This site is curated by Michael N. McGregor, who has lived in Washington and Oregon most of his life. A Seattle native, he earned a journalism degree from the University of Oregon while spending his college summers as a wildland firefighter on Mt. Hood. After graduation, he returned to Seattle and worked as writer and editor for World Concern, a relief and development agency serving refugees, subsistence farmers, and others in need throughout the developing world. A desire to learn more about other cultures and histories took him to Europe, where he led tours for several years before returning to writing.
In the mid-1990s, McGregor ventured east long enough to earn an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University in New York and gain teaching experience at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale before helping to found and lead the creative writing program at Portland State University, where he taught for 17 years. Since retiring in 2017, he has split his time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands, with regular returns to Portland.
McGregor recently completed a memoir about a year he and his wife lived in the woods on an island off the coast of Washington. His other writings about the Pacific Northwest have appeared in the Seattle Review, Oregon Historical Quarterly, the Oregon History Project (on the Oregon Historical Society website), the Oregonian, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Portland Monthly, Oregon Humanities, the Portland Tribune, Metroscape, and Oregon Quarterly. He has spoken about Northwest history and social issues on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” and “Oregon Territory,” and other local radio programs.
In December 2021, McGregor was awarded a 2022 Donald J. Sterling, Jr., Senior Research Fellowship in Pacific Northwest History. The fellowship, given by the Oregon Historical Society, will fund research for his next book, a biography of a prominent NW figure.