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Creative Writing Program

David Romtvedt

Professor for the Creative Writing Program

M.F.A., University of Iowa
B.A., Reed College
Crane Hall 245
Best Mode of Communication: Email
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Poet Laureate of Wyoming 2003-2011. Numerous poetry collections, most recently Zelestina Urza in Outer Space (Nevada Center for Basque Studies 2015), Some Church (Milkweed Editions, 2005) and Certainty (White Pine, 1996). Fiction includes Free and Compulsory for All (Graywolf, 1984), Crossing Wyoming (White Pine, 1992) and A Flower Whose Name I Do Not Know (Copper Canyon, Port Townsend, WA, 1992); nonfiction includes Windmill: Essays from Four Mile Ranch (Red Crane Books/Museum of New Mexico Press-distributed by University of New Mexico Press, 1997/2007). He also plays dance music of the Americas with The Fireants, which has produced three recordings: Bury My Clothes, Ants On Ice, and It’s Hot (About Three Weekes a Year). He has edited two anthologies devoted to writing from Wyoming and the West--Wyoming Fence Lines (Wyoming Humanities Council, 2007) and Deep West (Wyoming Center for the Book/Pronghorn Press, 2003, 2005). He is the recipient of a National endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry, NEA tri-national Exchange fellowship in poetry and music, the Pushcart Prize, the National Poetry Series Prize, Wyoming Arts Council Literature Fellowship, the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award, and the Wyoming Music Educators Association Distinguished Service to Music Education Award.  He first came to Wyoming as a resident at the UCross Foundation

Published Works

Zelestina Urza in Outer Space (Nevada Center for Basque Studies, 2015)

Some Church (Milkweed Editions, 2005)

Windmill: Essays from Four Mile Ranch (Red Crane Books, 1997)

Certainty (White Pine, Fredonia, NY, 1996)

Crossing Wyoming (White Pine, Fredonia, NY, 1992)

A Flower Whose Name I Do Not Know (Copper Canyon, Port Townsend, WA, 1992)

How Many Horses (Ion Books, Memphis, TN, 1988)

Letters From Mexico (Kutenai Press, Missoula, MT, 1988)

Free and Compulsory for All (Graywolf, St. Paul, MN, 1984)

Moon (Bieler Press, Los Angeles, CA, 1984)

As editor:

Wyoming Fence Lines (Wyoming Humanities Council, Laramie, WY, 2007)

Deep West (Wyoming Center for the Book/Pronghorn Press, 2003, 2005)

Buffalotarrak: An Anthology of the Basque People of Buffalo, Wyoming (Red Hills Publications, Buffalo, WY, 1995)

Buffalotarrak:  An Anthology of the Basques of Buffalo, Wyoming – essays, as editor with Dollie Iberlin, including an introduction and three essays by Romtvedt, Basque Diaspora and Migration Studies Series #6 (Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno, 2011)


Yip:  A Cowboy's Howl (Holocene Press, 1991)

Black Beauty and Kiev the Ukraine (Blue Begonia Press—to benefit the Ground Zero Center for Non-Violent Action, 1987)

Free and Compulsory for All (Blue Begonia Press, 1983)

Various work in the following Anthologies:

In the Black/In the Red: Poems of Profit and Loss (Helicon Nine Editions, 2011)

An Endless Skyway:  Poetry from the State Poets Laureate of America (Ice Cube Books, 2011)

New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press, 2010)

Finding the Way Home: Poems of Awakening and Transformation (White Pine Press, 2010)

Telling it Real:  The Best of Pilgrimage Magazine (Pilgrimage Press, 2009)

Far Westeko Euskal Herria (Editorial Pamiela, 2009)

Red Thread Gold Thread: The Poet’s Voice (Power of Poetry, 2009)

Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath (Backwaters Press, 2009)

A Taste of Wyoming: Favorite Recipes from the Cowboy State (Far Country Press, 2009)

Living Blue in the Red States (University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

After the Bell: Contemporary American Prose about School (University of Iowa Press, 2007)

The Other Side of Sorrow (Poetry Society of New Hampshire, 2006)

Taking Stock: The Wyoming Kids Count Data Book, (Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance, 2006)

Unbridled: the Western Horse in Fiction and Nonfiction (The Lyons Press, 2005)

Weathered Pages: the Poetry Pole, (Blue Begonia Press, 2005)

Eat Our Words: the Montana Writers’ Cookbook (Montana Center for the Book, Far Country Press, 2005)

Only the Sea Keeps:  Poetry of the Tsunami (Rupa and Company, 2005)

Poets on Place:  Interviews and Tales from the Road, (Utah State University Press, 2005)

Urban Nature (Milkweed Editions, 2000)

Who are the Rich and Where Do They Live? (Poetry East/DePaul University Press, 2000)

My Bug (Artisan, 1999)

Horse People (Artisan, 1998)

The Gift of Tongues (Copper Canyon, 1996)

Atomic Ghost (Coffee House Press, 1995)

So the Wind Won't Blow it Away (Beacon Press, 1995)

Drive, They Said (Milkweed Editions, 1994)

Crab Creek Review Tenth Anniversary Anthology (Crab Creek Review Association, 1994)

The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review Anthology 1975-1990 (Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review Press, 1990)

80 on the 80's (Ashland Poetry Press, 1990)

Hands, Joining (Brooding Heron Press, 1988)

Crossing the River: Poets of the Western United States (Permanent Press, 1987)

In Our Hearts and Minds:  the Northwest and Central America, (Empty Bowl, 1986)


Loaf of Bread and a Bus Ticket Home (Tacoma Actors Guils, 1982)


Rincón Poético, translations of the Colombian poet Daro Jaramillo Agudelo (Pacific Inland Press, 1975)

Writing from the World, translations from French, Portuguese and Spanish (University of Iowa Press, 1976)

Individual poems, stories, and essays in: American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Canadian Forum, Georgia Review, Orion, Poetry East, Poets and Writers Magazine, Ploughshares, Northern Lights, Prairie Schooner, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, Marxist Perspectives, Bloomsbury Review, Willow Springs, Cutbank, Rattle, The Drunken Boat, and others.

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Research Interests

I’m interested in the collision of high brow and low brow. Another strong interest is in the way language shapes thought. I’ve studied French, Spanish, and Portuguese, and am now studying Basque, the oldest language in Europe and one that is dramatically unlike its neighboring languages. As to research, hoo boy. I’m really interested in radio and have produced and hosted a one-year long weekly program for Montana Public Radio as well as a six part series (with Mike Brown) on American traditional musics. These programs focused on Cajun Creole, Tohono O’odham, Piedmont Black String Band, and Northern New Mexican music, as well as on issues of political power in the dissemination of traditional musics.

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