About Us

The HIVE has these bees inside….

Farnaz Fatemi is an Iranian-American writer in Santa Cruz. Her debut book, Sister Tongue, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, judged by Tracy K. Smith. Farnaz’s poetry and prose appears or is forthcoming in Grist Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, Crab Orchard Review, Tahoma Literary Review, phren-z.org, Tupelo Quarterly, and several anthologies (including The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me). Farnaz taught Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1997-2018 and has been awarded residencies from Djerassi, PLAYA, Marble House Project, Vermont Studio Center and I-Park Foundation.


Danusha Laméris is the 2019-2020 Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz and a graduate of UCSC where she studied Studio Art. Her book The Moons of August was the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize, and her new book, Bonfire Opera, will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2020. Her work has appeared in: Best American Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The New York Times Magazine, New Letters, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, The SUN, and Tin House.


Julie Murphy’s poems appear or are forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, The Buddhist Poetry Review, CALYX, Common Ground Review, The Louisville Review, Massachusetts Review, The New Ohio Review Online, The Red Wheelbarrow, and SWWIM, among other journals and anthologies. A licensed psychotherapist, Julie developed Embodied Writing™. She is a founding member of the Right to Write Press. She teaches poetry at Salinas Valley State Prison, these days with remote lessons. Julie lives in Santa Cruz County, CA and is a member of the Community of Writers. 


Dion O’Reilly’s first book, Ghost Dogs ( Terrapin Books, 2020) has won or been shortlisted for a number of prizes including the Catamaran Poetry Prize and The Eric Hoffer Award. Her second book Sadness of The Apex Predator was chosen for The Portage Poetry Series out of University of Wisconsin. Her work appears in Missouri Review, Narrative, The Slowdown, Rattle, and The Sun. She leads ongoing, private Zoom workshops with small groups of poets from all over the United States and Canada.


Julia Chiapella’s poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Edison Literary Review, I-70 Review, The MacGuffin, Midwest Quarterly, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, phren-Z, Pirene’s Fountain, The Wax Paper, and West Branch among others. She co-founded Santa Cruz Writes and is the retired director of the Young Writers Program, which she established in 2012. She received the Gail Rich Award in 2017 for creative contributions to Santa Cruz County and has taught as both a classroom teacher and a writing specialist. 


Victoria Bañales teaches English at Cabrillo College, is founder and editor of Xinachtli Journal—Journal X, and a member of the Writers of Color Collective-Santa Cruz County. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and journals, including  Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representations, The Acentos Review, Cloud Women’s Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, and more. She is the recipient of a Porter Gulch Review Best Poetry Award and Cabrillo EOPS Instructor of the Year Award. She lives in Watsonville, CA.