Recent News

Meg Lemke
As an acquisitions editor at Teachers College Press, Columbia University (, I balance on the tensions between scholarly and professional, advocacy and art. Schooling and what we publish about it is deeply political. Education is an applied science; its social experiments and passionate reforms are tested on our next generation. As research informs policy, it changes children’s lives. How do I use my English major? To state the obvious: if you... Read more
Melvin Sterne
I worked construction for twenty years. In my forties, I began to think about what kind of life I wanted, as opposed to the life I had stumbled into. What I wanted was to travel and write and loaf.  I’d been writing for years, but had yet to publish a word. And who could afford to travel? Of course, writing could hardly pay the bills, but the idea appealed to me. On the other hand, I felt a debt of gratitude to the teachers who had helped me through some very difficult times in my youth. I... Read more
Fat of the Land book cover
It will be twenty years this autumn that Langdon Cook entered the masters program in creative writing at the University of Washington. The M.F.A. at UW brought Cook to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. It was the beginning of an unlikely chain of events that would include jobs in both the howling wilderness and the New Economy and lead to a highly acclaimed book about the joys of slow food. I’ve had a front row seat all along—as a fellow classmate and wife. A tip from one of his... Read more
Martha Silano
There’s a joke in our family about my wife, Martha Silano, mother of two, author, blogger, assistant editor, manuscript consultant, elementary school volunteer, outdoors enthusiast, and full-time college instructor. People ask me, So when does she write poetry? “At red lights,” I say. Funny but true. Martha does often get inspired on her daily commutes to and from Bellevue College, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She’ll scratch out notes in a faculty parking lot,... Read more
Kitsap Tri Babes
I entered the English graduate program in 1986. My mind’s desire was to study feminist critical theory. The buzz word du jour was “praxis.” One’s theory must be grounded in practice; one must walk the talk. I expected to create praxis through a professorship, and I did spend a decade in that role, but I have had a far greater impact in another arena. Twenty-five years later, I remain a deconstructionist at heart, but my path to praxis is one I never imagined. In 2003, I convinced friends to do... Read more
Jaebadiah S. Gardner
As an undergrad, I wanted to pursue a major that made me happy. I loved to write, and I loved literature, so an English major wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make. All through those undergraduate years, people would ask me, “What are you going to do with an English degree, teach?” Or I would get the ever-so-common, “You know there’s no money in an English degree, right?” I knew what made me happy, and I knew what I was good at, but somehow, I was expected to put myself in this nice little... Read more
Theresa Ripp at St. Jude's Hospital
When I started as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington, I knew I wanted to be an English major. I just never anticipated that my English degree would allow me to travel across the western half of the United States and give me an opportunity to raise money for children in their most desperate hours. For the past five years, I have worked for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for their Pacific Northwest office in Seattle. We handle fundraising and special events for... Read more
Brian Christian
Brian Christian, MFA 2008Poet, Author, Lecturer I was an atypical applicant to the M.F.A. program in creative writing. I came not from an English background, but from a double-major in computer science and philosophy. Already I was used to fielding “So what are you going to do with that combination?” at family gatherings; that I was now adding poetry to the list surely was not going to help. Instinct told me that as long as I followed my compass, I didn’t need... Read more