John Straley grew up in Seattle, Washington, earning a BA in English from the University of Washington before becoming a criminal defense investigator in Sitka, Alaska. An essayist and poet, Straley is best known as a writer of detective fiction. Drawing inspiration from Alaskan history and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, his fiction and poetry emphasize personal narratives and local landscapes. His novels include The Woman Who Married a Bear (1992) and The Music of What Happens (1996). He was the Alaska State Writer Laureate from 2006 to 2008.
What People are Saying
"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."