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

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion