by Crysta Casey

Order from Crysta’s favorite bookstore.

    Crysta Casey’s poems, like her paintings, suggest on first encounter the appealing qualities of naive art, but that’s a gloss. Behind the good humor and bright, off-kilter details—elevator buttons, coffee spoons, the sailboat on the wall “forever sailing”—we soon sense anguish and bravery and masterful truth-telling. Any reader will recognize these reports from Marine Boot Camp, Camp Pendleton, the Psych Ward and the streets as authentic and heroically humane. I can attest that they are also unforgettable.

    Kathleen Flenniken, former Washington State Poet Laureate


— Published by 

Cave Moon Press

Corinna Wycoff Reviews

Crysta Casey’s

Rules for Walking Out

Corrina Wycoff is the author of two books of fiction, O Street, a novel-in-stories (OV Press, 2008), and Damascus House, a novel (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016). Her fiction and essays have also appeared in many journals and anthologies. She teaches English at Pierce College.

Letitia Cain of Poetry Northwest speaks with Deborah Woodard to learn more about  Crysta Casey's life.

A conversation about, “… the story of her life as a citizen poet: how she worked as a journalist for the Marines until her honorable discharge in 1980, how she lived with mental illness and received treatment from the Seattle VA, while increasingly dedicating herself to her poetry and painting”.


    Crysta approved this manuscript before her death, and it brings together the full loop of her poems about her time in the Marines, her subsequent breakdown and hospitalization, and her life in Seattle thereafter.  As Kathleen Flenniken points out, Crysta's work is often misunderstood. Crysta spent years refining her poems, working with profound humility, but also noteworthy tenacity.  In her final days at the Seattle VA, when she was too ill to write, she read the works of other poets.

    Deborah Woodard, poet, writer, literary translator, teacher, and creator of confounding puzzles.


    “… drawn from two manuscripts found completed among her papers at the time of her death, [ Green Cammie] is an unflinchingly honest record of the poet's experiences with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness as well as of her stint as a journalist in the U.S. Marine Corps. Green Cammie poignantly explores Casey's life in the Seattle VA Hospital and its adjoining worlds: Seattle’s low income housing, public parks, and streets. The winner of a Hugo Award from the Richard Hugo House and a finalist for Seattle Poet Populist in 2006.”

    A lived intensity focuses and collects at the center of Crysta Casey's Green Cammie, and the reader is immediately in a world of believable curses and small praises delivered through acute observation. The terse language seems so right for the vagaries of war. Each poem, through its fidelity to simplicity and orality, tends to illuminate a far-reaching field.

    Yusef Komunyakaa


— Published by

Floating Bridge Press

Also available through Crysta's favorite bookstore, Open Books


    Crysta Casey, a former Marine Corps journalist, declared herself a Resident Poet and moved to Seattle in 1980. This is her first book.


— Published by

Bellowing Ark Press.

Available through Amazon



    Created from manuscripts left after her death, this eBook is a collection of some of Crysta Casey's work, a number of poems having been published elsewhere, with others appearing here for the first time. Included are audio recordings of readings given by Crysta, as well as by a number of well regarded Washington State poets.


Available free

on the iBookstore


    Crysta Casey, Resident Poet. A life celebration and selection of her poetry. This eBook is a brief introduction to the late poet, Crysta Casey. A few poems, a sampling of her visual artwork, how she decided to become a poet, her struggle with schizophrenia and her battle with cancer.


Available free

on the iBookstore

Copyright © The Estate of Crysta E. Casey