PNCA's Low Residency Creative Writing MFA / Winter Residency / January 2-12, 2023

December 19, 2022

Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing at PNCA at PNCA / Times in PST

January 2-12, 2023/ Everything can be accessed via Zoom and Live Streamed on PNCA’s Youtube Channel

For Zoom links, email Jay Ponteri at

Tuesday, January 3

9-10am: Talk: Jay Ponteri-Dao Strom 413

6-7pm: Reading: Alison C Rollins, Alejandro de Acosta 413

Wednesday, January 4

9-10am: Talk: Alejandro de Acosta-Sara Jaffe 413

6-7pm: Reading: Tyrone Williams, Poupeh Missaghi  413

Thursday, January 5

9-10am: Talk: Alison C Rollins-Tyrone Williams 413

6pm: Reading: Dao Strom, Jay Ponteri, Sara Jaffe at Nationale Gallery / 15 SE 22nd, Portland 

Tuesday, January 10

10-11am: Talk: Sara Sutter-Jay Ponteri

Wednesday, January 11

6-7pm: Reading: Sara Sutter & Jake Skeets 413

Thursday, January 12

12pm: Talk: Jay Ponteri-Poupeh Missaghi 413

1-4pm: Community Art Practice & Collaborative Reading 413

January 2023 Residency Conversation & Guest Artist Seminar Descriptions

Ekphrastic Writing 

Dao Strom-Jay Ponteri

In this conversation we will discuss ekphrastic prose and verse and how working from images can reveal language landscapes otherwise hidden from us. Dao and Jay will each bring an example of an ekphrastic and a set of questions for each other. 

Probing Fiction from the Self

Sara Jaffe-Alejandro de Acosta

In this talk we'll set out from an examination of passages from Sara and Alejandro's works in progress and arrive at more general considerations on, among other matters, the question of writing fictional prose from memory, personal history, research, and dreams. We'll talk practically about how to seize what seems most fresh and relevant in that material, differences and productive tensions between remembered or nonfictional material and invented scenes, and what idioms and phrases are most appropriate for such a task. We'll also reflect on how remembered people and places become characters and settings, and pertinent ethical questions for the writer. 

Tyrone Williams-Alison C Rollins

Description forthcoming at Residency

#WomanLifeFreedom revolution in Iran

Poupeh Missaghi-Jay Ponteri

Iranians have been protesting since Sept 16, 2022, following the killing of Iranian Kurdish Mahsa/Zhina Amini while in custody of the so-called “morality police.” Their revolutionary uprising is centered around the slogan #WomanLifeFreedom, and they are demanding the toppling of the Islamic Republic regime. More than 458 deaths, including 61 children, have so far been confirmed by independent human rights organizations, with the real numbers feared to be much higher. Around 18,000 people have also been arrested, two were executed in December, and some other detainees are also facing executions. We will begin a discussion about the role of teaching and literature and art in relation to protest, resistance, and revolution—the conversation then shifting to our community art practice event facilitated by Poupeh and artist Mollie Hosmer-Dillard. 

“Replete, Filled with Life of Their Own”

Sara Sutter-Jay Ponteri

Nigerian philosopher, writer, and activist Bayo Akomolafe reframes trauma by reconsidering what it means to be wounded. Wounds, openings of the flesh, are not empty, Akomolafe believes, but “replete, filled with life of their own.” They are “a form of embodiment.” Akomolafe asks, “How is the wound a creation event?” He says, “Trauma is doing more than just marking or naming the site where the psychic wound is. It is the way we make the wound intelligible to us. I am of the opinion that we are losing sight of the song that bursts through that rift, that metabolic rift in space-time. That there are other things that that hole in the wall or that crack in the sky wants to share or is potentially able to share that we are losing sight of because our vocation of citizens is to close up the rift immediately. It’s like getting back to normal…” In this talk, we will sit with Akomolafe’s ideas and how they resound within a practice of writing; we will consider the relationship of writing to the wound as a site of creation, unification, and connection. Writers whose works we have been reading in preparation for this talk: Dionne Brand’s “Nomenclature for the time being”; Etel Adnan’s Shifting the Silence; Etel Adnan’s short story “Master of the Eclipse”; poems from Rosie Stockton’s Permanent Volta and Brian Teare’s The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven; We Left Them Nothing by Demian DinéYazhi’; Beloved by Toni Morrison; Afropessimism by Frank B. Wilderson III.

Toward an Open Poetics: Beyondness

Jake Skeets, Two Day Poetry Seminar, January 10-11, 2:30-5 pm PST

Beyond genre, beyond medium, beyond form, beyond page, beyond comprehension. We will examine poetry that seeks to move beyond normal conventions, from visual poetry to multi-genre approaches to poetry. We will situate our exploration within the concepts discussed in geopoetics and Anthropocene poetics that entangle language and land so that we might question the ways that entanglement informs, alters, or resists our composition of poetry. We will explore poetry and creative nonfiction from a variety of authors, such as Jennifer S. Cheng, Anthony Cody, Don Mee Choi, Orlando White, and Brian Teare. I hope that we might eventually find ourselves deconstructing the composition of poems and how factors in the world bring us closer to poetry (memory, language, elegy) or take us away from it (convention, surface time, the writing workshop itself).  

