Memory’s Vault

Elizabeth_Thorpe_9 With nine days to go until the thirty-sixth annual Port Townsend Writers' Conference, we're creating a special post today to talk about Memory's Vault, one of the Conference's most venerated sites.

Located up on the wooded hill above the Fort campus, the site displays multiple pillars inscribed with poems by Sam Hamill–the founder of Copper Canyon Press and the third director of the Port Townsend Writers' Conference.

The poems are also collected in Hamill's book "Destination Zero" and center around Fort Worden State Park itself, and on its transformation from a military base to a place of peace and recreation. The poems praise the natural area, and focus deeply on the human presence in the Pacific Northwest, and no trip to the Port Townsend Writers' Conference is complete without a pilgrimage to the site.

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