Brad Elliott

Paul Willis

Fiction, Poetry, Young Adult, Fantasy, Workshop Leaders

Paul J. Willis is an emeritus professor of English at Westmont College and a former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, California. 

In addition to his YA Elizabethan time-travel novel, All in a Garden Green (Slant, 2020), Willis has published an eco-fantasy quartet, two collections of creative nonfiction, the most recent of which is To Build a Trail: Essays on Curiosity, Love & Wonder (WordFarm, 2018), and seven collections of poetry. 

His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in PoetryImage, and River Teeth. They have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 1996 (Scribner’s), The Best Spiritual Writing 1999 (HarperSanFrancisco), The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004 (Houghton Mifflin), and The Best Christian Writing 2006 (Jossey-Bass). In 2002 he was selected by Jane Hirshfield as the winner of the Small Press Poetry Chapbook Prize. More recently his poems have been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac and nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize. 

He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Sharon. They have a grown son and daughter and four grandchildren.

Festival Years: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2024