RESOURCES for #WomanLifeFreedom revolution in Iran: 

Below are some resources that can guide you to Persian literature in English translation, in case you don’t already have a text in mind you want to read from:

A Database of Persian Literature in English Translation 100 Essential Books by Iranian Writers: An Introduction & Nonfiction 100 Essential Books by Iranian Writers: Poetry, Hybrid Works, Anthologies 100 Essential Books by Iranian Writers: Classics in Translation100 Essential Books by Iranian Writers: Fiction #WomanLifeFreedom

You can also search for “Persian” and/or “Iranian” and/or “Iran” in various journals, particularly in Asymptote, Words Without Borders, and World Literature Today for further works. 

Here are also some titles of anthologies that offer a range of contemporary works by authors and poets in Iran and in diaspora: 

Tehran Noir (short story collection), Salar Abdoh (Editor) 

The Book of Tehran (short story collection), Fereshteh Ahmadi (Editor)

My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora (nonfiction), Katherine Whitney (Editor) Leila Emery (Editor) 

I Am a Face Sympathizing with Your Grief: Seven Younger Iranian Poets (poetry), Alireza Taheri Araghi (Editor) 

Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora (poetry), Christopher Nelson (Editor) 

Faculty / Guest Artist Bios & Links to Work


Alejandro de Acosta is a teacher, writer, and translator, in no particular order.  He has translated philosophy and poetry from Spanish and French; he has also  published two books of critical and experimental essays. His [ mufa :: poema ]  publishing project freely distributes poetry and prose, most recently focusing on  works in translation, as well as his newest pamphlet, TELEGRAM. Other recent publications include POEM SUMMARIES, composed with Joshua Beckman, and a  translation of Osvaldo Lamborghini for the ULTIMAS POBLACIONES series (TRASHTEATRO  PROLETARIAT DE RECAMARA) published by Ediciones Chinatown in Argentina. He has  completed the fourth of six novels in translation by Ariel Luppino, and is  currently working on a collaborative translation of CAPERUXITA by Agustina Pérez. Last but not least, he is writing and rewriting a manuscript of poems and a novel.  Alejandro  currently lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Sara Jaffe is a Portland, OR-based writer, educator, and musician. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She's the author of Dryland (Tin House, 2015), a novel, as well as short stories, essays, and criticism that have appeared in publications including NOON, Fence, BOMB, The Offing, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Though mostly a writer of fiction, Sara is also interested in the generative crossings between fiction and other prose genres. In addition to teaching in the LRCW MFA, she currently works toward justice in Palestine with Jewish Voice for Peace. 

Mollie Hosmer-Dillard is a painter who creates large-scale abstractions from nature. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Indiana University. After college Mollie lived in Berlin, Germany for four years, where she painted and was an active collaborator in the city's interdisciplinary arts scene. Upon returning to the United States, Mollie lived in New York City, working as an artist and a translator of German to English. Mollie has had solo exhibitions in Berlin, Finland, New York, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Utah. She is the recipient of an Oberlin College Alumni Fellowship, and artist grants from the Berlin Office of Cultural Affairs, the Queens Council on the Arts, Indiana University, and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.

Poupeh Missaghi is an Assistant Professor in Literary Arts and Studies at the English Department of the University of Denver. She is a creative writer, scholar, editor, and translator (between English and Persian). Her debut novel trans(re)lating house one was published in 2020 (Coffee House Press) and her translation of Nasim Marashi’s novel I’ll Be Strong for You in 2021 (Astra House). Her second book Sound Museum is forthcoming in 2024 (Coffee House Press). She has a PhD in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver; an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; and an MA in Translation Studies and a BA in Translation Practice from Azad University, Tehran. She also teaches at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and Pacific Northwest College of Arts, Portland, OR.

Vi Khi Nao’s work includes poetry, fiction, film, play, and cross-genre collaboration. Nomadic and prolific by nature, she is the author of the novel, Fish in Exile , the story collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize) and of four poetry collections: Human Tetris, Sheep Machine, Umbilical Hospital, and The Old Philosopher (winner of the 2014 Nightboat Prize). Her poetry collection, A Bell Curve Is A Pregnant Straight Line, and her short stories collection, The Vegas Dilemma, are forthcoming from 11:11 Press Summer and Fall 2021 respectively. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University & she was the fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute. 

Jay Ponteri directed the creative writing program at Marylhurst University from 2008-2018 and is now the program head of PNCA’s Low-Residency Creative Writing program. His book of creative nonfiction Someone Told Me has just been published by Widow+Orphan House. He’s also the author of Darkmouth Inside Me (Future Tense Books, 2014) and Wedlocked (Hawthorne Books, 2013), which received an Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Two of Ponteri’s essays, “Listen to this” and “On Navel Gazing” have earned “Notable Mentions” in Best American Essay Anthologies. His work has also appeared in many literary journals: Gaze, Ghost Proposal, Eye-Rhyme, Seattle Review, Forklift, Ohio, Knee-Jerk, Cimarron Review, Tin House, Clackamas Literary Review, While teaching at Marylhurst, Ponteri was twice awarded the Excellence in Teaching & Service Award. In 2007, Ponteri founded Show:Tell, The Workshop for Teen Artist and Writers, now part of summer programming at Portland's Independent Publishing Resource Center ( on whose Resource Council he serves. He teaches memoir classes at Literary Arts. He lives with his son Oscar and Oscar's pug MO.

