Seattle Poets Gathering



Scot Brannon edited Through the Gap: An Anthology of Contemporary Kentucky Poetry. He holds a masters degree in English, has received an Academy of American Poets prize, and has published poems in the Roanoke Review and Kentucky Poetry Review and through the King County Metro Transit Poetry on Buses program.




Denita Benyshek, artist and cross-disciplinary researcher, is currently working on her doctoral dissertation ("The Contemporary Artist as Shaman") at Saybrook University. Another research interest is on creative and shamanic experience of art audience members. Danita has an MFA in painting, an MA in psychology, and a graduate certificate in creative studies.

Denita's art career includes over 70 exhibits, multi-media performances, choreography, theater, and numerous collections (Glasmuseet, Denmark; UW Medical Center; King County Ethnic Heritage Collection; Snoqualmie Point Park; and more). She includes poetry as a form of arts-based inquiry in her research. Her studies are currently being translated for Contemporary Arts and Shamanism (vol 2), part of a 12-volume set on shamanism to be published in China. Denita will also be presenting her research at a conference in Warsaw, Poland ("Shamanism and its Arts"). She teaches psychology, mythology, and humanities at the University of Phoenix and provides psychotherapy services to artists and creative individuals. Her artwork may be viewed at

Denita enjoys living in the Snoqualmie Valley with her son, 1 donkey, 4 poodles, and assorted chickens.

Greg Bee is a spoken word poet based in Seattle. He's performed on stages from Portland to Bellingham and is most often at the Seattle Poetry Slam performing or hosting. When not on stage, Greg dispenses relationship advice as The Bitter Single Guy at He also has a cat named Rosco who has not yet exhibited any inclination toward poetry.

Pazion Cherinet is an electrical engineer with the heart of a poet. He loves poetry, not only reading it, but writing it. He recently started to blog at He hopes to learn and grow his love for poetry.

Jeff Encke taught writing and criticism at Columbia University for several years, serving as writer-in-residence for the Program in Narrative Medicine while completing his PhD in English in 2002. He now teaches at Richard Hugo House. His poems have appeared in or forthcoming from American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, Salt Hill, and Tarpaulin Sky, among others. In 2004, he published Most Wanted: A Gamble in Verse, a series of love poems addressed to Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi war criminals printed on a deck of playing cards.


Esther Altshul Helfgott is a nonfiction writer, psychoanalytic researcher and poet with a PhD in history from the University of Washington. Her work appears in the Journal of Poetry Therapy, Maggid: A Journal of Jewish Literature, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, American Imago: Psychoanalysis & the Human Sciences, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease, Floating Bridge Review, Pontoon 9 & 10, HistoryLink and elsewhere. She is the founder of the It's About Time Writers Reading Series, now in its 21st year, and she is the author of The Homeless One: A Poem in Many Voices (Seattle: Kota Press, 2000).

Esther is a 2010 Jack Straw writer. She publishes and edits the online journals The Edith Buxbaum Journal and The Psychoanalytic Experience: Analysands Speak. Her diary of a five-day-a-week analysis, "Psychoanalysis: The Magic and the Lie," appears online. Her blog "Witnessing Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's View" appears at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer online. Esther facilitates the women's writing group “Poeming the Silence” in various venues.

Visit Esther's website here.



Chris Jarmick had his first poem published in a national magazine when he was 12 years old. Born on the East Coast, he spent nearly two decades in Southern California producing documentaries, writing screenplays, and producing and writing segments for such TV shows at Hard Copy, Entertainment Tonight, and Personalities, as well as for several specials (Muppets, Honeymooners, Disney DTV, and many more). He relocated to Seattle in the mid-90s; co-wrote the novel The Glass Cocoon, which was first published in 2001; and got involved in the Seattle poetry scene creating, hosting, and curating several open mic venues. Today he curates and hosts a couple of seasonal poetry series (Pike’s Place Poets) and two monthly poetry readings (2nd Wednesdays at Parkplace Books in Kirkland and 3rd Fridays at Bookworm Exchange in Columbia City). He has published numerous articles and lots of poetry in magazines, newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies as well as online. He recently recorded a spoken word CD with Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Michael C. Ford, scheduled for release late spring 2009.

Chris is the former Executive Vice President of the Washington Poets Association, President of PEN Washington, and a board member of PEN Center USA in Los Angeles. E-mail him at To receive three to four e-mails a month listing several literary readings around the Puget Sound, simply write "Please add me to your lit list" in the subject line of an e-mail.

Britta Kallevang holds an MFA from the Naropa University Writing and Poetics program in Boulder, Colorado and has published poetry in The Baltimore Review, Big Bridge, edifice WRECKED, Frank's Home, HOW2, Poetry Super Highway, Puppy Flowers, Shampoo, and Unlikely Stories. She is currently a PhD student in the Scandinavian Studies program at the University of Washington.

