The year Hugo House opened was the year my MFA ended. In 1997 I was 27, full of hope and fear, mostly fear: Was my work any good? Would I ever publish it? Could I—would I—keep writing without the structure of classes and workshops holding me accountable? What in the world would I do for a job? (I still ask that last question.)
In the 20+ years since, I cannot overstate the importance of Hugo House to my professional and creative life as a poet. Hugo House is where I learned by teaching how to teach, by performing how to perform, by making poems how to make poems, and by taking my place alongside so many wonderful others there, how to exist as part of a community.
Really, as I write this, I can’t believe my good luck, just happening to live in the city where Hugo House opens its doors in so many ways to so many writers: now that I think about it, it’s probably why I’ve stayed.
Kary Wayson’s poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Nation, Narrative, FIELD, Filter, The Best American Poetry 2007, and the 2010 Pushcart Prize anthology. Kary was a 2003 Discovery/The Nation award winner, and her chapbook, Dog & Me, was published in 2004 by LitRag Press. Her book, American Husband, won the Ohio State University Press/ The Journal Award in 2009. A 2012 Stranger Genius Award nominee, Kary lives and works in Seattle.