Fishtrap’s Governing Board of Directors is composed of Wallowa County residents and others who have collectively contributed thousands of hours of volunteer time to make Fishtrap work. They meet six times a year as a whole board; each board member serves on two committees as well. We also have an Advisory Board that consults as needed and meets once a year.
Susan Badger-Jones – President
Tom Hampson is the first Fishtrap board member to serve from out of the county, but he is no stranger. Tom and his wife Woesha first came to eastern Oregon in 1969 when Tom was a fire guard in the Blue Mountains. Tom is from southern Oregon, Woesha from northern California. They graduated from Stanford the following year and came back, this time to Halfway. Tom worked trails and fought fire in the Wallowas. Woesha worked at Pine Eagle High School.
From Halfway they hit all the big spots in eastern Oregon–Cove, La Grande, Umatilla Indian Reservation, Pilot Rock, and finally Pendleton before moving to Portland in 1988. Tom worked in pling, economic development, small business, and non-profit management. (Tom did early organizational development work for The Wallowa Band Homeland Project and Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts among many non-profit organizations.) Woesha has been an educator for more than 40 years and is retired.
Tom first found Fishtrap in 1998. “I discovered that not only could I write, but that I had something to say. I’ve seen that happen over and over with people who have found their way to Fishtrap.” Tom and Woesha, a Winnebago/Chippewa, a poet and photographer, have been regulars at the Imnaha Writers’ Retreat since it began. They brought their grandchildren to the Summerf Fishtrap Gathering of Writers in 2011 and 2012.
“Fishtrap, like the country and its people, embraces and challenges you–to measure yourself and to match and mix your experiences and spirit with the people and the country. Fishtrap inspires conversations and writing about our individual and collective search and celebration of identity. You come away enriched and you leave a little bit of yourself there.”
Tom writes non-fiction, poetry, essays; is a musician, and a songwriter. He is currently working on a novel, Casino Coyote. He wrote the scripts for the multi-media exhibits at Tamastslikt
Cultural Institute, and a film, Beyond the Impasse, for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. He is the principle author of the Indianpreneurship® Starting and Growing a Business in Indian Country–a series of how-to business books for ONABEN, the non-profit Native business development organization he headed between 2000 in 2012. He is co-creator with Marv Ross and Thomas Morning Owl of the musical Ghosts of Celilo. His music is all mixed up. “Imagine John Prine in Havana, sitting on a bench smoking a cigar talking to John Lennon about Indians.”
Joella Manske Arment was born in Corvallis, Oregon but grew up in the deep south – Louisiana and Texas. Each summer (and some Christmas holidays), her family would make a long road trip to visit grandparents in Oregon. Joella’s career has spanned government and corporate jobs in marketing and human resources, working as an author’s assistant in Sun Valley, and a long stint in academia. For 13 years she was an academic adviser at Eastern Oregon University, working primarily with students in the Humanities, including English/Writing, Music, Art, and Theatre. She also taught a freshman “intro to college” course for several years.
In 2012, Joella met her now-husband Steve at a Wallowa County wedding of mutual friends, and she moved here in fall of 2014. She now works part-time at Wild Carrot Herbals in Enterprise and is a year and a half into a massive renovation project with husband Steve (with help from their children and others in the community), bringing a long-neglected Lostine homestead property “back to life.”
Joella’s interest in writing began at a very young age. In 2nd grade, her parents received a call from the elementary school principal requesting a conference. They naturally assumed that she was in trouble, but, to their surprise, the principal handed them a booklet of poetry written by their seven-year-old daughter! Reading voraciously and writing poetry have been an important part of Joella’s life ever since. She is currently working on a house renovation adventure memoir. Besides writing and her work at Wild Carrot, Joella also enjoys singing, playing English handbells, hiking, birding, and photography.
Elizabeth grew up in Seattle but is a fourth generation Oregonian on her father’s side. She spent her childhood camping, scuba diving, mushroom hunting and birdwatching around Puget Sound. She graduated from the University of Washington and went on to earn a PhD in cultural anthropology at Stanford University.
Originally interested in researching pastoralism in East Africa, Elizabeth followed love to India and then the plains of Nepal where she married into a Brahman family and gave birth to her son. Inspired by her mother-in-law, she worked alongside village women as they organized for change.
