Keetje Kuipers

Award-winning Poet
Essayist, Story Writer, Editor

Readings &
Lecture Topics
  • On Failure
  • Line Cook
  • The Poet As Parent
  • An Evening with Keetje Kuipers


“Keetje Kuipers’ poems are daring, formally beautiful, and driven by rich imagery and startling ideas.” —Tracy K. Smith

“Her vision is original, and her voice—precise, questioning, sensual, wry—is one I’d follow anywhere.” —Beth Ann Fennelly

“Kuipers’ voice haunts, indelible with mourning, grace, and an elegant wisdom.” —Dorianne Laux

“Kuipers’s narratives immerse us in the off-kilter, often surprising idiosyncrasies and contradictions of America, particularly in the places we go to see ourselves and our own country reflected.” —Kenyon Review

Writer and editor Keetje Kuipers (pronounced Kay-tcha Ky-pers) is the author of three books of poems, all published by BOA Editions. Her first, Beautiful in the Mouth (2010), combines frank sensuality with sincere emotion, yielding poems that travel from New York City to the American West on an exploration of love and loss. Selected by Thomas Lux as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, it was named one of the top ten debut poetry books of 2010 by Poets & Writers and appeared in the top ten on the contemporary poetry bestseller list. The Keys to the Jail (2014) asks the question of who is to blame for all we’ve lost, calling us to reexamine the harsh words of failed love, the aging of a once-beautiful body, even our own voracious desires. It was a book club selection for The Rumpus. Her most recent collection, All Its Charms (2019) is about much more than the reinvention of the American family―it’s about transformation, desire, and who we can become when we move past who we thought we would be. Beth Ann Fennelly writes that All Its Charms “delights in the usually overlooked moments in nature and human nature. In these small moments, she locates our big truths.”

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, read on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and honored by The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies.

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. She is 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, most recently as Associate Professor at Auburn University where she was Editor of Southern Humanities Review and directed the reading series at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. She teaches at Hugo House in Seattle and serves as Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest, where she is the author of the literary recipe mash-up Line Cook and curator of the series On Failure. She has given hundreds of readings, craft talks, lectures, and workshops around the country.

Keetje lives with her wife and daughter on an island in the Salish Sea. 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.

Short Bio

Keetje Kuipers is a poet, essayist, story writer, and editor. She is the author of three poetry collections: Beautiful in the Mouth, The Keys to the Jail, and All Its Charms. Her poems have been featured in the Best American Poetry anthologies, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and NPR. In addition to her poems, Keetje’s essays and short stories have appeared in over a hundred journals and magazines. She has been a Stegner Fellow, a Bread Loaf fellow, and PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. Keetje lives with her wife and children on an island in the Salish Sea, a short ferry ride away from Seattle, where she teaches at Hugo House and serves as Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest.

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