Archive–Author Biographies

Jackson Hole Writers Conference Special Issue, 2016: Poet and Writer Biographies

Mike Riley grew up in Forsyth, Montana and has an MFA from the University of Montana. After 40 years of teaching, he retired in 2014 and became a mentor for the Journalism Education Association, which recently honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He has wond the TransAtlantic/Henfield Award for short fiction and Wyoming and Montana literary fellowships. He is currently working on a memoir and is teaching again at Cody High School.

Caridad Woltz has been a Spanish teacher by day and a writer by night for many years. She enjoys writing poetry in English and in her native Spanish, with themes that frequently broach issues of loss and healing. A graduate of the University of Utah with a Master’s degree in Languages and Literature, she could be found writing in the hidden library nooks of the towns of Salt Lake City and Jackson.

Brian Nystrom is a poet and a builder who lives in Jackson, Wyoming. He is a contractor, a bicyclist, and an Episcopal priest. He believes that every poem is a love poem, and that poems, like houses, should be built to be lived in.

Siri Liv Myhrom is a writer and editor living in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband and two young daughters. Her poem in this special issue of Clerestory is part of a full-length collection of essays and poems about grief, set for completion in 2017. “In praise of small kindnesses” first appeared on the blog for the public radio show, OnBeing, where she can be found as an occasional guest contributor.

Leslie Stainton is the author of Staging Ground (Penn State University Press, 2014) and Lorca: A Dream of Life (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999), and she is at work on a book about her slaveholding Scarlett ancestors of Georgia. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, Washington Post, American Scholar, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Memoir, River Teeth, Brevity, and elsewhere. She is an editor at the University of Michigan, where she has taught creative nonfiction.

Paul Randau is a retired physician. He worked as a youth in the Gros Ventre country, then as a medical student summers in Alaska. He attended JHWC in both 2012 and 2016.

Mo Sieber is the pseudonym of a University of Montana educated graduate. She has worked a multitude of jobs and her titles have included: vintage store clerk, ice-cream scooper, and bean counter. An ancestry of German and Irish heritage have led her on adventures in Europe, where she found her doppelganger (spirit-wise) in a 70-year-old distant relative currently living in Surrey, England. Also influenced by Celtic lore, especially tales of Cú Chulainn, Macha, and Queen Medb in “The Cattle Raid of Cooley,” her stories can’t help but add an essence of myth. She currently pursues the interests of the young and free, while working in a hardware store in Billings, Montana.

Mary J. Marcus is a former newspaper reporter and college teacher. Her first novel, The Digger, a middle grade mystery, won an Aspen Gold Award in 2014. She has just completed a police procedural mystery novel, titled Cry, Baby, Cry. She lives in Englewood, Colorado. Contact her at and on Facebook.

Casey Charles teaches Shakespeare and queer studies at the University of Montana. He is the author The Sharon Kowalski Case: Lesbian and Gay Rights on Trial (Kansas 2003), Critical Queer Studies: Law, Film, and Fiction in Contemporary America (Ashgate 2012) and The Trials of Christopher Mann, a novel published in 2013. His poems have won awards in contests judged by Adrienne Rich and Carolyn Forché, and “The Orb’s Prayer” received the Washington Square Poetry Award in 2010. His poetry chapbook Controlled Burn was named one of the Montana Independent’s best books of the year in 2007. In 2013, he published his second poetry chapbook, Blood Work.

Diana Elser considers herself a free-range human being and language-lover, untethered from paycheck (retired). Born in Montana, raised in Texas and Utah, she considers the Intermountain West her home. She has attended the Jackson Hole Writers Conference regularly over the last decade. She currently lives in Seattle and is devoted to writing and reading poetry, taking classes, practicing guitar and songwriting. She is at work on two poetry collections.

H. L. Hix’s recent books include a “selected poems,” First Fire, Then Birds (Etruscan Press, 2010), and an essay collection, Lines of Inquiry (Etruscan Press, 2011). He lives in the mountain west with his partner, the poet Kate Northrop. His website is

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