Writing at Centrum

Centrum’s literary programming creates rigorous, craft-focused community for writers working in a variety of styles.

It all started in 1974 with the founding of the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference by novelist Bill Ransom, who envisioned an egalitarian, non-hierarchical conference where the emphasis was on the craft of literary writing.

Two-time Port Townsend Writers’ Conference faculty member Kate Trueblood

Subsequent program managers Jim Heynen, Carol Jane Bangs, Carla Vander Ven, and Jordan Hartt continued the Conference’s emphasis on community, writing craft, and writing inspiration over the next few decades: now the Conference is an annual pilgrimage for many.

Smaller weekend retreats have become a part of Centrum’s year-round programming, as well. Happening in the winter, spring, and autumn, these retreats provide the time and space to write, in the inspiration of Fort Worden State Park.

Whether writers seek to create or revise new work, find writing community, or simply desire a writing retreat, Centrum’s Port Townsend Writers’ Conference is at the wild heart of the thriving Pacific Northwest literary scene.

Past faculty members appear below. We are missing a couple of years (1976, 1977, and 1989) in our records, so if you are able to fill in these gaps, please do let us know!

1974
Thomas Withridge, Jack Hicks, Herbert Gold, Frank Herbert, Jack Cady, James Crumley, William Penn,  Diane Wakoski, Richard Hugo, James Welch, Leonard Randolph, Primus St. John, Glenna Luschei, R.P. Jones, Cheryl Van Dyke, Paul Brase.

1975
Richard Hugo, Leonard Randolph, Kelly Cherry, James Welch, Len Fulton, Alice Walker, Jack Cady, Primus St. John, Robert Hedin, David Wagoner, Jessamyn West, Sam Hamill, Tree Swenson, James Mitsui.

1978
Tree Swenson, Len Fulton, Sandy Lopez, William Stafford, Stankey Kunitz, Dianie Wakowski, Tess Gallagher, Bill Ransom, Sam Hamill, Laura Jensen, Olga Broumas, Kathleen West, Tim McNulty, Ken Greene, Carolyn Forché, Barry Lopez, James Welch.

1979
Robert Stone, Denise Levertov, Maxine Kumin, Robert Bly, Mark Halperin, Thomas McGrath, Robert Haas, William Pitt Root, Sam Hamill, Tree Swenson, Ken Kesey.

1980
Galway Kinnell, Meridel LeSueur, Richard Shelton, Ann Standork, James Bertolino, Madeline DeFrees, Donald Hall, Sam Hamill, Bill Ransom, Lisel Mueller, Bill Knott.

1981
Margaret Atwood, Robert Haas, William Matthews, Sam Hamill, Tree Swenson, Leslie Marmon Silko, William Stafford, Jack Cady, Jane Yolen.

1982
Olga Broumas, Henry Carlile, Sandra McPherson, Carolyn Forché, Tess Gallagher, Sam Hamill, Paul Hansen, Jim Heynen, Thomas McGrath, Richard Shelton, James Laughlin, Raymond Carver, Gordon Lish.

1983
Howard Nemerov, Marvin Bell, Tree Swenson, Michael McClure, Linda Gregg, Diane Di Prima, Jim Heynen, William Kittridge, Kay Boyle.

1984
Mark Strand, Charles Wright, Carolyn Kizer, William Stafford, Ishmael Reed, Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, Barry Lopez, and Belle Randall.

1985
Carolyn Kizer, William Stafford, Charles Wright, Ishmael Reed, Margaret Atwood, Tree Swenson, Barry Lopez, David Quammen.

1986
William Stafford, Margaret Randall, Jonathan Holden, Carolyn Kizer, Leonard Michaels, Charles Johnson, Carol Bly, Belle Randall, Craig Lesley, Geoffrey Wolff, Etheridge Knight, Jane Hirshfield, Marvin Bell, Scott Walker, Carol Simmons Oles.

1987
William Stafford, Margaret Randall, Jonathan Holden, Carolyn Kizer, Leonard Michaels, Charles Johnson, Carol Bly, Craig Lesley, Belle Randall, Geoffrey Wolff, Etheridge Knight, Jane Hirshfield, Marvin Bell, Scott Walker.

1988
Stephen Dunn, Jane Miller, Richard Kenney, Jane Hirshfield, Marge Piercy, Robert Butler, Jane Yolen, Craig Lesley, Belle Randall.

1990
William Stafford, Carolyn Kizer, Olga Broumas, Alan Cheuse, James Houston, Nahid Rachlin, Jane Yolen, Brcue Brown, Craig Lesley, Belle Randall.

1991
Jane Hirshfield, Marvin Bell, David Bradley, Jane Yolen, Robert Pyle, Mark Halperin, David Shields, Christianne Balk, Garrett Hongo, Maggie Anderson, Robert Butler, Alex Kuo, Valerie Miner, David Bradley, Stanley Greenthal, Maxine Scates, David Guterson.

