The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is proud to present a virtual Poetluck on Thursday, March 18, at 6:30 pm CST. Each Poetluck reader has received a WCDH fellowship, winning a writing residency at Dairy Hollow to focus on their writing project.  Readers include Keija Parsinnen, Zenique Gardner-Perry, Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen, Jami Nakamura Lin, Valerie Laken, and Alison Moore.

WCDH fellowships are underwritten by individuals, organizations, or corporations. Each unique fellowship is designed with input from the sponsor to support a specific demographic or genre of writing, or to honor an individual. Fellowships that are currently open or will open later in 2021 include My Time for parent writers, Moondancer for writing about nature and the outdoors, Emerging Poet for unpublished poets working on their first book, Celebrate! Maya Project for young writers who address social justice issues, Dancing in the Rain for writers of children’s and YA literature, and Real People, Real Struggles, Real Stories: Writing About Mental Illness.  Visit https://www.writerscolony.org/fellowships for details about open and upcoming fellowships.

Keija Parsinnen was the winner of the 2016 My Time fellowship for parent writers. She is the author of The Ruins of Us, which won a Michener-Copernicus award, and The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, which earned an Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books Daily, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, Gulf Coast, The Southern Review, Slice, the Lonely Planet travel writing anthologies, and elsewhere, and has been supported by fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Ragdale, Playa Summerlake, and the Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow, she is now an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Kenyon College. She lives in Ohio with her partner and two sons. Visit http://keijaparssinen.com to learn more.

Zenique Gardner-Perry received a 2020 Illuminating Black Lives fellowship.  Gardner-Perry hails from St. Louis, Missouri, where she is currently working on her master’s in fine arts, Creative Writing as an MFA Fellow at Washington University. Gardner-Perry is a co-founder and consultant at Undo Bias Consulting which guides organizations as they work to eradicate racism, classism, sexism, and their intersections.  She was also a Yoga Instructor for WEDO (Women Empowered to End Disparities in Obesity), a program designed to provide support in the form of fitness classes, cooking classes, and self-care sessions for area mothers and female caregivers.

Stephanie Rosenblaum Klassen was the winner of the 2006 Tyson Culinary Fellowship and the 2014 Eat, Write fellowship.  She is the author of seven books, including “A Little Taste of San Francisco,” “The Art of Vintage Cocktails,” “World of Doughnuts,” and “Anti-Bride Guide: Tying the Knot Outside the Box.” A restaurant critic in San Francisco for over a decade, she has written about food, travel, weddings, film, and designer chicken coops for the “New York Times,” the “San Francisco Chronicle,” “Edible Brooklyn,” “Time Out New York,” “Kinfolk,” and more. She still longs for the luxury of the Dairy Hollow Culinary Suite’s over-the-stove faucet. She lives in Sonoma County, California, where she is at work on her first mystery novel, set in a completely fictional artists’ colony.

Jami Nakamura Lin won the 2020 Real People, Real Struggles, Real Stories: Writing About Mental Illness fellowship. She received her MFA in creative writing (nonfiction) from Penn State in 2013. She is a permanent staff writer at Anti-Racism Daily, a newsletter with over 90,000 subscribers and over 140,000 followers on Instagram. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the online NYT Parenting section, the print edition SundayStyles section, and on the front page of the NYT website. In January 2020, Jami began writing “The Monster in the Mirror,” a bi-monthly essay column for Catapult, a website for writers. Jami was awarded a Creative Artists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Japan-US Friendship Commission in 2016. The grant allowed her to spend four months writing and researching myths and folklore in rural areas all over Japan in 2017.  This research fueled her later writing.

Valerie Laken received the 2020 Dancing in the Rain fellowship for Young Adult (YA) and children’s literature. Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, Valerie majored in English and Russian at the University of Iowa, then worked and studied in Moscow, Prague, Krakow, and Madison, before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received an MA in Slavic Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, where she taught for several years. She currently teaches in the Creative Writing program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Writer, and The Chicago Tribune. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, an Anne Powers Prize, two Hopwood Awards, a Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, and an honorable mention in the Best American Short Stories. She is the author of the novel, Dream House, and the story collection, Separate Kingdoms.

Alison Moore, the 2003 WCDH Bridge Fund fellowship winner, earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in 1990 and was an Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona from 1994-1999.  Since 1998, she toured with a public outreach multi-media program she created with musician Phil Lancaster called “Riders on the Orphan Train” for the National Orphan Train Complex. From 1990-1992 she served as administrative director for the non-profit ArtsReach in Tucson, a Native American literacy project.  Alison is the author of four books, a historical novel, Riders on the Orphan Train (Roadworthy Press, 2012), a collection of short fiction, The Middle of Elsewhere (Phoenix International/University of Arkansas Press 2006), a novel, Synonym for Love (Penguin/Plume 1996), and a collection of short stories, Small Spaces between Emergencies (Mercury House, 1992) one of the Notable Books of 1993 chosen by The American Library Association. Learn more at www.alisonmoorebooks.com and www.ridersontheorphantrain.org

Nancy Lord received the 2005 Moondancer fellowship for writing about nature and the outdoors. She is an Alaskan writer of fiction and nonfiction and former State Writer Laureate. Nancy passionate about place, history, and the natural environment.  From her many years of commercial salmon fishing and, later, work as a naturalist and historian on adventure cruise ships, she has explored the myths and realities of life in the north in both fiction and nonfiction.  Among her published books are three collections of short stories and five works of literary nonfiction, including the memoir Fishcamp, the cautionary Beluga Days, and the front-lines story of climate change, Early Warming.  In 2016 she edited the anthology Made of Salmon: Alaska Stories from The Salmon Project.  Her first novel, pH, was published in 2017.  Since 2015 she has been regularly reviewing Alaska-related books for the Anchorage Daily News. Visit www.writernancylord.com to learn more about Nancy.

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow will continue to host Poetluck virtually until it is safe to return to in-person readings.  Readings may be poems, prose, or songs, and writers are invited to share their work for up to ten minutes. A link to the virtual Poetluck and instructions for joining can be found at https://www.writerscolony.org/events.  Spectators may join a moderated watch party on Facebook Live at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow page: https://www.facebook.com/writerscolonyatdairyhollow.

Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities providing uninterrupted residency time for writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists, without discrimination. The WCDH has hosted over 1,600 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. To learn more, please visit www.writerscolony.org or call Michelle Hannon or Chad Gurley at (479)253-7444.