Crysta Casey (1952-2008) was born in Pasadena, California. She graduated from The State University of New York, Stony Brook, in 1976, where she was one of the founding members of The Women Writers Workshop. After college, she became the first woman hired by the City of Irvine, California, in Parks and Maintenance.
In 1978, she enlisted in the all-new voluntary military, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps as a journalist, then as a self-declared “Resident Poet” until her honorable discharge under medical conditions in 1980.
She moved to Seattle, Washington in the early 1980s, where she studied with the poet Nelson Bentley and collaborated with Esther Altshul Helfgott on the “It’s About Time Writers Reading Series”. Her first collection of poetry, Heart Clinic, was published in 1993 (Bellowing Ark Press). In 2004 she received a Hugo House Award from Richard Hugo House, and, in 2006, she was a finalist for Seattle Poet Populist. In 2010, Floating Bridge Press brought out a chapbook of her work, Green Cammie.
Rules for Walking Out was published in 2017 (Cave Moon Press). It represents the arc of Crysta’s life work and was the last manuscript Crysta completed and approved before her death at the Seattle VA in the spring of 2008.
Crysta’s papers are housed in the
University of Washington Libraries