Kevin Craft: The Written Art of Poetry

EvCC’s Written Arts Coordinator, Kevin Craft, speaks about his career as an author and teacher.


Savanna Eickerman

EvCC’s Written Arts Coordinator, Kevin Craft, holding his poetry book, “Vagrants and Accidentals”, in his office located in Grey Wolf Hall.

“In a field / I am the absence / of field.”

This is a poem that Kevin J. Craft posted on his Instagram on Jan. 18, 2020, attached to the Mazama mountain snow scenes. “I am always interested in landscapes. I get inspired from nature,” Craft states.

Craft is an English instructor and directs the Written Arts Program. He is also a poet and executive editor. He said, “I love reading. Reading is also a journey in an imagination, beyond time and place.” The way he describes himself is as a solid triangle stand that supports his diverse life.

Craft joined EvCC in 1996 after he earned himself a Master of Fine Arts in English from the University of Washington. “I met a good teacher,” says Craft. The teacher said “you probably will be a good teacher.”

“Many years later, when I was reading scripts for television in Los Angeles, I got interesting letters from students. They told me what they’re doing with their lives and how the classes they took, including mine at EvCC, had made a difference for them.” He often received letters like this. As a teacher, that is what he is most proud of. He explains that sometimes you cannot predict what kind of difference you can make.

Courtesy photo
The cover of Kevin Craft’s poetry book titled “Vagrants and Accidentals”.

One challenge he faces as a teacher is that “you have to be available to make sure you reinvent it for yourself.” It’s not easy.

He gave an example that unlike a biology textbook, English textbooks need to be updated regularly. In addition, the cultural environment has changed, “many students no longer read novels.” 

Montana Vanover took his poetry class in Spring Quarter. “His class is very interesting, he talks about poetry in many ways.”  Kevin states, “My goal is always to keep discovery through my class. Fortunately, I teach poetry, which is relatively short.” In fact, he already has tried to ease the reading pressure students face by replacing fiction writing with movies in his introduction literature class.

Cate Hodorowicz reviewed his collection of poems Vagrants & Accidentals, “Craft, suggests that people are the true vagrants and accidents; we don’t quite belong, we search ceaselessly to find a place of rest or at least understanding, and we are always vessels of loss.”

“His poems are mostly about travel, landscape and history,” he said, “where the mountain is, where the river is.” There are too many beautiful landscapes on this planet to praise. It was consolation for him to sit down and write something.

As a poet, he often used summer break to write. “The idea is to write a little every day.” But  teaching pressures such as modifying assignments often prevail. Fortunately, he should be able to arrange time freely. 

“In the future I want to have a long walk, four months or six months.” He said that when you are 20-years-old, you may feel that your life is long, but when you are 50-years-old, you will start to feel the time is urgent. 

He still enjoys all the happiness that he brings to readers with his words, and his next work is in preparation.