Workshop Faculty

Fir Acres Writing Workshop Faculty Summer 2022 (more faculty to be announced soon!)


Aamina Ahmad was born and raised in London. After completing an MA in Television Drama, she worked for BBC Drama and other independent television companies as a script editor on various long-running series. Her play The Dishonoured was produced by Kali Theatre Company and toured the UK. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a recipient of a Stegner Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. Her short fiction has appeared in One Story and The Southern Review, and Ecotone, among others. Her novel, The Return of Faraz Ali, will be published by Riverhead in 2022. She currently lives in Berkeley, California.


Ashley Colley

Ashley Colley is a poet based in Memphis. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Orion, Colorado Review, The Spectacle, jubilat, Prelude, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant to France, where she studied images of animals from cave art to early cinema as research toward her poetry manuscript, Animals in Motion. An interdisciplinary thinker, Ashley often incorporates other art forms and methods of inquiry into her creative writing classes. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and PhD in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver.


Anna Noyes is the author of the debut story collection, Goodnight, Beautiful Women (Grove Atlantic), which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and was a finalist for both the New England Book Award and the Story Prize. She earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded the 2013 Henfield Prize. Her fiction has appeared in Vice, A Public Space, and Guernica, among others. She has received the Lotos Foundation Prize as well as fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Aspen Words, the James Merrill House, and the Lighthouse Works. Her novel, The Blue Maiden, is forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in 2023. Originally from Maine, she lives in New York on Fishers Island. 


Don Waters is the Director of Fir Acres Writing Workshop. He’s the author of the memoir These Boys and Their Fathers, a novel, Sunland, and two story collections, The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain and Desert Gothic, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. His fiction has been widely published and anthologized in the Pushcart PrizeBest of the West, and New Stories from the Southwest. A frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, he’s written for the New York Times Book ReviewOutsideThe BelieverTin House, and Slate, among other publications. Waters is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches at Lewis & Clark College. He lives in Portland with his partner, the writer Robin Romm, and their daughters.


S. Yarberry is a Fir Acres alumnus, first as a Fir Acres student and later as a Fir Acres Resident Advisor. Their poems have appeared in AGNI, Tin House, The Washington Post’s The Lily Magazine, Sixth Finch, jubilat, Indiana Review, Redivider, Notre Dame Review, DREGINALD, The Boiler, and miscellaneous zines. Their articles and interviews have appeared in BOMB, The Adroit Journal, and Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly. They graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2016 and have an MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where they held the Junior Fellowship in Poetry from 2019-2020. Yarberry is currently a PhD candidate in literature at Northwestern University where they hold the Mellon Cluster Fellowship in Poetry & Poetics. Additionally, they have taught undergraduate poetry at Washington University in St. Louis and online at The Loft Literary Center. Yarberry is the Poetry Editor of The Spectacle literary magazine. Their first book of poems, A Boy in the City, is forthcoming from Deep Vellum in the spring of 2022.

Distinguished Visiting Writers (to be announced spring 2022!)


Distinguished Visiting Writers 2021


Mary Szybist Mary Szybist is Associate Professor of English at Lewis & Clark College. She is most recently the author of Incarnadinewinner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry. 

She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Her work has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes and has been supported by residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy. Her first book Granted won the 2004 GLCA New Writers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Mary grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Virginia and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has called Portland home since 2004.

Kaui Hart Hemmings has degrees from Colorado College, Sarah Lawrence, and she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her first novel, The Descendants, a New York Times bestseller, has been published in twenty-two other countries and is an Oscar-winning film directed by Alexander Payne and starring George Clooney. Other books include a story collection, House of Thieves, The Possibilities, an Oprah and People magazine “must read,” which has been optioned by Jason Reitman. Her debut YA novel, Juniors, has been published by Penguin Putnam. Her current novel, How to Party With an Infant, releases this summer in paperback. She lives in Hawaii.

Pauls Toutonghi is a first-generation American whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other periodicals. He’s the author of two novels, a short story collection, and a book-length work of narrative nonfiction, published by Knopf. He’s a graduate of Middlebury College and received his MFA and his PhD in English literature from Cornell University.