Maggie Keelan is a poet and harpist who directs fundraising for Seattle University.
Craig Kenworthy is a playwright and poet. His short plays have been produced across the country and his poems about the news were a regular feature on Minnesota Public Radio's "In The Loop." He is a former sports humor columnist and contributor to the radio comedy program "Right Between The Ears." He is overly proud of the fact that his first professional writing check came from Garrison Keillor for the immortal line "I've heard you can lose a lot of weight on a diet of low fat cat food." More at

Lisa Fusch Krause resides in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, teenage daughter, and two black cats. As a long-time professional editor, she is immersed in words for a living. Lisa has published both poetry and prose in journals such as Artsmith, Cahoodaloodaling, Cascadia Review, and Scissors and Spackle. She thinks of her writing in terms of “snapshots,” capturing images and moments of time.


Kristen McHenry is a resident of Seattle, Washington, a poet and freelance writer by night, and a health outreach worker by day. Among other publications, her work has been seen in Wanderings, Trellis Magazine, Heart Magazine, The Pregnant Moon Review, and the upcoming anthology Meanderings—A Collection of Poetic Verse. Kristen has received two awards for her poetry from the Shoreline Arts Council and an honorable mention from Heart Magazine for her poem "Renters." Although currently non-practicing, she is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been trained and certified in Mind-Body counseling.

Kristen is the creator and facilitator of the Poet's Cafe, a weekly poetry workshop for homeless teens at the New Horizons drop-in center in downtown Seattle. She lives in Ballard with two cats, two firebellied toads, and one husband. She loves to sing, but only in the car with all of the windows rolled up.


Jesse Minkert began studying art at the age of twelve, under his father's instruction. He acquired a master's degree in Sculpture from Humboldt State University in 1981. He began working on access to the arts for visually impaired people in 1983, started the audio description service in Seattle in 1985, and founded the non-profit corporation Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences in 1991.

Minkert has written and produced several radio plays, including "Margaret Jean, A Radio Portrait," broadcast on the National Public Radio Playhouse, and "Turf Fire," Irish stories of Halloween adapted from storyteller Joe Heaney, broadcast on stations in Washington State. He has written and produced his own plays, including "He Needed Sleep" in 1987 and "Dust Jackets" in 1991 (with a King County Arts Commission Playwright's Production grant). In 1999, Minkert collaborated with sound artist Susie Kozawa on "Nearly Seen, Closely Heard," an interactive environment of computer graphics and sound for Jack Straw Productions. His story "A Sweater in a Chair" appeared in The Raven Chronicles Urban Writing issue (1999, Vol 8, No 2). "Texas 1952" was part of the Seattle Playwrights Alliance's first "New Waves" radio production, "Taboo," in 2000.

His literary work has appeared in anthologies and performances on radio and spoken-word CDs, including the prose poem "Love Dog" with original drawings by the author in The Wandering Hermit Review (#2). "Love Dog" was adapted for dance in Phrasings for Word and Dance, Bellingham Repertory Dance Company in 2007. The story "Jigsaw Magic" appeared in when it rains from the ground up (#4, 2007). The poem "Sylvia's Hair" appeared in Raven Chronicles (Summer 2008). Minkert produced and published the spoken-word CD and chapbook Since the Ace: the Poetry of Charlie Burks, as well as a radio program of that material broadcast on KUOW-FM. He teaches a class in radio theater each summer to blind and visually impaired teenagers. In June 2008, Wood Works published a collection of Minkert's stories and poems entitled Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms. Samples of his ongoing work can be read online at 

Elizabeth Myhr publishes poetry, book reviews, and critical essays. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Knock, The Raven Chronicles, Web Del Sol Review, and other journals and magazines. She serves as poetry editor for The Raven Chronicles and is Managing Editor of Marick Press. Enrolled in the MFA Program for Poetry at Seattle Pacific University, she lives in Seattle. 



Keith Nipper is a poet, choir singer, drywaller, and ESL instructor now living in Taiwan.
Evan Peterson is the author of Skin Job (2012 Minor Arcana Press). A poet, fiction author, columnist, critic, editor, teacher, and performer, his writing has been featured in the New York Times, Weird Tales, The Rumpus, Small Doggies, Assaracus, and Aim for the Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry. He is the newly appointed creative director and editor of Minor Arcana Press and editor of the forthcoming anthology Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam: Gay City Anthology 5. He lives in Seattle with his werewolf, Dorian Greyhound.

Caroline N. Simpson is an English teacher, currently teaching in the ESL program at Edmonds Community College. She just returned to the States after teaching English Literature for five years in international high schools in Turkey and Spain. She studied playwriting at Emerson College and the Einhorn School of Performing Arts and poetry at the Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Merano, Italy. Her poetry has been published in Barcelona-based literary magazine Barcelona Ink and U.S. magazines Third Wednesday, Ascent Aspirations, Children Churches & Daddies, Bear Creek Haiku, and Unpredictable Change Quarterly. This past spring, she participated in the Found Poetry Review's 2013 National Poetry Month Initiative Pulitzer Remix, in which she was one of 85 poets responsible for publishing one found poem a day for the month of April from a Pulitzer-prize winning work of fiction. The project coordinators are now pursuing an edited print collection featuring select poems from the project. Most recently, in August 2013, a collection of her poetry won Honorable Mention in Hot Street's Emerging Writers Contest.

