Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Julie Larios (Seattle) received a BA in English/Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from the University of Washington. Larios’s poetry has been published in many reviews and national magazines including The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, The Threepenny Review, Field and others. She is the winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize for Poetry and a Smithsonian Magazine Outstanding Children’s Book Award among others. Her work has been chosen twice for The Best of American Poetry series. For five years she was the poetry editor of the Cortland Review, and for two years she worked as Editorial Assistant to David Wagoner at Poetry Northwest. She is the author of three books for children: On the Stairs, Have You Ever Done That?, and Yellow Elephant. A forth book for children, Imaginary Menagerie, is due out in spring 2008. Her work often has a whimsical feel as she plays with vocabulary from the construction of taxonomies and other scientific activities, changing their meaning through context. Larios currently teaches in the MFA, Writing for Children Program at Vermont College.

As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Julie spoke to fifth-graders at Opstad Elementary in North Bend, about books being endowed objects, full of magic and more. She read from several of her children’s books and literary reviews, and shared some of the poetic strategies she uses in poems, working with them on a series of “morphing” rhymes. This encouraged the students to be attentive to sound effects in poetry and got them to relax about fullrhymes and to allow for near-rhyme. During the Q&A, students asked about the hands-on side of writing, Larios reports: “How much money I earn, how I find a publisher, how the book production process works. I had uncut pages of books (before the folding and binding), contracts, illustrations dummies, etc.—so that they could think of the writing life as both a profession and a calling.”

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.