Mission & Vision


Fishtrap’s mission statement formulated many years ago and re-affirmed frequently is “Fishtrap promotes clear thinking and good writing in and about the West.” Sometimes this mission is abbreviated as “Writing and the West.”


Vision & Values

We are dedicated to the premise that cultivating creativity and clear thinking is key to fulfilling human potential and crucial for the health of both the individual and society as a whole. Further, we value a connection to where we find ourselves- the American West and, in particular the rural West. We value the West as a wellspring of creativity — one that is frequently undervalued, misunderstood, misinterpreted. Fishtrap holds that it is particularly important to promote writing that is rooted in the unique history, cadence and flavor of our environment. It is important to give those of us who live in this region a voice. Without the ability to tell our own stories, we are left only with the stories others tell. To that end, Fishtrap offers programs that reconnect people to their best selves, their individual voices, and the voices of other writers, thinkers and visionaries.

We respect and honor the original and long-time inhabitants of this place. We put egalitarianism and social justice at the center of the Fishtrap world. Honoring the past while embracing contemporary issues, our organization provides a forum for stimulating give and take at our public events. We do all of this with a warmth that is particular to Fishtrap. Many people tell us that Fishtrap events are among the warmest, most engaging and energizing events they’ve ever attended.