Alison C. Rollins, born and raised in St. Louis city, is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, New England Review, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she is a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. In 2018, she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award; and in 2020, the winner of a Pushcart Prize. She holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and has held faculty as well as librarian appointments at various institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Colorado College. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press) was a 2020 Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award nominee.

Jake Skeets is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, winner of the National Poetry Series, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, American Book Award, and Whiting Award. He is from the Navajo Nation and teaches at the University of Oklahoma.

Dao Strom is an artist who works with three “voices”—written, sung, visual—to explore hybridity and the intersection of personal and collective histories. She is the author of the poetry collection, Instrument (Fonograf Editions), winner of the 2022 Oregon Book Award for Poetry, and its musical companion, Traveler’s Ode (Antiquated Future Records); a bilingual poetry-art book, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else (Hanoi: AJAR Press); a memoir, We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People, and song cycle, East/West; and two books of fiction, The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys (Counterpoint Press) and Grass Roof, Tin Roof (Mariner Books). She is a recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital Award and a 2020 Oregon Literary Arts Career Fellowship, and has received support also from RACC, Oregon Arts Commission, NEA, and others. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Strom was born in Vietnam and lives in Portland, Oregon. She is co-founder of two collaborative art projects, She Who Has No Master(s), and de-canon.

Sara Jannette Sutter is a writer, educator, student, and psychonaut based in Portland, OR.  Sara holds a BA in philosophy, an MFA in Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, and is now in their second year at California Institute of Integral Studies, where they are focusing on somatic and psychedelic-assisted therapy. Sara teaches literature and creative writing at University of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Craft, Willamette University, and virtually at Harrisburg Area Community College. While Sara’s most recent writings have been toward fulfilling academic requirements, published works appear in Fence, the Seattle Review, Nailed Magazine, and others, along with her chapbooks, O to Be a Dragon (Finishing Line Press 2016) and Sirenomelia (Poor Claudia 2013). Sara is slowly at work on a new hybrid project that explores the generative and spiritual qualities of trauma.

Tyrone Williams is the David Gray Chair of Poetry & Letters at SUNY Buffalo. He is the author of several chapbooks and seven books of poetry: c.c. (Krupskaya 2002), On Spec (Omnidawn 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press 2009), Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press 2011), Howell (Atelos Books 2011), As Iz (Omnidawn 2018), washpark (with Pat Clifford)(Delete Press, 2021)and stilettos in a rifle range (Wayne State University Press, 2022). A limited-edition art project, Trump l’oeil, was published by Hostile Books in 2017. He and Jeanne Heuving edited an anthology of critical essays, Inciting Poetics (University of New Mexico Press, 2019).

Links to Work 

Alejandro de Acosta 

Micrograms by Jorge Carrera Andrade, translation with Joshua Beckman (Wave Poetry)

Poupeh Missaghi 

Trans(re)lating House One (Coffee House Books) 

Vi Khi Nao


Publications (see “In Which I Interview Others” section!)

Jay Ponteri 

Wedlocked (Hawthorne Books)

Someone Told Me (Widow+Orphan House) 

“Making an Echo: The Essay Writer as Transmitter/Receiver in the works of Nathalie Léger” Essay Daily 

Someone Told Me (Widow+Orphan House)

On Richard Linklaker’s Boyhood in Portland Review

What Jay Ponteri Told Me by Kynna Lovin in Portland Review

Alison C Rollins 

"Quartet for the End of Time" Poetry (November 2020) 

"A Song by Any Other Name" The Adroit Journal (October 2020) 

Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon, 2019) 

“Dispatch from Racial Mountain” (Gulf Coast Journal)

Brandon Shimoda 

The Grave on the Wall (book) 

Hydra Medusa (book)

Japanese American Incarceration for Children (essay)

Hinotama (poem)

Rest House (poem)

Love is a Battlefield (song)

Jake Skeets

Eye Bottle Dark with Mouthful of Flowers

Dao Strom 

Redux (music album, Antiquated Future Records)

Instrument (poetry-art book, Fonograf Editions) 

Traveler’s Ode (music album, Antiquated Future Records) 

You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else (bilingual poetry-art book, AJAR Press) 

The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys (2019 edition, book of novellas, Counterpoint Press) 

We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People (hybrid memoir) + East/West (song-cycle)  // **(print book is currently out of print)**

Grass Roof, Tin Roof (novel in linked stories, Mariner Books)

Sara Jannette Sutter

In Order to Form A Sea Cave (Essay - Nailed Magazine)

Golden Cowrie (Poem - The Awl)

The Day My Father Died (Poem - The Awl)

O to Be a Dragon (Chapbook -Finishing Line Press)

Tyrone Williams

As Iz

Stilettos in a Rifle Range