Wyoming Arts Council


Rick Kempa teaches at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs. Rick’s essays and poems have appeared in over a hundred journals, e-zines, and anthologies, and he has been nominated for five Pushcart Prizes. He has authored two books of poems, Ten Thousand Voices, (Oakland: Littoral Press, 2013), and Keeping the Quiet (Seattle: Bellowing Ark Press, 2009). He has also edited two anthologies, On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories (Flagstaff: Vishnu Temple Press 2014) and, with Peter Anderson, Poetry of the Grand Canyon (Fruita: Lithic Press, 2015). Rick earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in 1987.

Drawing on a quarter-century of experience as an educator and professional writer, and a lifelong commitment to sharing his love of the written word, Rick offers programs for children, teens, and adults, customized to meet the needs and experience-level of participants. His workshops in the schools employ a wide variety of approaches to help unlock students and turn them to the power and possibilities of the written word. One popular approach is to inspire students to celebrate the persons, places, and creatures of their immediate worlds. Some of his other recent workshop offerings are “Words for the World: Writing About Nature,” “Re-seeing our Poems: The Essence of Revision,” “Contemporary Music and Poetry: Creative Connections,” and, for more experienced writers, “Tools and Techniques for Pursuing Publication.” Rick also gives spirited performances of his own work, usually in collaboration with other artists in the communities that he visits.