Resounds: Joe Wilkins

Jun 24, 2019

Joe Wilkins
Credit courtesy Joe Wilkins

Poet and memoirist Joe Wilkins was born and raised north of the Bull Mountains, out on the Big Dry of eastern Montana. His debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, is a powerful story of land, family, wolves, violence, and liberty. The novel highlights both the struggle and the care Joe knew growing up in the rural West. 


Wilkins’ memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, captures the lives of boys and men in that same desolate country, a place that shapes the people who live there. Joe Wilkins has also won two High Plains Book Awards:  in 2016 for Short Stories – Far Enough: A Western in Fragments, and in 2013 for Poetry – Notes From the Journey Westward.

Wilkins is also the author of three poetry collections, most recently When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. Wilkins now lives with his family in the foothills of the Coast Range of western Oregon, where he directs the creative program at Linfield College.