Attic Atheneum: Faculty

Atheneum Faculty



Merridawn Duckler has published in Carolina Quarterly, Georgia State Review, & Main Street Rag among others with current work in Isotope, Green Mountains Review, Narrative & Night Train. A former Attic student, she is a two-time winner of Society of Professional Journalists Award & was nominated for Best Creative Non-Fiction Anthology 2009 and a Pushcart Prize. Reviews of her work have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Her original scripts have been preformed at the NOW Festival at Red Cat at Disney Hall and other venues in Los Angeles, Stanford, & New York in conjunction with the performance troupe Collage Dance Theatre of Los Angeles. She has been in residency at Centrum, Caldera, and Yaddo, among others. She was a non-fiction runner-up at Writers@Work in Salt Lake City & has won fiction fellowships to the Squaw Valley Writers Community, Wesleyan Writers conference, & Summer Literary Seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has taught at the Attic for nearly ten years & is an Associate Editor at Narrative magazine. Learn more

Vanessa Veselka is the author of a novel, Zazen, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and won the 2012 PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for debut fiction. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, Zyzzyva, and SWINK. Her long form nonfiction can be found in GQ, The Atlantic, The American Reader, and Salon. She has also been, at times, a teenage runaway, a union organizer, a student of paleontology, a train-hopper, a waitress, and a mother. Learn more



Whitney Otto is the author of five novels: How To Make an American Quilt, which was a New York Times Best Seller (as well as other bestseller lists) and NY Times Notable Book; nominated for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award, and adapted into a feature film produced by Steven Spielberg. Now You See Her was nominated for an Oregon Book Award, and optioned for film. The Passion Dream Bookwas a Los Angeles Times bestseller, optioned for a film, and an Oregonian Book Club selection.  Learn more

Karen Karbo's most recent book in what she calls her kick ass women books is Julia Child Rules, due out in 2013. Other books include: How Georgia Became O'KeeffeHow to Hepburn, published in 2007, hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "an exuberant celebration of a great original," and The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, published in 2009, was a Nielsen Bookscan bestseller. Karen's first novel, Trespassers Welcome Here, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Village Voice Top Ten Book of the Year.  Her other two adult novels, The Diamond Lane and Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me, were also named New York Times Notable Books.  Her 2004 memoir, The Stuff of Life, about the last year she spent with her father before his death, was an New York Times Notable Book, a People Magazine Critics' Choice, a Books for a Better Life Award finalist, and a winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.  Her short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, the New York Times, and other magazines. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award. 



David Biespiel founded the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters in 1999 as an independent writing and creativity studio in Portland's historic Hawthorne district. He is the author or editor of ten books, including Charming GardenersThe Book of Men and Womenwhich was named Best Poetry of the Year for 2009 by the Poetry Foundation and also received the Oregon Book Award, Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces and A Long High Whistle. From 2010-2016 he was board member of the National Book Critics Circle. Learn more

Wendy Willis's first book of poems, Blood Sisters of the Republic, appeared from Press 53 in 2012. She has published her work in the internationally-acclaimed Alhambra Poetry Calendar, as well as in Poetry Northwest, Clackamas Literary Review, Bellingham Review, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere, and received a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Her major essay on place -- "Where Are You From?" -- originally appeared in Oregon Humanities and was reprinted in Utne. Learn more