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Catherine Johnson



Catherine Johnson is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied English and Theatre at Whittier College in Southern California, and was a professional actor for two years before moving across the country to pursue a Master’s degree in Literature at American University in Washington, D.C. She taught freshman composition at AU for four years before deciding to take a 16-month“life sabbatical,” during which she travelled around the country, worked odd jobs, blogged, and practiced yoga in India before moving to Portland, Oregon for an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing. Since then, she has been working on a collection of essays, many of which focus on trying to understand people who think differently from us in this moment of intense political, social, and economic division. She has written for Oregon Humanities, Portland Monthly Magazine, other online publications, and her essay “A Wholly Different Thing” is forthcoming in Scabland Books’ anthology Evergreen: Fairy Tales, Essays & Fables from the Dark Northwest.


When not in the classroom, Catherine loves cooking (one of her favorite jobs was slinging vegetables at the Portland Farmers Market), traveling (she tries to plan at least one international trip a year), listening to podcasts (On Being, Joe Rogan, TED Radio Hour), and hiking/camping (one one of her favorite locations is the Steens Wilderness in southwest Oregon--it’s like the land before time!). When not outside, Catherine is a homebody and loves coffee, chocolate, reading, writing, and watching movies. Some of her favorite books are Mrs. Dalloway, Frankenstein, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Her all-time favorite films include Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Sense & Sensibility and 2001: A Space Odyssey. She is a devoted Harrison Ford fan. 

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