S118. The Wilderness and the PEN: A 25th Anniversary Reading and Discussion

Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Saturday, February 11, 2017
9:00 am to 10:15 am


What’s it like to write in the backcountry for six months, but on a meadow where many other writers have dwelled? On the 25th anniversary of the PEN Northwest Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, hear from poets, essayists, and novelists who have lived fairly deliberately in the same woods. The discussion answers the question of how to study the wild, endure silence, and bear down on the words while avoiding the bears, and the extent that wilderness should still figure in today’s environmental writing.



Nick Neely is the author of the essay collection Coast Range. He is the recipient of a UCB-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship, a PEN Northwest Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, and the 2015 John Burroughs Nature Essay Award. His work appears in Kenyon Review and the Georgia Review.

Keetje Kuipers is a former Stegner Fellow and the author of two collections of poetry. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her poetry and prose have appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry. Keetje is an instructor at Hugo House in Seattle and an associate editor at Poetry Northwest.

Steve Edwards is author of the memoir Breaking into the Backcountry. His work appears in Orion magazine, the Rumpus, and Electric Literature. A 2014–15 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fiction/Nonfiction Fellow, Edwards teaches creative writing at Fitchburg State University.

Martha Silano is the author of four collections of poetry: Reckless Lovely, The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, Blue Positive, and What the Truth Tastes Like. Silano serves as poetry editor at Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.

Erin Saldin is the author of the young adult novels The Girls of No Return and The Flatliners' Club (forthcoming). Saldin holds an MFA from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in fiction. She is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Montana.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center