Bio

Me and my great (really great) nephew Aiden Hakanson. His mom Jenni took the photo.

I’m a writer and filmmaker and make my home in Port Townsend, Washington, on the coast of the Salish Sea. My stories, essays, and poems have appeared in Rattle, The Sun, Willow Springs, Orion, Crab Orchard Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review, among other publications. A collection of my poems, Long Way Through Ruin, will be published by Blue Begonia Press in September 2013. Kim Barnes, the author of In the Kingdom of Men and In the Wilderness, writes: “Wild in their domesticity, mythical in their realism, ethereal in their lyrical beauty, Hunt’s poems fearlessly explore the boundaries between love and loss, longing and regret. Reading Long Way Through Ruin, I felt myself elevated, suspended, held in the prism of the poet’s intimate and unflinching vision.” I am a Jack Straw Fellow and Helen Whiteley Center Fellow. Dorianne Laux selected a poem from Ruin, “Josephine, 1905, Winlock, Washington” for the Argos Prize.

I earn my keep as a freelance writer for foundations, universities, and nonprofit community organizations. I write stories about kids, education, the environment, and community change. I also teach writing workshops at Mountain Lamp, a Zen and mindfulness retreat center in the glorious North Cascades, in Washington, and at the Writer’s Workshoppe, in Port Townsend.

For many years I directed and produced documentary films. My films are about kids in some form of extremis. The films include Take This Heart, a feature-length film about four young boys in foster care, broadcast on PBS and awarded the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism. No Place Like Home, a film about a ten-year-old girl who lives with her family in hotels and homeless shelters in Seattle, was broadcast nationally on the public television series P.O.V. The film was screened at the Venice Film Festival and won film festival awards in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Chicago.

Before pursuing writing and filmmaking full time, I worked as a waitress, a shipscaler, a short-order cook, a bookseller, a printer, and a food bank coordinator. Now, when I’m not at my desk, I’m apt to be found in my garden, a place that keeps me unreasonably sane and happy. The tall firs keep me upright, and I walk through the garden bowing to the hellebores and the evening grosbeaks. They offer me all the glory they possess.

kathryn@kathrynhunt.net