John Witte grew up in New England, the son of Polish immigrants. From the rivers and meadows he acquired a life-long devotion to nature and its creatures. After college, he worked for many years as a carpenter before moving west to Oregon, where he lives in the Willamette Valley. The Cascade Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west provide land- and sea-scapes that appear in his work. His poems have been published in five collections, and in The New Yorker, the Paris Review and Kenyon Review, as well as The Norton Introduction to Literature, and been translated, set to music, and recorded for the blind.
For thirty years he edited Northwest Review at the University of Oregon, where he taught Ecopoetry and other subjects. He lives on the edge of town with his partner, Deb Casey, and their cats, goats and chickens. His life has been illuminated by children and grandchildren, who also find their way into his poems.
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