Brian Benson | Bio

About Brian


Brian Benson

I grew up in northern Wisconsin, just across the road from a lake shaped like a heart, and just outside a town with three bars and no stoplights. Much of my youth was spent biking back roads and variously injuring myself in the woods and water. At eighteen, I headed to UW-Madison, where I pursued two lib-arts degrees and took zero creative writing classes, and after a few years of bouncing around the Americas on bus and bike, I landed in Portland, Oregon, where I now live.

Over the years, I’ve built rock walls in northern Michigan and played jazz guitar in western Guatemala. I’ve edited a magazine for bohemian travelers and served egg rolls to Madisonian suburbanites. I’ve taught Spanish to five-year-olds and English to fifty-year-olds and helped people learn to fix tiny bikes for tiny children. And all of this, in its own way, has led me to writing.


Brian Benson is the author of GOING SOMEWHERE, a Powell’s New Favorite. In 2015, he co-produced The River Signal, a radio story written and recorded during a trip down the Mississippi. Brian lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches creative writing at the Attic Institute and facilitates free Write Around Portland workshops in prisons, schools, and affordable housing. He is at work on his second book.


Author photo by Emilee Booher