Keetje Kuipers’ poems are daring, formally beautiful, and driven by rich imagery and startling ideas.
Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner
Writer and editor Keetje Kuipers (pronounced Kay-tcha Ky-pers) is the author of three books of poems, all from BOA Editions. Her first book, Beautiful in the Mouth, was selected by Thomas Lux as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Named one of the top ten debut poetry books of 2010 by Poets & Writers, her first book also appeared in the top ten on the contemporary poetry bestseller list. Her second collection, The Keys to the Jail (2014), was a book club selection for The Rumpus, and her third book, All Its Charms (2019), was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and includes poems honored by publication in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies.
Keetje’s poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in over a hundred journals and magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Narrative, Tin House, VQR, American Poetry Review, Orion, Kenyon Review, and The Believer. Her poems have also been featured as part of the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and read on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac.
Keetje has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellow in Poetry at Bread Loaf, the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and the recipient of fellowships from the Lucas Artist Residency at Montalvo Arts Center, the Jentel Artist Residency Foundation, the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, among others.
Keetje has taught at universities across the country, including as an Associate Professor at Auburn University where she was Editor of Southern Humanities Review. While there she founded the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize in honor of Jake Adam York and directed the reading series at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.
Keetje was appointed Editor of Poetry Northwest in 2020. In addition to the literary recipe mash-up Line Cook and the series On Failure (both of which she introduced during her time as Senior Editor at the magazine), Keetje plans to kick off her tenure in her new role by launching two new prizes, a podcast that shines a light on under-sung second books, and a translation series that looks beyond (or happily avoids) the English-language counterpoint to contemporary international poetry.
Keetje lives with her wife and children on an island in the Salish Sea. For the 2020-2021 academic year, she will be Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Montana. She is currently at work on a novel set in Wyoming, as well as a memoir about the seven months she spent living alone and off the grid, two hours down a dirt road from the nearest human being.