In a world of chaos and fear, I find that even the word “home” can elicit doubt. When I moved to Seattle, I was looking for all things safe, all things home, all things that would make me feel validated, loved, and supported—first as a human and second (on my list) as a writer. I first heard of Hugo House while I was in Kansas City, discovering it through a Google search of “Writers in Seattle.” Hugo House came up immediately. I thought to myself, “Oh wow, there’s just a big old house for writers to hang out in!” Upon further research, I learned all about what the “house” offered and learned more about Richard Hugo.
Once I arrived in Seattle, I immediately emerged/submerged myself in Hugo House life, first as the after-school youth poetry facilitator instructor, next with teaching and volunteering at several Write-O-Rama’s, followed by teaching classes at Hugo House, and ending with my most recent two-year term as poetry writer-in-residence.
Over the years I have seen Hugo House push itself beyond and out if its comfort zone and continue to be a haven for emerging, mid-career, and seasoned writers. In my opinion, a Seattle without Hugo House is not Seattle.
Anastacia-Renee is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-17 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. She is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator, and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press). Her poetry, prose, and fiction are published widely.