Michelle Peñaloza

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Michelle Peñaloza is the author of Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, winner of the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry Prize (Inlandia Books, 2019), and landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias, 2015). The recipient of fellowships and awards from the University of Oregon and Kundiman, Michelle has also received support from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Loghaven, Willapa Bay AIR, Caldera, 4Culture, Artist Trust, PAWA (Philippine American Writers and Artists), VONA/Voices, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among others. You can find her work in Poetry, Honey Literary, Bellingham Review, New England Review, Lantern Review, and featured in American Life in Poetry. The proud daughter of Filipino immigrants, Michelle was born in the suburbs of Detroit, MI and raised in Nashville, TN. She lives in rural Northern California, in Covelo, on the land of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. 

Michelle Peñaloza

Visiting Faculty

MFA in Creative Writing

  • MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, University of Oregon. June 2011.
  • BA in English and Secondary Education, summa cum laude, Vanderbilt University. 2005.



Visual Art:

  • Hilary Gravendyk National Book Award, Inlandia Books, 2019. 
  • Scotti Merrill Emerging Writer Award, Key West Literary Seminar, 2019.
  • Artist Trust Fellowship, Seattle, WA, 2016
  • Writing From the Margins Fellowship, Bloomfield College, 2016.
  • Work-Study Scholarships, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. 2013, 2014, 2015.
  • 4Culture Art Projects Award, 4Culture, Seattle, WA, 2015.
  • Jack Straw Writer, Jack Straw Cultural Center, Seattle, WA 2013-14.
  • Made at Hugo House Fellowship, Hugo House, Seattle, WA. 2013-2014.
  • Manuel G. Flores Scholarship, Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. 2012.
  • Kundiman Fellowship, 2012, 2023.
  • Women Writers Fellowship, Oregon Literary Fellowships, Literary Arts. 2011.
  • Starlin Poetry Award, Creative Writing Program, University of Oregon. 2009.
  • Board Member, Mendocino Coast Writers Conference
  • Faculty, Hugo House
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