Duane Niatum

b. 1938
Duane Niatum
Born Duane McGinness in Seattle, poet, fiction writer, playwright, and editor Duane Niatum adopted the name of one of his S’Klallam tribal ancestors early in his career as a poet. After his parents’ divorce when he was four, he studied S’Klallam tribal ways with his maternal grandfather. At age 17, Niatum joined the Navy and was stationed in Japan. Influenced by Theodore Roethke, John Keats, and Octavio Paz, Niatum composes lyric poems exploring themes of romantic love and cultural heritage. He still lives in Seattle and has taught at Evergreen State College and the University of Washington, as well as area high schools.

What People are Saying

"With a $20,000 prize, I never imagined POL being this much fun. The competitions were more about meeting and talking with the other competitors, having a great time and enjoying the poetry. I also never knew I could find so much in myself just from reciting poems."
Elliot Davidson
2015 PA POL Champion