Ken Lamberton headshot.
Photo by Karen Lamberton

Ken Lamberton

Creative Nonfiction Writer

2024 Fellow


Ken Lamberton (he/him) was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in the Arizona desert, where he took his first lessons as a naturalist. While spending twelve years in an Arizona prison, he joined the writing workshop of poet Richard Shelton and began publishing articles and essays in outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Orion, Gettysburg Review, and Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000.

His first book, Wilderness and Razor Wire, was published to critical acclaim (Mercury House, 2000). The San Francisco Chronicle called it “entirely original: an edgy, ferocious, subtly complex collection of essays on the nature of freedom and the freedom of nature.” In 2002, the book won the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, joining such luminaries as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson.

Lamberton has published six books and leads a weekly workshop in Tucson for former prisoners and others from the community. He holds degrees in biology and creative writing and lives with his wife in an 1890s stone cottage near Bisbee, Arizona, where he spends his days fixing the plumbing.