Writer | Teacher | Firefighter
Lorena Williams is a writer, educator, wildland firefighter, and traveler. She has worked seasonally off and on as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service since 2001. After earning her MFA in Creative Writing in 2011, she taught English, creative writing, composition, and ESL at Chatham University and Duquesne University, both in Pittsburgh, PA until 2016. Williams now works as the Partnership Coordinator for the San Juan National Forest in Durango, CO, and still gets her boots dirty on the fireline occasionally.
Williams was born and raised in the remote eastern Oregon desert, where she developed passion for both reading and bushwhacking. Her affinity for writing is closely tied with her love of the land and her ventures while working on the family farm, white water rafting, traveling, and fighting fire. Having begun her college education studying marine biology, geology, and forestry, she eventually gravitated to the liberal arts, teaching, and public affairs. Still, she has never relinquished the desire to get her hands dirty.
Her work has appeared in Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment, Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place, The Fourth River, and Touchstone journals, and was awarded Honorable Mention in The Atlantic Student Writing Contest and third place in the Torrey House Press Nonfiction Contest. In 2013, her chapbook, Relic, was released from Appaloosa Press.