2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellows

Gabrielle Bates is a poet and visual artist from Birmingham, Alabama, currently living in Seattle, where she serves as the Social Media Manager of Open Books: A Poem Emporium and on the editorial board of the Seattle Review, Poetry Northwest, and Broadsided Press. Her poems and poetry comics appear—or will soon—in Poetry, New England Review, jubilat, and the Best of the Net anthology, among other journals. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a grant from the Awesome Foundation Seattle Chapter, and an MFA from the University of Washington. Find her online at gabriellebatesstahlman.com or on twitter (@GabrielleBates).

Currently, Gabrielle is radically revising a collection of poems that investigates, among many topics, Southern identity, childhood memory, myth, and the blurred lines between humans and animals. She’s also working on a book of poetry comics and a YA novel about a girl with two blind parents who is obsessed with Frida Kahlo. While the genres blend and tones vary, each project is invested in the interplay between text and image. With the help of Hugo House writers and resources, Gabrielle looks forward to pushing these three books closer to publication.


Beryl Clark writes autobiographical poetry, prose, and cross-genre works. She is originally from Utah and aspires to have a dog and cactus companion. She graduated from the University of Montana with emphases in psychology and creative writing. Beryl likes to write about families, food, and the queer identity. She spends her time in Seattle and Victoria, BC.

Beryl will complete a draft of Dust Mounthead, a cross-genre piece. Dust Mounthead is about a family of religious outsiders as told from the perspective of their daughter, Cameron.


Katie Lee Ellison received her BA from Wellesley College and her MFA from the University of Idaho, Moscow. Katie has pieces of her memoir-in-progress, entitled Everything We Wanted, appearing in Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee ReviewArcadia MagazineCrab Creek Review, and others. You can read her work and learn more about her at katieleeellison.com

Katie’s memoir of essays explores the intersection of Hollywood fantasy, alcoholic escapism, and the inheritance of a Jewish identity.


Willie Fitzgerald is a co-founder of APRIL, an annual festival of small press and independent publishing. His work has appeared in City ArtsEveryday GeniusPacifica Literary Review and other places.

Willie will complete the first draft of a novel. The novel is set in Seattle and follows a man’s search for a missing painting completed by his brother just before his disappearance.



Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, and race in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them.  A multilingual poet, Shankar is a 2016 Kundiman Fellow whose work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  Shankar’s writings appear or are forthcoming in The Raven Chronicles, Litfuse Anthology, and Mochila Review. Shankar draws strength from his tumultuous upbringing in countries as diverse as the USSR, Yugoslavia, Thailand, the Maldives, and India, and from his work as an attorney and advocate for civil rights.  While acknowledging his own privilege, he is grateful to have crossed paths with many of our society’s underclasses, including immigrants, detainees, inmates, and race, gender, and sexual orientation minorities, whose stories he carries with him.  Shankar builds community in Seattle, where he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, and where his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

Shankar will work on a chapbook of poems on the themes of technology, race, and power; building on the elements of journey, the body and connection across barriers, and power and its reclamation; and using frameworks from various mythologies.  This work may or may not transform the world, but it will certainly transform him. 


Ray Stoeve is a queer transgender poet and performer born, raised, and based in Seattle, Washington. Rain City Poetry Slam is their poet home. Their poetry and essays have appeared in YES! Magazine and Shift Queer Arts & Literary Magazine, among other publications. They most recently created a multimedia performance piece for Lion’s Main Art Collective’s Transience exhibition and are currently working on a young adult novel about a genderqueer teen. Offstage, they work with youth as a teaching artist and in an after-school program. They can be found online at rayestoeve.wordpress.com.

Ray will complete the first draft and first edit of a young adult novel that follows the main character, Dean, through their senior year of high school as they navigate coming out as transgender, and how that changes and forms their life direction, their sense of self, and their relationships with their family, friends, and larger community.