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In memory of
Christine Ann Colasurdo

New! The Portland State University Foundation's scholarship in Christine's memory is called the Christine Ann Colasurdo Scholarship for Nature Writing. If you would like to make a donation to this scholarship you can do so here.


Get your copy of Return to Spirit Lake before they sell out!


RETURN TO SPIRIT LAKE has been given 5-star reviews at goodreads.com. It is recommended as a "must read" for anyone visiting Mount St. Helens and was recommended by The Oregonian, Portland Mercury and other publications.

Buy your copy of Return to Spirit Lake at these Portland bookstores:
Annie Bloom's Bookstore: www.annieblooms.com/
Broadway Books: http://www.broadwaybooks.net


Author and artist Christine Colasurdo taught creative writing and calligraphy at the Multnomah Arts Center in Portland, Oregon. She wrote two nonfiction books as well as two chapbooks of poetry—Cascade Manifesto and RAIN: A Song Cycle.

Colasurdo's two nonfiction books are on the outdoors. Her first book, Return to Spirit Lake, is a memoir of her experiences as a child camping, hiking, and working at Mount St. Helens. In 2005 it was honored as a “Washington Reads” book by the Washington State Librarian. Her second book, Golden Gate National Parks: A Photographic Journey, celebrates the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California. She gave talks in Oregon, Washington and California and led tours to Mount St. Helens for the Oregon Historical Society, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Mount St. Helens Institute. In 2000 and 2005 she was a featured guest on National Public Radio’s “Science Friday.” In 2000 she was also a featured guest on Public Radio International’s “To The Best of Our Knowledge.”

Colasurdo created two museum exhibits at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum in Kelso, WA: “Spirit Lake Remembered” in 2000 and “Hiking the Harmony Trail: Meditations on a Changing Landscape” in 2005. She exhibited “In the Land of Loowit” at the Vollum Institute in Portland in 2007. As a volunteer, she served on the board of the Mount St. Helens Institute and worked for many years as an activist to protect the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and its surrounding lands from proposed activities such as road-building, development and mining. Her proposed name (“Tamanawas”) for the volcano’s post-1980 glacier was a finalist with the Washington State Board on Geographic Names.

In addition to her chapbooks, her award-winning poetry has been featured in anthologies Fading Light, the Marin Poetry Center's 2013 Trees, and Verseweavers. Her poems have been published in Denver Quarterly, OnEarth, Portland Magazine, Wilderness, Windfall, Terrain, Voicecatcher, Medical Literary Messenger and other publications. To hear Colasurdo read her short poem "The Paradox of Enrichment" online go to http://terrain.org/one-poem-by-christine-colasurdo/ 


Colasurdo's prose is featured in anthologies Holding Common Ground (2005) and In the Blast Zone (2008). Her essays and articles have also appeared in Audubon, Orion, and Sierra magazines. She was the recipient of a 2010 Fishtrap Fellowship and 2010 U.S. Forest Service residency.


Born in Portland, Colasurdo earned a double Bachelor of Arts degree in French and English from Portland State University in 1984. Upon graduating she moved to France, where she studied at the Université de Poitiers for a year and worked in Paris for two years. After returning to the U.S. in 1987, she worked as a graphic designer, writer and editor in San Francisco. She earned her Master of Arts degree in English literature from U.C. Berkeley in 1992.

As a lettering artist, Colasurdo exhibited her art in regional and national exhibitions. Her art is available to view by appointment in the San Francisco Public Library's Harrison Collection. Her art has also been selected numerous times for the annual juried issues of the international magazine Letter Arts Review. She has written on calligraphic topics for Letter Arts Review, Bound & Lettered and Alphabet.

In 1997 and 2003, Colasurdo created two public schoolyard gardens in San Francisco featuring native plants of coastal California and organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. She taught outdoor science at Sunset Elementary School and wrote about gardening and nature-related topics for public radio KQED FM.

Visit her Events Page to see past classes, readings and presentations.

Copyright 2022 Christine Colasurdo