2020–21 Hugo Fellows

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Seattle-based playwright. They are currently a proud resident playwright with the Seattle playwriting group, Parley. For Brian, playwriting is an act of envisioning an eventual communing – of ideas and people in shared creation. Their writing has been workshopped with Pork Filled Productions, Karen’s Secret Army, Theatre Battery, and the Undergraduate Theater Society. Brian is also an arts administrator with Washington Ensemble Theater, passionate about educational equity, and on the side, they like to watch movies, revel in hopeless romanticism, pet cats, and eat bread. Brian is grateful for having somehow convinced the world they can read and write.

Brian will be completing a full-length play with the working title of murder by metaphor, which will engage with the tricky nature of finding agency in a capitalist nation state, and how theatre can sometimes reinforce the same relational power dynamics in depiction, representation, and poetics.

Cassidy Dyce is a native of Ashburn, Virginia, and moved to Seattle after earning her Bachelor of Arts in English at Christopher Newport University. In 2018, she continued her studies of literature and writing oversea by matriculating at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Currently, she works as the writer’s assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Kwame Alexander. Her work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition. As a writer, she seeks to shine a brighter light on issues that confront minorities. Her goal is to foster literary inclusivity on a global scale while addressing struggles that exist among communities of color and other underrepresented constituencies.

Cassidy will be finishing her work-in-progress novel, Caricature, in which seven members of a Black Student Union are subjected to a vicious science experiment that causes them to confront and question their relationship with Blackness, their self-identity, and one another.

Photo by Katia Roberts

Clare Johnson is a dyke-identified writer/artist originally from Seattle. For her writing, she’s received fellowships from Jack Straw, Mineral School, and Crosstown Arts. Publications include Poetry Northwest, Shake the Tree, Raven Chronicles, and Roses, a book pairing Rilke poems with her drawings. Exhibitions include Hugo House, Storefronts Seattle, and Guy’s Hospital (London), where her 35-drawing project about childhood asthma is permanently displayed. Other major projects include a 2017 production of Our Town combining handmade art and erasure poems from Thornton Wilder’s script into gesture-responsive animations on a 360-degree screen; her Post-it Note Project, excerpted in the Seattle Review of Books with monthly lyric essays; and a participatory coloring sheet mural on a Capitol Hill dumpster. She’s working on three community projects: a poster for Sound Transit, temporary art for the AIDS Memorial Pathway, and more participatory art decorating fencing around a Tiny House Village for people experiencing homelessness.

Clarewill be completing her hybrid form poetry manuscript, Will I live here when I grow up, which uses small, interwoven pieces mixing current life with themes of historical westward migration and family histories.

Frances Lee (they/them) is a nonfiction essayist and environmental justice communications strategist based in Suquamish Territory (Bremerton, WA). Frances’s creative practices are animated by a deep inquiry into the everyday practices and norms that structure the stories we tell one another as activists and justice seekers. They invite readers to examine the destructive ideologies we reproduce and perhaps choose a more humane path. Frances edited the anthology, Toward an Ethics of Activism: A Community Investigation of Humility, Grace and Compassion in Movements for Justice. Their essays have appeared in Yes! Magazine, CBC The Sunday Edition, Bitch Media, and more. They are the recipient of the Seventh Wave 2020 Bainbridge Residency and the Seattle Globalist 2019 Environmental Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

Frances is working on a collection of essays drawing on their experience as an activist in local and national movements to consider the nuances of activist culture, critique its dogma, and draw out ethical practices and core values that sustain activists and organizers over the long haul.

Stephanie Segura is a Southern California-born poet and the daughter of Central American immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, San Bernardino, where she drew inspiration from surrealist practices along with the desert heat. Her poetry explores a lineage of displacement through speculative testimony, audio transcriptions, and written recollections. She enjoys working with youth and has taught cultural enrichment for El Centro de La Raza. She will continue teaching youth at her newest home, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy. Her work is featured in Pacific Review Publication and Clamor. She holds an MFA in creative writing and poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell.

Stephanie plans to finish her first multi-media poetry manuscript, Open Door Behind You, a genealogy of generational trauma, memory, and dysfunctionality. The experimental writing in this manuscript examines what it means to inherit trauma and the ways in which it affects memory and the histories we pass down.

Arianne True is a poet and excitable human from Seattle and from the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. She grew up in the Seattle writing community, nurtured by YouthSpeaks and the Hugo House, and currently works as a teaching artist with Writers in the Schools and as a mentor for the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program. Arianne is also involved in other local arts communities, including performative mythology and Appalachian folk traditions. She’s queer, food-oriented, and passionate about her PNW home, and it all shows in her work. Arianne is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

This year, Arianne is planning to complete an experimental manuscript that asks the reader to engage with the decades-long effects of child abuse and what it means to steal and reclaim bodies. The manuscript is a museum in experimental poems, including galleries, notes from the curatorial staff, and a gift shop.