1992
Brenda Hillman, Savid St. John, David Wojahn, Craig Lesley, Kent Nelson, Joyce Thompson, Terry Tempest Williams, Bruce Colville.

1993
Christianne Balk, Marvin Bell, Tess Gallagher, Linda Gregg, Theresa Pappa, Peggy Schumaker, William Stafford, Alan Cheuse, David Guterson, Michael Martone, Bruce Brown, Bruce Colville.

1994
Garrett Hongo, Jane Hirshfield, Pattiann Rogers, Sharon Bryan, Ron Carlson, Valerie Miner, David Long
Robert Michael Pyle, Jane Yolen.

1995
Carolyn Kizer, Agha Shahid Ali, Richard Kenney, David Rigsbee, David Wagoner, Janice Eidus, Craig Lesley, Pam Houston, Omar Castañeda, Christopher Merrill, Jane Yolen, Bruce Colville, Kay Morgan.

1996
Percival Everett, Ursula Hegi, Joyce Thompson, Carol Muske, Marvin Bell, Cornelius Eady, Kay Morgan, Sue Halperin, Anna Grossnickle Hines, Josip Novakovich, David Rigsbee.

1997
John Balaban, Linda Bierds, Marilyn Chin, Billy Collins, Alfred Corn, Stanley Crawford, Sam Hamill, Robin Hemley, John Keeble, Denise Levertov, Brett Lott, Valerie Miner, Jane Yolen.

1998
Susan Zwinger, Bill Ransom, Richard Jones, John Balaban, Ben Mochizuki, Jane Hirshfield, Tom Robbins, James Welch, Annick Smith, William Kittridge, Marvin Bell, Eleanor Wilner.

1999
Alan Cheuse, Quincy Troupe, Olga Broumas, John Balaban, John Keeble, Jane Hirshfield, Forrest Gander, C.D. Wright, Judith Barrington.

2000
Terry Tempest Williams, Rikki Ducornet, Nance Van Winckel, John Haines, Carolyn Kizer, David Lee, Carol Muske, Primus St. John.

2001
Rebecca Seiferle, Marvin Bell, Colette Inez, Carolyn Kizer, Alberto Ríos, Judith Barrington, Patricia Henley, David Long, Gregory Orr.

2002
Reetika Vazirani, Yusef Komunyakaa, Chase Twichell, Dorianne Laux, Arthur Sze, Judith Kitchen, Jim Heynen, Doug Unger, Stephen Kuusisto.

2003
Olga Broumas, Jane Brox, Brett Lott, Michael Martone, Thisbee Nissen, David St. John, Eleanor Wilner, Erin Belieu, Primus St. John, Joseph Stroud.

2004
Martín Espada, Joseph Stroud, Emily Warn, Erin Belieu, Linda Bierds, Valerie Miner, Bill Ransom, Craig Lesley.

2005
Kim Addonizio, Bhanu Kapil, Peter Pereira, Alberto Ríos, Michelle Cliff, Michael Collins, Debra Magpie Earling, Lesley Hazelton, Paisley Rekdal.

2006
Ilya Kaminsky, Lynn Emanuel, Reginald Gibbons, Chris Abani, Breena Clark, Nahid Rachlin, Rafael Campo, Anne Finger, John Yau.

2007
Camille Dungy, Arthur Sze, Rikki Ducornet, Brian Evenson, Thomas Glave, Barbara Sjoholm.

2008
Kim Addonizio, Gary Lilley, Kathleen Alcalá, Chris Abani, Lesley Hazleton, Selah Saterstrom, Brian Evenson, Sam Ligon, Peter Pereira, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Brenda Miller, Deb Lund, Ellie Mathews, Brandon Schrand, Barbara Bloom, Stephanie Lenox, Heather Hummel, Wendy Call, Lana Hechtman Ayers.

2009
Mark Doty, Robert Wrigley, Adrian Castro, Chris Abani, Peter Orner, Denise Chavez, Kim Barnes, Tony Cohan, Sam Ligon, Barbara Sjoholm, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Sheila Bender, Deborah Poe, Kitty Hoffman, Wendy Call, Jeremy Voigt, Paul Lisicky, Sayantani Dasgupta.

2010
Martín Espada, Denise Chávez, Bich Minh Nguyen, Dana Levin, Erin Belieu, Peter Orner, Chris Abani, Ana Menéndez, Sam Ligon, Wendy Call, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Lindsay Wilson, Kathryn Farris, Jeremy Voigt, Susan Rich, Maya Jewell Zeller, Sheila Bender, Daniel Zolinsky, Tamara Kaye Sellman, Bill Ransom, Stan Sanvel Rubin, Michael Schein, Gary Lemons, Deborah Poe, Kitty Hoffman, Sayantani Dasgupta, Susan Landgraf.

