Kirsten Rian is an independent photography curator and writer. She has curated or coordinated more than 375 photography exhibitions internationally, and picture edited or written for over 80 books and catalogues.
She is an accomplished multidisciplinary artist, working prolifically as a writer, painter, installation conceptual artist, and musician, reflecting a commitment to community–both in her immediate orbit, as well as in the greater international context. Her most recent international exhibition was in Iceland and incorporated video, painting, words, and music. Her work with refugees and immigrants in war-torn communities and human trafficking survivors explores how storytelling and sharing through creative mediums often allows the hardest and most necessary aspects of human history and experience to be remembered, and in fact, honored. As a musician she has made 8 records, and acted as producer on others.
She is widely published as a journalist, essayist and poet, and the author of three notable books. Her anthology of Sierra Leonean poets and their accounts of the civil war, Kalashnikov in the Sun (Pika Press), is in every classroom in Sierra Leone. Life Expectancy was released in 2015. She was the author of the weekly column “The Alphabet of Light” for Daylight Magazine, was the poetry editor at The Oregonian newspaper, and is the recipient of numerous artist fellowships and grants.
Contact her at riankirsten – a t – gmail – dot- com
Excerpt from newest book Life Expectancy may be found under “Writing”
The Language of Logging, David Maisel monograph essay
Roger Ballen, Lines from Here to There, digital story
Jess Dugan, Eye to Eye, digital story
Penelope Umbrico, Mountains, Moving, digital story
Jacqueline Hassink, Arab Domains, digital story
Alec Soth, Orlando, digital story
The Night Stevie Ray Died, Portland Magazine
William Stafford Exhibit
Photo District News
A profile on Kirsten from Oregon Arts Commission
Recent poetry reading
The Black.Light Project
Digital Storytelling/Notre Dame
Kalashnikov in the Sun, digital story
Tumor Stories, digital story
Portland Winter Light Festival
It’s a beautiful thing when a radio station in Connecticut that played your music over 20 years ago, emails out of the blue, as happened the other day, and somewhere out there, music from a different life still matters. We make marks, and they live on by themselves out there in the world. Time for another stitch to be made in the continuum of songs that have stacked up in my 25 years of making music. What is there but gratitude for notes that somehow weave stories that for some reason people listen to.