Founding Director, In Memoriam
Judith Kitchen (1941-2014) was 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 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 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 was an Advisory and Contributing Editor for The Georgia Review where she regularly reviewed poetry for over twenty-five years. She had the distinction of being called—by Newsday—the Evel Knievel of literature.