Kathryn Ridall

Poet, Publisher, and Teacher


A Life of Water and Words
When I look back over a long life, I am struck by the presence of water and words throughout the decades. I remember my childhood by the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh and summers at a lake house in Canada. The lapping of the waves evoked my first meditations on time and the flows of human life. Throughout those childhood years I loved to string words together—diaries, simple childhood poems about birds, essays for my English classes.

In my twenties, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. For almost forty years, I took countless walks by the water. The great blue belly of San Francisco Bay nurtured my dreams and soothed the hard times. Words continued to be a treasured medium. I used them to grapple with the depths of human experience in my psychotherapy practice and crafted a stream of articles and books. Some of my work was published, most was not.

Most recently, I was surprised by the arrival of poetry in my life. I began a passionate engagement with metaphor and line breaks and in 2010, moved to Eugene, OR to devote myself to poetry. In this new life, I discovered the Willamette River and the Delta Ponds. Connecting once again to water, I have been mesmerized by ducks, osprey, and herons.

I continue to write and to publish. My poems have appeared in dozens of journals and a chapbook has been published by Finishing Line Press. I am the publisher of Fae Press which has released the poetry anthology, What the River Brings: Oregon River Poems, and books of poems by others. I also facilitate writing workshops and retreats. In a life shared with my husband, photographer Roger Barry, I continue to pursue a life filled with water and words.