Ken McCullough was born in Staten Island, N.Y., but spent his formative years in St. John’s, Newfoundland. More recently, he has drawn inspiration from the mountains of Montana and Wyoming and the blufflands of the Upper Mississippi. In 1992 he was adopted into the Miniconjou band of the Lakota Nation. He is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School, the setting for Dead Poets Society, and has degrees from the University of Delaware and the Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa.
McCullough’s most recent books of poetry are Walking Backwards, Sicomoro.Oropéndola (published in Colombia), and Broken Gates, as well as a book of stories, Left Hand. He has received numerous awards for his poetry. McCullough has worked closely with Cambodian poet U Sam Oeur, survivor of the Pol Pot regime; they have published Sacred Vows, a bilingual edition of U’s poetry, and Crossing Three Wildernesses, a memoir. McCullough has two sons, Galway and Orion. He lives on a farm outside Winona, MN with his wife, Lynn Nankivil, a playwright. In 2014, McCullough began his second term as Poet Laureate of Winona.
Photo Courtesy of Mary Farrell
then sweeping up the place. The sloped
This is not apocryphal—we saw it
What is missing from the rough draft
Some call it atmospheric perspective
where you have to guess. Inhabit the stand
One bird. Two notes. Enough to name it.