Scott Cairns

Poet, Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Tacoma, WA
Washington US

Author's Bio

Librettist, essayist, translator, and author of nine poetry collections, Scott Cairns is Professor of English and Director of the Low-Residency MFA Program at Seattle Pacific University. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Image, Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, etc., and both have been anthologized in multiple editions of Best American Spiritual Writing. He blogs for the Religion Section of The Huffington Post. His recent books include Anaphora: New Poems (2019), Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems (2015), Idiot Psalms (2014), Endless Life (translations and adaptations of Christian mystics, 2014), and a book-length essay, The End of Suffering (2009). His spiritual memoir, Short Trip to the Edge, recently has been translated into Greek and Romanian. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, and the Denise Levertov Award in 2014. His new projects include Descent to the Heart, verse adaptations of selections from the writings of Saint Isaak of Syria, and a new poetry collection, As I Was Just Now Saying.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Pain (Paraclete Press, 2009)
Short Trip to the Edge: Where Earth Meets Heaven--A Pilgrimage (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007)


Atlantic Monthly
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New Republic
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Anaphora: New Poems (Paraclete Press, 2019)
Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems (Paraclete Press, 2015)
Idiot Psalms (Paraclete Press, 2014)
Compass of Affection: New and Selected Poems (Paraclete Press, 2006)
Philokalia: New and Selected Poems (Zoo Press, 2002)
Recovered Body (George Braziller, Inc., 1998)
Prizes won: 

Guggenheim Fellowship, 2006

Denise Levertov Award, 2014

More Information

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Identifies as: 
Native American
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Tacoma, WA
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Last update: May 22, 2019