Peter Sears earned his BA from Yale University and his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His full-length collections of poetry include Tour (1987); The Brink (2000), which won the Peregrine Smith poetry prize and the Western States Book Award for Poetry; Green Diver (2009); and Small Talk: Poems New & Selected (2014). He has written several chapbooks and two teaching texts: Gonna Bake Me a Rainbow Poem: A Student Guide to Writing Poetry (1990) and Secret Writing (2000).
An advocate of community-centered writing organizations and events, Sears founded the Oregon Literary Coalition and cofounded both Friends of William Stafford and Cloudbank Books. A former community service coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission, he is on the board of Fishtrap, an organization that promotes writing about the West through year-round workshops and conferences. In naming Sears poet laureate of Oregon in 2014, Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities, said, “The selection committee was moved not only by the quality of Peter’s poetry but also by his record of working with communities across Oregon and supporting writers at every stage of their engagement with words.”
Sears’s honors include a Willamette Writers Award for Contribution to Oregon Writing and a Stewart A. Holbrook Award for Contribution to Oregon Literary Life. Sears currently teaches in the Pacific University low-residency MFA program and lives in Portland and Corvallis, Oregon.
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