Kim Barnes
  • Kim Barnes

  • Born: in Lewiston, Idaho, The United States.

  • Description: I was born in Lewiston, Idaho, in 1958, and one week later, I returned with my mother to our small line-shack on Orofino Creek, where my father worked as a gyppo logger. The majority of my childhood was spent with my younger brother, Greg, in the isolated settlements and cedar camps along the North Fork of Idaho’s Clearwater River. I was the first member of my family to attend college. I hold a BA in English from Lewis-Clark State College, an MA in English from Washington State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country, my first memoir, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, received a PEN/Jerard Fund Award, and was awarded a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. My second memoir, Hungry for the World, was a Borders Books New Voices Selection. I am the author of three novels: Finding Caruso; A Country Called Home, winner of the 2009 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Fiction and named a Best Book of 2008 by The Washington Post, Kansas City Star, and The Oregonian (Northwest); and In the Kingdom of Men, a story set in 1960s Saudi Arabia, listed among the Best Books of 2012 by San Francisco Chronicle and The Seattle Times.

    I have co-edited two anthologies: Circle of Women: An Anthology of Contemporary Western Women Writers (with Mary Clearman Blew), and Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes from the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty (with Claire Davis). My essays, poems, and stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including The New York Times, WSJ online, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Good Housekeeping, Oprah Magazine, MORE Magazine, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. I am a former Idaho-Writer-in-Residence and teach in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Idaho. I have three grown children, one dog, one cat, and live with my singular husband, the poet Robert Wrigley, on Moscow Mountain.