Executive Director

Claire Compton graduated from the University of Montana where she studied Creative Writing and Literature and the Environment.  In addition to her work with Free Verse in the classroom and in the office, she teaches place-based after-school programs to elementary students at Clark Fork School.


Missoula Programs Director; Teacher

Taylor White holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana. Our most senior teacher, Taylor has worn many hats in her tenure with Free Verse. Her former roles include Tutor and Director of Development. In her free time, Taylor roams Missoula's mountains on her cross country skis, ghostwrites for Radish Fiction, and wrestles her own writing projects. 


Americorps VISTA

Clara Moser currently serves as the 2019-2020 VISTA for Free Verse and the Missoula Writing Collaborative. She holds a BA in English Literature with a concentration in poetry from Skidmore College. Moser hopes to pursue a career in social work while continuing her practice as a poet. She is excited to be serving both Free Verse and the Missoula Writing Collaborative; two organizations that blend together her interests in prisoner's rights, restorative justice, creative writing, and youth advocacy through the arts.


Teacher, Missoula

Nicole Rose Gomez received her BA in International Relations from Stanford University. She is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Montana, where she is the Online Content Co-Editor at Cutbank.


Teacher, Missoula

Silas Miller recently graduated from the University of Montana where he studied literature and political science. He lives in Missoula, Montana.


Teacher, Missoula

Jesse Nee-Vogelman graduated with a degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, where he also served as the Signet Society Artist in Residence. He is a current MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Montana. Prior to moving to Montana, Jesse taught or mentored with numerous education programs for incarcerated individuals, including The Petey Greene Program, The Rikers Debate Project, and The Pen/America Prison Writing Program. He likes both cats and dogs.


Teacher, Missoula

Nikki Zambon is an undergraduate at the University of Montana studying Journalism. She has worked in a variety of alternative school settings facilitating music & performance, creative writing and non-violent communication. She loves to travel and will continue to do so forever and ever. She also enjoys writing poetry and strumming on a guitar.



Teacher, Missoula

Lorna Buckingham graduated from the University of Montana where she studied creative writing and literature. Outside of Free Verse, she works with food insecure communities to increase food sovereignty through nutrition, garden- and food-based education.  

Teacher, Missoula

Olivia Round graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Computer Science. She now lives in Missoula, Montana, working at Kaleva Law Offices and nannying during the week, and selling waffles at the Clark Fork Market on the weekends. She spends her free time, ideally, outside in boots or inside with books.



Teacher, Missoula

Landen Beckner lives, writes, and reads in Missoula, Montana. His inspirations include the writings of Lisa Robertson, Anne Carson, the drawings of Avis Newman, and the music of Meridith Monk and Songs: Ohia. He is currently working on his first collection of poems as well as a mixed-media assemblage book with his wife.

Teacher, Missoula

Sam Dunnington is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Montana. In addition to working with Free Verse, he tutors through the University's Writing Center, and enjoys working with writers of varied backgrounds and abilities. In a past life, he was a film festival roadie, and can be found anywhere in Missoula that has a screen and something interesting playing on it.

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Teacher, Billings

Ashley Warren has an MFA in fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She teaches writing at Montana State University Billings, the Big Sky Writing Workshops, and in Billings public schools through the nonprofit organization Arts Without Boundaries.