LESLIE LEYLAND FIELDS is a writer, teacher, wife and mother of six children, five boys and a girl, who span from college age to pre-school. She lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska, but often travels to speak at conferences, retreats and seminars around the country, speaking on matters of literature, family, writing, publishing and faith.
Fields grew up in rural New Hampshire in a family of six children. While attending Cedarville University in Ohio, Leslie met a wild Alaskan named Duncan Fields, whose nonconformity and recitations of Robert Service poetry wooed her to the alter. She wanted a life outside of picket fences, and she got it! From 1980-1981, Leslie and Duncan spent a year backpacking through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Southeast Asia. They embarked on a second trip in 1986, riding an expedition truck through Africa.
After graduate school, Leslie and Duncan created a homestead on an uninhabited island, eighty miles from the town of Kodiak. They have fished commercially with extended family on Harvester Island each summer since 1979 in a salmon fishing operation. In 2006-2007, Leslie and Duncan pulled the kids out of school and traveled throughout North America and Central America, learning from the classroom-of-the-road. As they traveled, Leslie spoke at many universities, and taught seminars on “Incarnational Teaching” to educators in Guatemala. During the winter, Leslie teaches creative nonfiction in Seattle Pacific University’s Master of Fine Arts Program and works as an adjunct professor at University of Alaska, Kodiak.
Leslie holds degrees from Cedarville University, the University of Oregon (M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in English), and Goddard College (M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction).
She is the author of five books including Surviving the Island of Grace, Out on the Deep Blue: Women, Men and the Oceans They Fish, The Entangling Net: Alaska’s Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives, and The Water Under Fish
Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Orion, Christianity Today, Image: Art, Faith Mystery, Christian Science Monitor, Best Essays Northwest, America and the SeaOn Nature: Great Writers on the Great Outdoors, Oregon Quarterly, Manoa, and many others. Her poetry has appeared in The Seattle Review, the Bellingham Review, the Northern Review, Christianity Today, Patches of Godlight: Father Tim’s Favorite Quotes, Light from Heaven and many others.