LiTFUSE 2020



Dennis Nurkse

Author of numerous collections of poetry, including The Rules of Paradise (2001), The Fall (2003), The Border Kingdom (2008), and Love in the Last Days: After Tristan and Iseult (2017), his parents escaped Nazi Europe during World War II—his Estonian father, the eminent economist Ragnar Nurkse, worked for the League of Nations in Vienna, his mother was an artist—and moved to New York. Nurkse’s family moved back to live in Europe for a number of years, returning to the United States around the time of the Vietnam War. Nurkse lives in New York and has been named poet laureate of Brooklyn. . . .


Chad Sweeney

Chad Sweeney is a poet and translator. He is the author of six books of poetry; Little Million Doors won the 2019 Nightboat Prize, others include Parable of Hide and Seek and Arranging the Blaze, and two books of translation, The Art of Stepping Through Time, the selected poems of Iranian dissident poet, H.E. Sayeh (White Pine Press, with Mojdeh Marashi) and Pablo Neruda’s final book, The Call to Destroy Nixon and to Advance the Chilean Revolution (Marick Press 2019). Sweeney’s poems have been included in numerous journals and anthologies. He is Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing at California State University San Bernardino.

Diana Khoi Nguyen

A poet and multimedia artist, Diana Khoi Nguyen is the author of Ghost Of (Omnidawn 2018), which was selected by Terrance Hayes. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Colorado Book Award, she was also a finalist for the National Book Award and L.A. Times Book Prize. A Kundiman fellow, she currently teaching in the Randolph College Low-Residency MFA and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Alexandra Teague

Alexandra Teague’s most recent poetry collection, Or What We’ll Call Desire, was published by Persea in 2019. Her prior books of poetry are The Wise and Foolish Builders and Mortal Geography, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and the 2010 California Book Award. She is also the author of the novel The Principles Behind Flotation, as well as co-editor of Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. A former Stegner and NEA fellow, and recent fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Alexandra is a professor at University of Idaho and an editor for Broadsided Press.

Brooke Matson

Brooke Matson is a poet and book artist. Her second collection of poetry, In Accelerated Silence, was selected by Mark Doty as winner of the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize and was released from Milkweed Editions. Her 2012 collection, The Moons, was published by Blue Begonia Press. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Willow Springs, and Copper Nickel. In 2016, she was awarded an Artist Trust Grant for Artist Projects with a Centrum residency. She currently resides in Spokane, Washington where she is the executive director of Spark Central, a nonprofit dedicated to igniting creativity.

Ching-In Chen

Ching-In Chen is a genderqueer Chinese American hybrid writer, community organizer and teacher. They are author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017; winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry) as well as two chapbooks. Chen is also the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011; AK Press 2016) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). They have received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Can Serrat and Imagining America and are a part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. 

Tobias Wray

An editor, reading series and festival organizer, and critic, Tobias Wray’s poems have found homes in Blackbird, Bellingham Review, Meridian, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. His work is also forthcoming in the anthologies The Queer Nature Anthology (Autumn House Press) and The Queer Movement Anthology of Literatures (Seagull Books). He directs the University of Idaho's Creative Writing Programs.

Kelly Schirmann

Kelly Schirmann is from Northern California. She is author of two books of poetry and essays, Popular Music (2016) and The New World (2020), as well as several chapbooks and collaborations, including Boyfriend Mountain (2014), which she wrote with Tyler Brewington. Her debut collection, Popular Music, was listed among the top poetry books of 2016 by Entropy Magazine and The Chicago Review of Books. She was the founding editor of Black Cake, a record label for contemporary poetry and other experiments, which published over twenty albums of poetry from 2013-2015. She currently lives and teaches in Western Montana.

Dujie Tahat

Dujie Tahat is a Filipino-Jordanian immigrant and author of Here I Am O My God, selected for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, and SALAT, winner of the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Chapbook Award. Poems published or forthcoming are in POETRY, Sugar House Review, Southern Indiana Review, Asian American Literary Review, and others. Dujie has earned fellowships from Hugo House and the Poetry Foundation, a work-study scholarship from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and cohosts The Poet Salon podcast. He started as a Seattle Poetry Slam Finalist, a collegiate and Seattle Youth Speaks grand slam champion, he represented Seattle at HBO’s Brave New Voices. 


Many of you may be wondering if LiTFUSE will be cancelled this year. As of now (April 12, 2020), we are planning for business as usual with the hope that acting as if will make it so.

However, we are actively working on contingency plans that may include online offerings with our 2020 faculty.

So, please register for the workshop—reserving your spot supports our efforts to make LiTFUSE happen, be it virtually or personally. We will update you as we get further into Spring & Summer, so check our website regularly.

Please take good care of yourselves. Remember you belong to the LiTFUSE community, where the quickening of poetry binds us & inspires us together.

The LiTFUSE Muse holds each & every one of you in her heart, & sends the blessing of healing poems into your waking and sleepy dreams.


Unlike Any Poetry Workshop

LiTFUSE combines writing, exploration, improvisation, meditation, camaraderie, natural beauty and readings to ignite your muse.



When It's Tieton Time

LiTFUSE is an annual weekend-long poets’ workshop that takes place in late September, just when the air begins to crisp and muses peek out from their apple crates.


Where in the World?

Set among the fertile fields and orchards of central Washington, tryst with your muse where art mingles with agriculture in the quirky little town of Tieton (near Yakima).



Made in Tieton with Love

LiTFUSE is a production of Tieton Arts & Humanities, a nonprofit corporation formed to raise understanding, appreciation, and visibility of the arts and humanities in Tieton and Yakima County, and to unite artists from around the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest.


13 Years... Really?

Founded in 2007 by Michael Schein, LiTFUSE thanks Ed Marquand & Mike Longyear for  creating the Mighty Tieton artisan community, where so many poets, faculty, volunteers and supporters have iNFUSED their passion for poetry & community.