Ken Lamberton

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Ken Lamberton
Ken amherstIMG 1015.jpg
Reading at an Amherst, Massachusetts bookstore in 2007.
Born (1958-11-08) November 8, 1958 (age 58)
Duluth, Minnesota
Citizenship American
Alma mater University of Arizona
Known for Teaching, writing
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Criminal charge Child molestation
Criminal penalty 12 years at ASPC-Tucson
Criminal status Released Sept. 25, 2000
Spouse(s) Karen Lamberton
Children Jessica, Kasondra, Melissa[1]

Kenneth J. Lamberton (born November 8, 1958) is an American writer and former teacher. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Lamberton attended the University of Arizona, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. He was working as a science teacher in Mesa, Arizona in 1985 when he was awarded a Teacher of the Year award. A few months later, the then 28-year-old Lamberton was arrested for child molestation for having an affair with a 14-year-old student and transporting her across state lines. During his twelve-year prison term at the Santa Rita unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex at Tucson,[1] he participated in a creative writing program run by Richard Shelton and became a writer, penning essays for the prison magazine La Roca.[2] After his release on September 25, 2000, he began to publish non-fiction books and articles on natural history and crime and punishment in the Southwest.[3]

Lamberton has published four books since 2000 and written hundreds of essays and articles. His first book, Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist's Observations from Prison, received critical acclaim from the San Francisco Chronicle which felt it was "....entirely original: an edgy, ferocious, subtly complex collection of essays...".[4] It won the 2002 John Burroughs Medal for nature writing. In 2007, Lamberton was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship by the Open Society Institute to complete his fourth book, Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment.[5]


  • Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist's Observations from Prison. Mercury House: San Francisco, California, 2000.
  • Beyond Desert Walls: Essays from Prison. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2005.
  • Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family and the Politics of Crime and Punishment. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007.
  • Chiricahua Mountains: Bridging the Borders of Wildness. Photography by Jeff Garton. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003.


  1. ^ a b Megan Irwin (March 1, 2007). "Redemption Song". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ Snell, Marilyn Berlin (2002-11-01). "Law and nature's order: how swallows and saguaros gave a prisoner his freedom". Sierra. 
  3. ^ Allen, Lee (2005-07-21). "Outdoor Reminiscences". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  4. ^ Slouka, Mark (2000-01-23). "Cell Biology". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  5. ^ "2007 Soros Justice Fellows". Open Society Institute. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 

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