About Me

Jeff Kunkel is a widely published writer. He is author of two collections of short stories, four picture books for children, two books of nonfiction, and dozens of magazine stories and essays.

The Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel said about his first collection of short stories, Warming Fires:

“We need stories like these to make sense out of our lives.”

He is also a United Methodist minister, with access to a wide national network of congregations familiar with his work; he often does guest speaking appearances. Born and raised in eastern Wisconsin, he now lives in Oakland, California.

[Longer bio]

Jeff Kunkel is a widely published writer. He is the author of two collections of short stories, Warming Fires and Bless Ewe; the author of two books of history, Alaska Gold: Life on the New Frontier, 1896-1906, and an Inupiat Eskimo history, The Two Eskimo Boys Meet the Three Lucky Swedes.

He is also the editor of four children’s picture books published by Augsburg-Fortress Press. One of them, Jesus This Is Your Life: Stories & Pictures by Kids, won Best Theological Book of the Year for Children; another, Noah, Build Your Boat: Stories and Pictures by Kids, won the American Graphic Design Award.

He is co-author of a fifth childrens’ picture book, Didn’t We Have Fun!, published 2012, created with noted artist Hilda Robinson, who illustrated the story of her childhood memories growing up in an African-American neighborhood in Philadelphia.

His many short stories and articles have appeared in San Jose Mercury News, California History, Santa Clara University Magazine, Anchorage Gazette, Alaska magazine, and Christian Century. As adjunct faculty at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Jeff teaches students how to make stories and essays.

Kunkel is also an accomplished artist and coordinator of artistic projects. He studied at California College of Arts and majored in drawing/painting and has been a visiting artist in schools and churches. His museum exhibitions include Father Hubbard: Glacier Priest at the deSaisset Museum of Santa Clara University, and Alaska Gold: Life On the New Frontier, 1896-1906, a traveling exhibition originated by the California Historical Society; and Louis Seigcrist: Desert Paintings.

Kunkel is an ordained United Methodist pastor, currently serving Burlingame United Methodist Church, in Burlingame, California. As a pastor, his spiritual life is marked by wonder, humor, and curiosity, and he sees making things as a practice which promotes the vitality of mind, body, and spirit. Many congregations follow his writing and invite him to lead writing groups and book signings.

He lives with his wife in an old house on a hill in Oakland, California, and makes art in a studio in West Berkeley, in a building full of other people who make interesting, useful, and beautiful things.