Merna Ann Hecht, nationally known storyteller, teaching artist, essayist, and poet uses storytelling in all of her work with diverse populations. Her writing, activism for social justice and teaching are guided by her commitment to bring marginalized voices through story and poetry to wide community visibility. Merna founded the Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant youth Voices Poetry Project. She is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, a published poet and essayist, a longtime islander, a blueberry farmer and the current Vashon Island Poet Laureate.