Division of HumanitiesMFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Rainier Writing Workshop


"I am impressed with the caliber, commitment, and generosity of the faculty. Their willingness to engage with us in and out of our classroom made this experience unlike any other I've had."

Judith Kitchen

Judith Kitchen

Nonfiction, Poetry, Criticism, Fiction








Mentor. Workshops and classes in nonfiction, poetry, criticism, and fiction.

Statement: "I believe in passionate memory, remembered passion, and the long, slow, often lonely, labors of the writer. That said, I also believe in the joint effort that can result in inspired revision. My deepest interest is in how to shape material, how to discover the underlying issues and then find a structure to enhance them. In both fiction and nonfiction, I like to see where personal experience intersects with the imaginary (or the critical) way of thinking. I look forward to a freewheeling discussion where questions count more than answers."


Judith Kitchen is the co-founder of the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program at PLU.  She is the author of four collections of essays, most recently The Circus Train (Ovenbird Books, 2014).  Her other collections are Half in Shade: Family, Photography, Fate and Distance and Direction (Coffeehouse Press) and Only the Dance (U. of South Carolina Press).  She is also the author of a novel, The House on Eccles Road, winner of the S. Mariella Gable Prize from Graywolf Press, as well as a critical study of William Stafford, Writing the World (Oregon State University Press).  She edited (with Ted Kooser, former U. S. Poet Laureate) an anthology of bird poems: The Poets Guide to the Birds (Anhinga Press).  In addition, she has edited three collections of short nonfiction: In Short; In Brief; and Short Takes (all W. W. Norton).  A fourth anthology—Brief Encounter, co-edited with Dinah Lenney—is forthcoming from W. W. Norton in 2015.  Her awards include an NEA fellowship in poetry, two Pushcart Prizes in nonfiction, and recognition as a distinguished teacher of adults.  She has judged a number of national awards, including the Pushcart Prize for poetry, the Theodore Roethke Prize, the Anhinga Prize, the AWP Nonfiction Award, the Bush Foundation fellowships, and the Oregon Book Award.  Kitchen is an Advisory and Contributing Editor for The Georgia Review where she has regularly reviewed poetry for over twenty-five years.  She has the distinction of being called—by Newsday—the Evel Knievel of literature.