Like Utah, a state she calls home despite her 21-year absence, Wendy Besel Hahn embodies many contradictions. She’s a Gentile (Utah-speak for non-Mormon) who grew up among Saints (Mormons); a Westerner living along the East coast; a high school English teacher who ceded her podium for a student seat in graduate school; a mother who longs for her young children to grow up so she can share her love of coffee and cocktails with them.

Wendy Besel Hahn has an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University.