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Armin Tolentino

Armin Tolentino is the author of the collection We Meant to Bring It Home Alive (Alternating Current Press) and served as poet laureate for Clark County from 2021-2024. He earned an MFA at Rutgers University-Newark and his writing has appeared in journals including Rigorous, Gobshite Quarterly, Portland Magazine, and Pontoon Poetry. He is a phenomenal clapper, a passable ukulele player, and a bumbling, but enthusiastic, fisherman. More info at

Bruce Poinsette

Bruce Poinsette is a writer and community organizer whose work is primarily based in the Portland Metro Area. He hosts the YouTube series “The Blacktastic Adventure: A Virtual Exploration of Oregon’s Black Diaspora” and “The Bruce Poinsette Show” on The Numberz FM.  A former reporter for the Skanner News Group, his writing has also appeared in the Oregonian, Street Roots, Oregon Humanities, and Eater PDX, as well as projects such as the Mercatus Collective and the Urban League of Portland’s State of Black Oregon 2015. In addition to his professional writing work, Poinsette also volunteers with Respond to Racism LO, a grassroots anti-racism organization in his hometown of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Learn more at

Gabriel Urza

Gabriel Urza is the author of the novella The White Death: An Illusion (Nouvella, 2019) and the novel All That Followed (Henry Holt & Co., 2015). He spent several years as a public defender in Reno, Nevada, and is now an associate professor at Portland State University. He is the recipient of a 2022 Fulbright Grant for a nonfiction book about an American explorer in Peru. The Silver State, a novel, will be published by Algonquin Books in 2025.

Amber Flame

Amber Flame is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, activist and educator, whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and more. In her writing, Flame explores spirituality and sexuality, cross-woven with themes of grief and loss, motherhood and magic, and the interstitial joy in it all. As the singer-songwriter front of her jazz-inspired, country-sauced blues band, Last of the RedHot Mamas, Flame sings about Black queer life. A former church kid from the Southwest, Flame’s poetry and essays have been published in diverse arenas and anthologies, including Wanting: Women Writing About Desire, Alone Together, Nailed Magazine, Winter Tangerine, and Split This Rock. Her first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, published in 2017 through Write Bloody Press. Flame’s second book of poetry, apocrifa, launched May 2023 from Red Hen Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black dandy mama who falls hard for a jumpsuit and some fresh kicks. Learn more at

Mamie Stevenson Morago

Mamie Stevenson Morago is a writer living in Portland with her husband, sister, and two chihuahuas. Having studied English Literature at Reed, Mamie was fortunate to explore many genres of writing throughout her college education, including creative nonfiction, literary analysis, poetry, and translation. Her career has spanned a decade, ranging from manuscript editing to copywriting to journalistic reporting. 

In addition to having multiple pieces published in Portland Mercury, Mamie writes and performs eulogies as a funeral celebrant, volunteers as a DJ on XRAY FM’s Mating Calls, and thinks up new ideas for her novel and book of essays that have been in the works since 2016.

Brett Campbell

Brett Campbell is Senior Editor of Oregon ArtsWatch and a frequent contributor to The OregonianSan Francisco Classical VoiceOregon Quarterly, and Oregon Humanities. He has been classical music editor at Willamette Week, music columnist for Eugene Weekly, and West Coast performing arts contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal, and has also written for Portland MonthlyWest: The Los Angeles Times MagazineSalonMusical America and many other publications. He is a former editor of Oregon Quarterly and The Texas Observer, a recipient of arts journalism fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (Columbia University), the Getty/Annenberg Foundation (University of Southern California) and the Eugene O’Neill Center (Connecticut). He is co-author of the biography Lou Harrison: American Musical Maverick (Indiana University Press, 2017) and several plays, and has taught news and feature writing, editing and magazine publishing at the University of Oregon School of Journalism & Communication and Portland State University.

Brian Benson

Brian Benson is the author of Going Somewhere, and co-author, with Richard Brown, of This Is Not for You. Originally from the hinterlands of Wisconsin, Brian now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches creative nonfiction at the Attic Institute, facilitates free Write Around Portland workshops, and is a Writer in the Schools. His short nonfiction has been published or is forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, Hippocampus, Oregon Humanities, Off Assignment, and Blood Tree Literature, among other publications. He is at work on his third book, an essay collection focused on questions around masculinity. Learn more at

Emma Marris

Emma Marris writes about the environment and other topics for National Geographic, Nature, the New York Times, and the Atlantic, among others. Her book on changing relationships between humans and animals, Wild Souls, came out in July 2021. She lives with her husband and two children in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at

Joyce Chen

Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder who draws inspiration from many coastal cities. She is the current Hugo House writer-in-residence, and was a 2019-2020 Hugo House Fellow. Her work has been published in Rolling Stone, Marie ClairePoets & Writers, Lit Hub, Narratively, and Slant’d, among others, and she contributes book reviews to Orion and Hyphen magazines. She has received support through Hugo House, VONA, Tin House, Vermont Studio Center, and Centrum, and she is the executive director of The Seventh Wave, an arts and literary nonprofit that champions art in the space of social issues.

Joe Wilkins

Joe Wilkins is the author of a novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, praised as “remarkable and unforgettable” in a starred review at Booklist. A finalist for the First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction and the Pacific Northwest Book Award, Fall Back Down When I Die won the High Plains Book Award and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and German. Wilkins is also the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, andfour collections of poetry, including Thieve, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and When We Were Birds, winner of the Oregon Book Award. His second novel, The Entire Sky, is slated for publication in 2024 with Little, Brown. Wilkins directs the creative writing program at Linfield University and is a member of the low-residency MFA faculty at Eastern Oregon University. He lives with his family in McMinnville. Learn more at