Chris Hoke

Gang Pastor | Jail Chaplain | Writer

The official homepage for Chris Hoke--Tierra Nueva jail chaplain, gang pastor, and writer in Washington's Skagit Valley.

Underground Writing

Summer of 2015 my coworker Matt Malyon (chaplain and poet) and I started the creative writing workshop we've long dreamed of: in juvenile detention. Writers Amy Muia (fiction) and Jennifer Hendrix (dramatic writing) joined soon after as teachers, and our underground venues have grown. 

We believe some of the best writing comes from society's underground places . . . and from the deepest, hidden parts of ourselves.

Underground Writing is a literature-based creative writing program serving at-risk, incarcerated, and recovery communities in northern Washington through literary engagement and personal restoration.

Underground Writing facilitates a generative encounter with literature spanning the tradition—from ancient texts to those written in our workshop sessions. Honoring the transforming power of the word, we believe that attentive reading leads to attentive writing, and that attentive writing has the power to assist in the resurrection of communities, the imagination, and individual lives.


Skagit County Juvenile Detention – Mount Vernon, WA

Migrant Leaders Club – LaVenture Middle School –Mount Vernon, WA

Skagit Valley Recovery Community – Faith House – Skagit Valley, WA