Read tales of her international adventures at and, and her poetry at, or email her at


Liam Spencer has had poetry and short stories published by Scars Publications, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Subtle Fiction Magazine. His novel Tried is now available on Kindle.

Liam's major influences include Bukowski, Hemingway, and cheap red wine. He enjoys giving into the temptation of late nights of writing binges. He resides in the Queen Anne area of Seattle and can be found people watching while sipping wine from a plastic Gatorade bottle or at the biweekly Poets Drinking in Fremont.

Joannie Stangeland's third book of poems, Into the Rumored Spring, was published by Ravenna Press last fall. Her chapbook A Steady Longing for Flight won the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and her chapbook Weathered Steps was published by Rose Alley Press. Joannie’s poems have appeared in Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Midwest Quarterly, and other publications—as well as in the anthologies Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range, Many Trails to the Summit, and Fire On Her Tongue, and on Metro buses. Joannie’s taught writing at Richard Hugo House and LiTFUSE, and she’s the poetry editor for the online journal The Smoking Poet and an associate poetry editor at Cascadia Review.
Molly Tenenbaum has some books and her work appears in various magazines. She lives in Ravenna, where she gardens and makes to-do lists. She also plays old-time Appalachian music on banjo and fiddle, and has some CDs.
Arthur Tulee was born and raised on the Yakama Indian Reservation and graduated from Washington State University with a BA in English. Currently living and working in the Seattle metropolitan area, Mr. Tulee is working on his first manuscript of poetry. He has been published in ZYZZYVA, The Raven Chronicles, Ergo! - The Bumbershoot Literary Anthology, upstream, the Salmon Bay Review, and the Seattle Arts Commission newsletter.
Alexis Vergalla has a BA from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and an MFA from University of California, Riverside. After graduation she struck out towards Seattle and is still settling in a bit. She edited both of her college magazines (CRATE and The Manuscript) and is working on an extended project involving ether and archaic science. She has two blog sites: and (a collaborative journal project with friends from around the country). She has published some and has a chapbook, Letters Through Glass, published by Finishing Line Press in February 2009.
Julene Tripp Weaver has a BA in Creative Writing from the City University of New York where she studied with Audre Lorde. She has a Masters in Applied Behavioral Science from the Leadership Institute of Seattle and works in HIV/AIDS services. She won a prize for her poetry from the Unfinished Works Contest sponsored by AIDS Services Foundation Orange County. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues (a review of the book appears in the Winter 2009 issue of Calyx). One of her poems was featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Her poems have appeared in many journals and a few anthologies, including Main Street Rag, The Healing Muse, Knock, Arabesques Review, Nerve Cowboy, Arnazella, Crab Creek Review, Pilgrimage, The Smoking Poet, and Letters to the World Poems from the Wom-Po LISTSERV. Julene practices Continuum movement and ran Muse to Write Circles for ten years. She integrates movement to evoke body-centered writing and has used this to create two performance pieces, “The Wailing Wall” and “Spin the Bottle.”
Koon Woon studied poetry with Nelson Bentley in the mid 80s and has since published a full-length book (The Truth in Rented Rooms, Kaya, New York, 1998) and a chapbook (The Burden of Sanity and Other Poems). He has given and organized poetry readings and edited and published the poetry magazine Chrysanthemum since 1990 and several titles of poetry and short fiction through his Goldfish Press. He works as a tutor (principally math and writing) and is learning about business formations. He thought that he could give up poetry but finds that he can't, even though he found the MFA program he attended to be of little use.
Kurt Youenes is a Seattle native with a degree in Geology and a minor in Philosophy from the University of Washington, and a self-taught writer of poetry and fiction with designs on being published before the end of the millennium; he is, admittedly, a bit of a smart aleck; gay writers are of particular interest to the would-be author; admired writers (this week) include James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, Dennis Cooper, Matthew Stadler, Alice Munro, Yukio Mishima, Marguerite Yourcenar, Frank O’Hara, C. P. Cavafy, Haldor Laxness, and locally (and why not) Heather McHugh and Sherman Alexie.
Sarah Zale's new collection of poems, The Art of Folding, was inspired by her travels to Israel and Palestine. Her work also appears in the anthology Come Together, Imagine Peace, a finalist for the 2009 Eric Hoffer Award. Recent work is inspired by her participation in the 2010 U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, including Sometimes You Do Things, a semifinalist for the 2011 Floating Bridge Press Annual Chapbook Award. She lives in Port Townsend and teaches writing in Seattle.