She lived in Nepal for three years between 1987 and 1994 and then returned home to the Pacific Northwest. She’s worked as a teacher (high school and college), non-profit administrator and grantwriter. Since 2007, she’s devoted more time to writing, especially her memoir: While the Gods Were Sleeping: A Journey Through Love and Rebellion in Nepal (Seal Press, Fall 2014). Her creative nonfiction and poetry appear in The Gettysburg Review, Crab Orchard Review, The High Desert Journal, The Raven Chronicles, Opium Magazine and In Posse Review. She has received an Honorable Mention for the Pushcart Prize and a Notable for Best American Essays and been awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the Oregon Arts Commission and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship in Non-Fiction to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
She and her current partner, Jerry, fell in love with Wallowa County during a rained out backpacking trip in the Eagle Cap in the summer of 2006. The following
year, they bought an old farm in the North End of the county. Since then, they’ve been living in a yurt while they build a straw bale house. They grow much of their own food and raise garlic and pastured red wattle pigs for local sale. They recently introduced three spoiled yak heifers to the farm and will probably spend many years figuring out what to do with them.
Elizabeth occasionally serves as a graduate mentor for Masters and PhD students in Prescott College’s low-residency programs in Arizona. She joined the Fishtrap Board in 2013 and is especially excited about being involved in programming.
“Almost a local,” Elizabeth was born down the road in La Grande and spent part of her growing-up summers in Wallowa County. During summer break from Oregon State in 1971, she worked here, cleaning the Wallowa Lake Lodge for $1/hour plus meals. College took her to U. of Alaska in Fairbanks, where she jumped out of an airplane “at midnight in day-and-moon light.” After teaching in Portland for awhile, she moved to Wallowa County, met her future husband Brian, had a daughter, Megan, and never looked back. Elizabeth taught English for 25 years in Enterprise and has recently retired.
“Retired” isn’t accurate, however, because she now gives her considerable energies fulltime to Fishtrap. Elizabeth has been a board member off-and-on for 20 years, has been The Big Read coordinator for five years, a past board president, chair of uncountable committees, champion envelope licker, and the one who always raises her hand to volunteer. She got started when Rich W. got her a summer job at Billy Meadows in 1972, and talked about his vision for a writer’s conference.
Elizabeth takes in as much music as possible—Brian plays in two bands—and she never misses the local Bronze, Blues & Brews Festival in August. She hopes to do some traveling soon, “maybe Africa”. Lately she’s been reading literature set in that continent: Cutting for Stone, Kaffir Boy and Little Bee, among others.
Her vision for Fishtrap? – “As a non-writer,” she says, “promoting good reading through our community events is essential. Fishtrap must continue its partnerships with local and regional schools. What else could a retired English teacher say?”
Madeline (Mellie) Pullman
Molly Gloss – novelist, books include The Jump Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses
Lizzie Grossman – former literary agent, writer on environmental and public policy issues, author of High-Tech Trash
Jim Hepworth – professor emeritus at Lewis-Clark State College, publisher at Confluence Press
Marc Jaffe – retired editor and publisher, Bantam Books, Random House, and Houghton-Mifflin
Teresa Jordan -artist, writer, books include Field Notes from Yosemite: Apprentice to Place and Riding the White Horse Home
Al Josephy – Environmental Pler, Washington State Dept. of Ecology; adjunct faculty in Environmental Sciences at The Evergreen State College
Bill Kittredge – retired professor, University of Montana, author of Owning It All and Hole in the Sky and co-editor of The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology
Craig Lesley – Author of The Sky Fisherman and Storm Riders; on the faculty of Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA program
Jonathan Nicholas – former columnist and editorial board member of the Oregonian, Vice President at MODA
Diane Josephy Peavey – rancher, writer, author of Bitterbrush Country
Kate Power – singer, songwriter, former owner of Artichoke Music in Portland, Music School Director at Dusty Strings in Seattle
Jack Shoemaker – Editorial Director of Counterpoint Press
Primus St. John – poet, retired professor, Portland State University, author of Communion
Peter Sears – poet, teaches in the low residency writing program at Pacific University
Kim Stafford – director, Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College; author of Early Morning: Remembering My Father and 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared
Luis Alberto Urrea – writer, professor, author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Queen of America, and Devil’s Highway
Rich Wandschneider – founding director of Fishtrap, director of The Alvin M. and Betty Josephy Library of Western History and Culture