2011
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Pam Houston, Dorianne Laux, Sam Ligon, Cate Marvin, Carl Phillips, Paisley Rekdal, Bob Shachochis, Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Austen, Sheila Bender, Jenifer Browne Lawrence, Wendy Call, Ashley Capps, Susan J. Erickson, Gayle Kaune, Anne Germanacos, Gabriel Gudding, Kitty Hoffman, Susan Landgraf, Gary Lilley, Bill Mawhinney, Deborah Poe, Midge Raymond, Laura Read, Susan Rich, Kelli Russell Agodon, Michael Schein, Jeremy Voigt, Richard Widerkehr, Maya Jewell Zeller.

2012 
Benjamin Alire Saenz, Elizabeth Austen, John Baxter, Jim Bertolino, Wendy Call, Jennine Capó Crucet, Mark Clemens, Gary Copeland Lilley, Sayantani Dasgupta, Heidi Garnett, Anne Germanacos, Lia Gladstone, Fayette Hauser, Pam Houston, Gayle Kaune, Arlene Kim, Alex Kuo, Susan Landgraf, Stellasue Lee, Wayne Lee, Sam Ligon, Bill Mann, Ellie Mathews, Bill Mawhinney, Jeanne Morel, Midge Raymond, Diane Roberts, Philip Shaw, Cheryl Strayed, Colette Tennant. 

2013
Henry Alley, Janée J. Baugher, Erin Belieu, Sheila Bender, Jennine Capó Crucet, Dan Chaon, Sayantani Dasgupta, Terrance Hayes, Patricia Henley, Ann Hood, Skip Horack, Gayle Kaune, Susan Landgraf, Dorianne Laux, Sam Ligon, Bill Mawhinney, Joseph Millar, Jeanne Morel, Ruby Murray, Joy Passanante, Terry Persun, Bill Ransom, Midge Raymond, Laura Read, Ronni Sanlo, Arthur Sze, David Thacker, Elizabeth Thorpe, Maya Jewell Zeller

2014
Kim Addonizio, Thomas Aslin, Erin Belieu, Sheila Bender, Mark Bibbins, Jennine Capó Crucet, Dan Chaon, Gary Copeland Lilley, Sayantani Dasgupta, Ellen Graham, Tom Healy, Gayle Kaune, Susan Landgraf, Dana Levin, Sam Ligon, Robert Lopez, Ellie Mathews, Bill Mawhinney, Marcia Perlstein, Emily Rapp, Midge Raymond, Diane Roberts, Ciara Shuttleworth, Colette Tennant, David Thacker, Elizabeth Thorpe, Kate Trueblood.

2015
Kim Addonizio, Thomas Aslin, Erin Belieu, Wendy Call, Patty Cogen, Christopher Clow, Gary Copeland Lilley, Claire Davis, Nine Mukerjee Furstenau, Judith Glass Collins, Allison Green, Skip Horack, Pam Houston, Jimmy Kimbrell, Susan Landgraf, Sam Ligon, Ellie Mathews, Tom Miller, Dawn Pichon Barron, Marcia Perlstein, Colette Tennant, Luis Alberto Urrea, Richard Widerkehr, D.D. Wigley, Maya Jewell Zeller.

2016
Marvin Bell, Sayantani Dasgupta, Kwame Dawes, Jonathan Evison, Melissa Febos, Nine Mukerjee Furstenau, Greg Glazner, Eric Greenwell, Debra Gwartney, Gary Copeland Lilley, Pam Houston, Jourdan Imani Keith, Dorianne Laux, Susan Landgraf, Kate Lebo, Sam Ligon, Joseph Millar, Joy Passanante, Marcia Perlstein, Colette Tennant, Shawn Vestal, Helena Maria Viramontes.

2017
Sam Ligon, Dan Chaon, Kate Trueblood, Priscilla Long, Sayantani Dasgupta, Melissa Febos, Mark Doty, Erin Belieu, Dana Levin, Alexandra Teague, Emily Kendal Frey, Gary Copeland Lilley, Maya Jewell Zeller, Laura Read, Kami Westhoff, Elizabeth Vignali, Richard Widerkehr, Susan Landgraf, Theresa Barker, Kathryn Hunt, Colette Tennant, Shawn Vestal, Nina Mukerjee Furstenau, Kate Lebo, Jourdan Imani Keith, Susan J. Erickson.

2018
Sam Ligon, Lily Hoang, Patricia Henley, Bill Ransom, Shawn Vestal, Ilya Kaminsky, Bruce Beasley, Suzanne Paola, Emily Kendal Frey, Melissa Febos, Luis Urrea, Debra Gwartney, Kate Lebo, Gary Copeland Lilley, Alexandra Teague, Tristan Beach, Jourdan Imani Keith, Richard Widerkehr.

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