LiTFUSE 2020

Don't Miss the First Ever
LitFUSE Pre-Program Lineup!

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 has published six books of poetry, including Little Million Doors (Nightboat Books Prize, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award) and Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James Books)—as well as two books of translation. He is associate professor at California State University San Bernardino. He describes poetry and Buddhism together as “his lifeboat in living with autism in an often confusing and hostile world.” In this way he has meditated in much of South America, India, China, Tibet, Israel, Thailand and Laos, as well as in California where he lives with his partner in life and poetry, Jennifer K. Sweeney.

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.

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.

Chris Howell

Born in Portland, Oregon, Christopher Howell attended Pacific Lutheran and Oregon State universities, and holds graduate degrees from Portland State University and the University of Massachusetts. He is author of twelve collections of poems, including newly released The Grief of a Happy Life, Love’s Last Number and Gaze. He has received the WA State Governor’s Award, the WA State Book Award, two National Endowment Fellowships, two Artist Trust fellowships, the Vachel Lindsey and Helen Bullis Prizes, and many more. His work has been in the annual Pushcart Prize collection, and in many journals and anthologies. A military journalist during the Vietnam War, since 1975 he has been director and principle editor for Lynx House Press and is now director for Willow Springs Books. He is a faculty member of Eastern Washington University’s MFA and the low residency MFA program at Eastern Oregon University.

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

Tobias Wray’s debut poetry collection, No Doubt I Will Return a Different Man, was selected for the Lighthouse Poetry Series (Cleveland State University Press, 2021). His work has found homes in various literary journals, including BlackbirdBellingham ReviewMeridian, Third Coast, and Hunger Mountain. Some poems also appear in the forthcoming The Queer Nature Anthology (Autumn House Press, 2021) and The Queer Movement Anthology of Literatures (Seagull Books, 2021). He directs the Creative Writing Programs at the University of Idaho on the Palouse, where he lives with his hiking partner, Andy. 

LiTFUSE 2020 - Virtual Program

After much deliberation, we have decided to shift LiTFUSE 2020 to a fully virtual program. This was a tough but ultimately unanimous decision in the interest of public health, and we are hopeful that the digital environment will allow us to offer unprecedented access, flexibility, and innovation throughout this year’s event.

Under the circumstances, here are a few key changes to the registration and scheduling process:

  • LiTFUSE 2020 will still take place September 25-27 with virtual workshops and programming in the weeks leading up to the main event.
  • Registration will be reduced to $150 and include virtual access to all regular workshop classes. Master classes will be available for an additional fee (see registration page).
  • The poetry slam and keynote will also be virtual. In place of the poet’s banquet, we will hold a digital cocktail reception for faculty and registered attendees.
  • If you are interested in joining us for LiTFUSE but require accommodations for the digital environment (such as closed-captioning, printable media, etc.), please indicate these requests upon registering and contact me via email ( with any questions or concerns.

We are very excited to offer virtual class offerings and look forward to sharing further updates—including the official LiTFUSE 2020 Workshop Schedule—with you in the near future. Until then, please join our mailing list or, as always, feel free to reach out via email (



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.