photo by Tyler Anderson of Driftless Visuals

Rachael Shay Button is a writer, a teacher, an explorer, and a place-based educator.  She’s from Metro-Detroit but currently lives with her husband Peter Kraus in Washington state where they both teach outdoor science in Olympic National Park.

Rachael holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University–a program which not only emphasizes writing craft but also field work and environmental engagement.

In the years since graduate school, Rachael has lived in an intentional community on the border of a wilderness area in Washington’s North Cascades, worked on an organic farm in Maine, road-tripped across Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia, hiked 180 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, and led students on backpacking trips in North Cascade National Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  She’s been a writer, a teacher, an adjunct professor, a Dean of Students, an artist-in-residence, a naturalist, a farm hand, a wilderness trip leader, a marketing coordinator, and a high school cross country coach (among other things.)  She loves to learn and is inspired by the communities she’s lived in, the students she’s worked with, and the colleagues she’s learned alongside.

Rachael’s essays and poems have appeared in The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pank, The Collagist, Creative Nonfiction, Diagram, and Redivider, among other journals.  Her essay “Crossings” was nominated for a Pushcart prize.