Kathleen Flenniken

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Kathleen Flenniken
Kathleen Flenniken, 2012.jpg
Kathleen Flenniken, 2012
Born Kathleen Lyall Dillon
(1960-10-30) October 30, 1960 (age 57)
Richland, Washington
Occupation Poet, writer, editor, and educator
Nationality American
Education MFA in Creative Writing
BS and MS in Civil Engineering
Alma mater Washington State University, University of Washington
Pacific Lutheran University
Genre Poetry
Notable awards Pushcart Prize, NEA Fellowship, American Library Association Notable Book Award, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, Washington State Book Award
Spouse Steve Flenniken
Children 3

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Kathleen Flenniken (born October 30, 1960) is an American writer, poet, editor, and educator. In 2012, she was named the Poet Laureate of Washington. She has been honored with a 2012 Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships with the Artist Trust (Washington State Arts Commission), and the National Endowment for the Arts.[1] Her collection of poetry titled Famous, received the 2005 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her following work, Plume, was honored with the 2013 Washington State Book Award.

Personal background[edit]

Kathleen (née Dillon) Flenniken was born on October 30, 1960 in Richland, Washington. She is the daughter of Robert and Kathleen (née Melville) Dillon. Her father was a PhD Chemist, working at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington state.[2] In 1978, she graduated from Columbia High School.[3] In 1983, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington State University.[2][4] In 1986, she moved to Seattle, where she earned a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1988 from the University of Washington.[2] In 2007, she earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University.[2] In 1986, she married Steve Flenniken. They have three children.[1][5]

Professional background[edit]


Her collection of poetry titled Famous, received the 2005 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. In 2007, the work was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. In 2012, the University of Washington Press published her second book of poetry, titled Plume. The work was honored with the 2013 Washington State Book Award. It was also a finalist for the 2013 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and the William Carlos Williams Award, presented by the Poetry Society of America. In 2012, she was named one of Seattle Magazine's Spotlight Award winners,[2] while the following year, she was named a Distinguished Visiting Poet at Seattle University.

In 2012, she was named the Washington State Poet Laureate, which is recognized through 2014.[6][7][8] As poet laureate, she reaches out to students throughout the state.[8] She teaches poetry through an affiliation with arts agencies, including Writers in the Schools and the Jack Straw Foundation. In addition to her writing, Flenniken has worked as an engineer and hydrologist (three of them on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation). As of 2013, she lives in the Seattle area,[2] where she is the president and editor of the Floating Bridge Press, which focuses on publishing the creative works of Washington State poets.[7] She is also the president of a nonprofit media arts studio and cultural center known as Jack Straw Foundation.[2]

Honors and awards[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • Flenniken, Kathleen (2006). Famous, (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry), Bison Books, 76 pages. ISBN 978-0803269248
  • Flenniken, Kathleen (2012). Plume, (Pacific Northwest Poetry Series), University of Washington Press, 80 pages. ISBN 978-0295991535


  1. ^ a b National Endowment for the Arts. "NEA Writers' Corner: Kathleen Flenniken". Nea.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Standish, Dana. "Seattle Magazine | Arts & Culture/Arts & Entertainment/Literature | Kathleen Flenniken Exercises Her Poetic License". Seattlemag.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  3. ^ http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2017486246_statepoet12.html
  4. ^ "Kathleen Flenniken - You have to say what's true :: Winter 2007 :: Washington State Magazine". Wsm.wsu.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  5. ^ Ann, Mary. "Books | Once a Hanford engineer, now Washington's poet laureate | Seattle Times Newspaper". Seattletimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  6. ^ Frank Chopp (2010-10-29). "Washington State Poet Laureate — Humanities Washington". Humanities.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  7. ^ a b "Kathleen Flenniken Washington State Poet Laureate". Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  8. ^ a b McLain, Cathy (2012-02-09). "Seattle woman named state's poet laureate | The Today File | Seattle Times". Blogs.seattletimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  9. ^ a b "The List for 2007 | Reference & User Services Association (RUSA)". Ala.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  10. ^ "Washington Center for the Book announces 2007 Washington State Book Award winners | The Seattle Public Library". Spl.org. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  11. ^ Henderson, Bill; The Pushcart Prize Editors (2011). The Pushcart Prize XXXVI: Best of the Small Presses (2012 Edition), Pushcart Press, page 57. ISBN 978-1888889642
  12. ^ United States. "Kathleen Flenniken (2012-2014 WA State Poet Laureate) Village Books: Building Community One Book at a Time". Village Books. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  13. ^ "KLCC Eugene Oregon NPR-Washington's Poet Laureate awarded the state's Book Award for Plume about Hanford". Klcc.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  14. ^ "Washington State Book Award Winners | The Seattle Public Library". Spl.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  15. ^ Ann, Mary (2013-09-10). "Washington State Book Awards honor six local authors | Books". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  16. ^ "2013 Awards Short-List". Pnba.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  17. ^ "Naomi Replansky - Poetry Society of America". Poetrysociety.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  18. ^ "University of Washington Press - Books - Plume". Washington.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 

External links[edit]