Terrain.org is pleased to announce that poet and teacher Derek Sheffield, who serves on the Terrain.org editorial board, has been named Terrain.org’s poetry editor. Derek replaces Simmons Buntin, who remains editor-in-chief and is focusing on issue production, marketing, final editing, and Terrain Publishing nonprofit incorporation.
Derek was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up there and in Gig Harbor, Washington. Since 2003, he has been a professor of English at Wenatchee Valley College in central Washington, where he formed the Sustainability Task Force to design and implement a college-wide recycling program. With help from the Washington Center at Evergreen State University, he continues to work at infusing sustainability across the curriculum. With the region’s preeminent ornithologist, Dr. Dan Stephens, he created WVC’s first learning community—Northwest Nature Writing—which, in a fit of consilience and contextual education, blends field ecology and creative nonfiction. What that means is they lead their students into the woods, meadows, and shrub-steppe with notebooks, field guides, and binoculars and let wilderness shape their essays. Sheffield has presented widely at conferences around the West on the interaction between science and poetry.
His own work often explores this topic and has appeared in Orion, Wilderness, Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Ecotone, and Alaska Quarterly Review, and several anthologies, including New Poets of the American West and Ecopoetry: A Contemporary American Anthology. His poems have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and won awards judged by Gary Short and Li-Young Lee. Sheffield’s chapbook, A Revised Account of the West (Flyway/Iowa State U., 2008), won the inaugural Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award judged by Debra Marquart. His first book of poetry, Through the Second Skin, was published by Orchises Press in 2013. Look for a review in our forthcoming issue.
Derek lives in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range outside Leavenworth, Washington, with his wife, two daughters, two dogs, and one horse.