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Judith Kitchen teaches nonfiction in the Rainier Writing Workshop, the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She is the author of five books: Perennials (poetry, Anhinga Press); Writing the World: Understanding William Stafford (criticism, Oregon State Univ. Press); Only the Dance (essays, Univ. of S. Carolina); Distance and Direction (essays, Coffee House Press), and The House on Eccles Road (novel, Graywolf Press; Penguin paperback) which was awarded the S. Mariella Gable Prize in fiction. A third book of nonfiction, Half in Shade, was published by Coffee House Press in Spring 2012. In addition, she has edited or co-edited three collections of nonfiction (In Short, In Brief, and Short Takes, all W. W. Norton) and, with Ted Kooser, an anthology, The Poets Guide to the Birds (Anhinga Press). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including recent essays in Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Great River Review, and The Georgia Review. Her awards include two Pushcart Prizes for an essay, the Lillian Fairchild Award for her novel, the Anhinga Prize for poetry, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has served as judge for the AWP Nonfiction Award, the Pushcart Prize in poetry, the Oregon Book Award, and the Bush Foundation Fellowships, among others. Kitchen is an Advisory and Contributing Editor for The Georgia Review where she is a regular reviewer of poetry.
A native upstate New Yorker, she grew up in Painted Post, a small town on the Pennsylvania border. After college in Vermont, a junior year in Edinburgh, Scotland, and some years living in both Scotland and Brazil, she returned to upstate NY where she worked as a part-time secretary, an assistant in a carnival supply business, with the NY state Poets in the Schools, and finally as an instructor at SUNY College at Brockport, where she taught courses in Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and The Writers Craft. For twenty years, she served as editor and publisher of the State Street Press Chapbook Series, producing a total of 76 chapbooks, 2 pamphlets, 5 full-length books, 2 translations, and 1 anthology. In 1997, she was named Writer-in-Residence at SUNY Brockport, and in 2003, she and her husband, Stan Sanvel Rubin, moved to Port Townsend, WA, where they act as co-directors of the Rainier Writing Workshop.
She enjoys living near her sons and their wives in Seattle, and her three grandsons-Benjamin, Simon, and Ian-who give her more pleasure than she can possibly describe.