We are pleased to announce the award of our 2011 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Artist in Residence, to writer Wendy Call.
Wendy Call is a writer, editor, translator, and teacher of creative writing. She has become something of an itinerant Writer in Residence, holding that position in 2011 at Cornell College of Iowa, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park of Vermont, and The Studios of Key West. She has also been Writer in Residence at a dozen other institutions, including the New College of Florida (2010), Seattle University (2009) and Seattle’s Richard Hugo House (2006-2008).
Wendy’s narrative nonfiction book, No Word for Welcome (University of Nebraska Press, 2011), explores how economic globalization intersects with village life in a region of southern Mexico called the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Grants from the arts commissions of Seattle (2006), King County (2007), and Washington State (2006 and 2009), as well as the Oberlin College Alumni Association, supported the research and writing of the book. Wendy was a 2000-2002 Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs in the Mexican isthmus—the setting of No Word for Welcome.
She co-edited Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University (Plume/Penguin, 2007) with Mark Kramer. Telling True Stories, an anthology of writing advice from some of the country’s best-known writers of nonfiction, is currently used as a core text in university writing courses throughout the United States, as well as in a dozen other countries.
Her nonfiction writing and her translations (from Spanish) of poetry and fiction have appeared in more than fifty magazines and literary journals, and in several anthologies. In many publications her photographs accompany her writing. In 2011, with an Artist Support Residency from Seattle’s Jack Straw Studios, Wendy will complete a trilingual audio CD of her English translations of poems by Zapotec-Mexican poet Irma Pineda. She will collaborate with the poet, who will perform the Zapotec and Spanish originals of her poems.
Wendy has worked as a writer and editor since 2000. Before that, she devoted a decade to work for social change organizations in Boston and Seattle. She holds a BA in biology from Oberlin College and a MFA in writing and literature from the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop, founded by Sandra Cisneros. One of her current writing projects, a cycle of essays on grief and loss, was supported by grants from the American Antiquarian Society, and the arts and culture commissions of the City of Seattle and King County.
Wendy has recently taught creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, as well as newsrooms in the United States and Mexico, public libraries, community centers, public high schools, and county jails. In 2008 she worked with a team of writers and publishing industry professionals to design and present Artist Trust’s Literary EDGE program, an annual professional development program for writers throughout Washington State.
The daughter of a middle-school math teacher and a career Navy officer from rural Michigan, Wendy grew up on and around military bases in Florida, Pennsylvania, southern California, and southern Maryland. She currently lives in Seattle and Miami.