Jory Mickelson is a writer, educator, and retreat facillitator whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sixth Finch, The Puritan, Jubilat, Mid-American Review, Diode Poetry Journal, The Rumpus, Ninth Letter, Vinyl Poetry, The Collagist, and other journals in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They are the recipient of an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. They have received fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. They’re first full-length collection WILDERNESS//KINGDOM was published in 2019.
They are a graduate of the University of Idaho’s MFA Program and the former Poetry Editor of 5×5 Lit Mag and the creator of the blog Literary Magpie. They have taught workshops and retreats on a wide variety of topics including writing and wilderness, mindfulness, zines, creative writing, and poetry as a spiritual practice. They live in Bellingham, WA.
Somewhat Artist Statement
The child of two visual artists, I sorted my way through paint, clay and other media to ultimately discover that I prefer making pictures out of words. With a strong background in other artistic disciplines, I learned how visual culture can enrich and expand the written word. In my own writing I aspire not only to incorporate other artists and their work, but to recontextualize and challenge ideas about them, particularly by placing them in new landscapes.
Raised in the rural West, I was and continue to be immersed in the natural world. Exposure to these fragile and changing ecologies—their enormity and their intricacies—has informed my writing and trained my eye to seek out the names and details intrinsic to the places that I inhabit.
As a queer writer who draws heavily upon place, my work straddles uneasy domains: those of regional poetics where LGBTQAI voices are often absent, and of the non-urban in queer aesthetics that most often privileges metro-chauvinism.
This stage serves as a home ground to wrestle with the questions of personal and collective legacy, of stewardship and consumption, and how we may continue to live with and in the world.
You can contact him HERE