Peter Sears Bio

A graduate of Yale and the Iowa Writers Workshop, Peter Sears has taught at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and has served as Dean of Students at Bard College, community services coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission, and director of the Oregon Literary Coalition. He currently teaches in the Pacific University low-residency MFA department, and splits his time between Corvallis and Portland, Oregon.

His work has appeared in several nation magazines and newspapers such as Saturday Review, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, and Rolling Stone, as well as in literary magazines such as Field, New Letters, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and Seneca Review.

Sears is the author of three full-length poetry collections -- Tour: New and Selected Poems, The Brink, and Green Diver, a number of poetry chapbooks, and books on teaching writing, including Secret Writing, and I'm Gonna Bake Me a Rainbow Poem.


Throughout his career, Sears has been honored with a number of awards, including those listed below:

  • The Brink, named one of Oregon's 150 best books by the Oregon State Library, 2009
  • Award for Contribution of Oregon Writing, Willamette Writers, 2008
  • Western States Book Award for Poetry, Western States Arts Federation, 2000
  • Stewart A. Holbrook Award for Contribution to Oregon Literary Life, Literary Arts, Inc., 1999
  • Award of Honor and Appreciation, Oregon State Library, 1988
  • Poetry Fellowship, Oregon Arts Commission, 1984

Founding Organizations

  • Co-founded (with Michael Malan) Cloudbank Books, 2001
  • Co-founded (with Kim Stafford) Friends of William Stafford, 1997; served as director, 1998
  • Founded Oregon Literary Coalition, 1993, a coalition of writers and non-profit organizations for networking and advocacy, served as director through 2009
  • Initiated Across the River, first multi-state literary project in the U.S., funded by the NEA, OAC and WSAC

Administration and Publishing

  • Rubberstampmadness, Inc., manager, 1995 - 1997
  • Oregon Arts Commission, community service coordinator, 1985 - 1998
  • Bard College, Dean of Students, 1980 - 1983