Derek Sheffield

Derek Sheffield’s collection Not for Luck was selected by Mark Doty for the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize. His other books include Through the Second Skin, runner-up for the Emily Dickinson First Book Award and finalist for the Washington State Book Award, A Revised Account of the West, winner of the Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award judged by Debra Marquart, and A Mouthpiece of Thumbs (Blue Begonia Press). He is a co-editor, with Simmons Buntin and Elizabeth Dodd, of Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy and, with Liz Bradfield and CMarie Fuhrman, Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry.

He is the recipient of the James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Li-Young Lee, fellowships from Artist Trust, the Spring Creek Project, Allied Arts, 4Culture, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and a Special Mention in the 2016 Pushcart Prize Anthology. Vijay Seshadri chose his poem as the sole finalist for the 2018 Lynda Hull Memorial Award and he was a finalist for the 2023 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize judged by Jacqueline Johnson.

His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Poetry, Orion, The Georgia Review, AGNI, The Gettysburg Review, The Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, Rattle, Alaska Quarterly Review, Plant-Human Quarterly, High Country News, The North American Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sugar House Review, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Hampden Sydney Poetry Review, Anglers Journal, The Flyfish Journal, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and on NPR’s Poetry Moment, and have been part of many anthologies, including The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace & Renewal, Leaning Toward Light: Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them, New Poets of the American West, The Ecopoetry Anthology, Nature and Environmental Writing: A Guide and Anthology, A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins, and River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia.

Derek was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up there and in Gig Harbor, Washington. The first in his family to attend college, he now lives on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range near Leavenworth, Washington, where he can often be found in the woods or along Icicle Creek. His two daughters have come to know many of the beings of their bioregion and can often be found making their own poems and paintings. You can find some of their work in Rattle. He is the poetry editor of