Born in 1978, Sophia Pfaff Shalmiyev emigrated from the former Soviet Union’s Leningrad to NYC in 1990 and moved to Olympia, WA to attend The Evergreen State College in 1996 where she studied film, painting, photography and costume design. Mostly interested in feminist art and politics, she joined bands, curated art shows, performed spoken word pieces and wrote fanzines that explored the validity of a confrontational and confessional narrative. After completing a masters in Creative Arts Therapy from The School of Visual Arts in NYC in 2005, she went on to work in schools, domestic violence shelters, rehab clinics, court houses, group homes, and hospitals as a licensed clinician. Sophia is currently attending the MFA Nonfiction program at PSU where she is crafting a lyric essay about the role her father and marginalized female figures played in shaping her feminist ideals, and an experimental prose poem about her mother, rock ‘n roll, misogyny and escape as a familial legacy. Sophia is the Nonfiction Editor at Portland Review.