Shannon Huffman Polson writes about courage and grit in her nonfiction and fiction. Her first book, the memoir North of Hope,
was released spring 2013 by Zondervan/Harper Collins. She released a short book of essays, The Way the Wild gets Inside, in December 2015. Her essays and articles have won recognition including honorable mention in the 2015 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize, and appear in River Teeth Journal, Ruminate Journal, Huffington Post, High Country News, Seattle and Alaska Magazines, as well as other literary magazines and periodicals. Her work is anthologized in “The Road Ahead,” “More Than 85 Broads” and “Be There Now: Travel Stories From Around the World.”
Polson’s business writing has appeared in Huffington Post and Forbes, and in 2016 she published three books profiling outstanding military women with a focus on leadership and grit (available on Kindle). Those profiles and others are available at Medium.com/@aborderlife, where Polson is a Top Leadership Writer.
After a childhood in Alaska, Polson studied English Literature and art history at Duke University. At graduation she was commissioned as a 2LT in Army Aviation and became one of the first women to fly Apache helicopters, serving on three continents and leading two flight platoons and a line company. In the midst of school and flying came skydiving, scuba diving, big-mountain climbing and long-course triathlons. To turn all that into something practical, she earned her MBA at the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and worked with some excellent people in the corporate jungle for a few years in the medical devices industry and technology. She then started an MDiv (part-time), and decided not to pursue it, returning to her love of words with an MFA.
Polson describes her writing as a way of wrestling with life by way of words to find its beauty and possibility. Current published and pending work is in non-fiction and some fiction, both journalistic and creative, but one day soon she hopes to start sharing work in poetry as well.
Polson is a leadership speaker, focusing on leadership and grit based on her years wearing the uniform and speaks to thousands of people in audiences around the country every year. She leads the board of the Friends of the Winthrop Public Library, working to cultivate community through a shared love of literacy and learning. She and her husband are co-founders of Methow Episcopal. Occasionally she procrastinates by reading, painting, classical choral performance, playing piano or heading out in the mountains with the greatest adventure of her life, her husband Peter and two young boys.
In 2009 Polson was awarded the Trailblazer Woman of Valor award by Senator Maria Cantwell.