology Devoted to the Second Person, as well as in print and online. She has worked professionally as a speechwriter, junk mail proofreader, creative writing teacher, manager of Seattle’s Writers in the Schools program and director of Richard Hugo House’s creative writing programs for teens. Margot received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Susan MeyersSetting the scene with memories of a childhood border crossing, Susan V. Meyers examines the significance of geographic boundary lines. Drawing on her experience of the U.S./Mexico border as an adult and providing background and history on its institution, Meyers stitches together thoughtful ideas on a complex issue.

Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently teaches creative writing at Seattle University. Her work has recently appeared in CALYX, Per Contra, Dogwood, Cold Mountain Review, and The Minnesota Review. She has been the recipient of a Squaw Valley Community of Writers scholarship, a Monique Wittig scholarship, a 4Culture grant, and a Fulbright fellowship. Her novel, Failing the Trapeze, won the 2013 Nilsen Award for a First Novel.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Gigi Rosenberg
Gigi Rosenberg constructs a personable and engaging account of her relationship with her mother and the complexities that emerge posthumously.

Rosenberg’s current project is How I Lost My Inheritance: A Mother/Daughter Memoir. She’s performed at On the Boards, been a guest commentator on Oregon Public Radio, and been published by Seal Press, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, and Parenting. The author of The Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing (Watson-Guptill, 2010), Gigi lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works as a coach to entrepreneurs and artists.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Loreen Lee
Loreen Lilyn Lee shares her island heritage in a smooth, heartfelt narrative that celebrates the unique blend of culture that is Hawaii.

Lee grew up in three cultures: Chinese, American, and Hawaiian. Her memoir The Lava Never Sleeps: A Honolulu Memoir tells the stories “I’m not supposed to tell.” She weaves together family secrets; childhood trauma; cultural confusion; and Hawaiian history, geology, and mythology in a journey to discover her authentic self. A Seattle resident since 1986, she graduated from the University of Washington in 1994 as a working adult and began writing her personal stories. Hedgebrook awarded her a fellowship, and Artist Trust accepted her into their EDGE Professional Development Program for Writers.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Laurel AlbinaSpeaking with force and conviction, Laurel Albina examines cultural identity through her family’s experience settling in a new country.

Albina is a Canadian born, Palestinian-American writer and union organizer. Her writing is deeply influenced by her parents’ respective emigrations to Canada as a result of conflict and war. She is a 2011 alumnus of Hedgebrook and is currently attending The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. Her poetry has been published in Grey Sparrow Journal and Prairie Fire Magazine. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her partner and two young children.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

THIS PODCAST CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE.

Jane WongJane Wong dares to write poetry, fighting through words to help express “the unknowable.”

Wong is the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Poems have appeared in CutBank, Mid-American Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Salt Hill, The Volta, Best New Poets 2012, The Arcadia Project, and others. Her most recent chapbook is Kudzu Does Not Stop. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a Ph.D. candidate and Ingham Fellow at the University of Washington.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

John MullenJohn D. Mullen is a master storyteller, openly describing scenes from his youth with frank hilarity and impeccable delivery.

Mullen is a short story author and monologist. He has performed at On the Boards, Bumbershoot, New City Theater, Annex Theater, Park West Chicago, Mercer Island Youth Theater, and Richard Hugo House. His writing has appeared in the L.A. Times, Drawn and Quarterly, Modern Odysseys, and I Can’t Tell You Anything (Penguin Press), among others. He lives in Seattle, where he tries to get along with his condo neighbors by keeping his opinions to himself.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by Victor Noriega/2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

Claudia Castro LunaThrough the eyes of her 14-year-old self, Claudia Castro Luna recounts her family’s journey across the border and to a new life.

Luna was born in El Salvador and came to the United States in 1981. Her poems have appeared in Milvia Street, The Womanist, and Riverbabble. She has been a featured reader for the Berkeley Poetry Festival and for KALW, an NPR affiliate in San Francisco. She recently completed WoundedCity, a poetry manuscript that investigates the intersections between language and the emotional geography of urban spaces. She is also working on a memoir about her experience escaping the Salvadoran Civil War.

SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at http://www.jackstraw.org/.

Music by 2 Trios and produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

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