Beaver's Fire: A Regional Portfolio (1970-2010)


Product Details

Redbat Books
Publish Date
7.0 X 10.0 X 0.9 inches | 1.69 pounds

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About the Author

Poet, essayist, literary historian, editor, and educator, George Venn (1943- ) is a distinguished figure in Pacific Northwest literature. Raised by his maternal grandparents near Mt. Rainier, he was first schooled among the evergreen Cascades. In 1957 his family moved to the gold larch mountains of Spirit Lake, Idaho, where he graduated in 1961, then enrolled at The College of Idaho. In Caldwell, spring, 1967, his B.A. advisor Dr. Louie Attebery introduced George to Pacific Northwest literature and suggested he enroll at the University of Montana. While studying in Missoula, George completed a tutorial with Dr. Harold G. Merriam, renown northwest editor for two decades. In 1970, MFA granted, George moved to the fertile Grande Ronde Valley to teach at Eastern Oregon University. There, he offered his first Pacific Northwest literature course in 1971. Honored with the Distinguished Teaching Faculty award in 2002, he then retired to write. Since 1971 his diverse prose has been widely published. Editor of over 22 works, his leadership as General Editor of The Oregon Literature Series was honored by the 1995 Stewart Holbrook Award for "outstanding contributions to Oregon's literary life." In 1988, the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts awarded Marking the Magic Circle a silver medal. Over forty years, he published reviews, adjudicated literary contests, and evaluated manuscripts. Some 120 poems have appeared in print including a 1980 Pushcart Prize. In 1999 West of Paradise was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award. As a literary historian, he researched over 20 works including the widely-praised Soldier to Advocate, and his writing on Nard Jones' Oregon Detour inspired the Northwest Reprint Series from OSU Press. As an educator, he was the first professor east of the Oregon Cascades to regularly teach Native American literature. In 1981-1982, he was among the first American writers to teach English in post-Cultural Revolution China.


"In Beaver's Fire George Venn is a passionate champion of the power of stories to teach us and unite us, even in our differences. He has blazed trails, not of tears but of celebration, connecting our past to our future. It's been a delight to follow them." -Dennis Stovall, Publisher, Writer, Educator, and Literary Activist "Beaver's Fire is an inside look at the tremendous, mind-boggling variety of Pacific Northwest literature. Venn is both practitioner (poet, essayist, teacher) and cool critic. He calls up a whole, mysteriously vibrant, growing region. His own poems and prefaces reveal his inner world and bring a sharp sense of place." -Thomas J. Lyon, Editor, "Western American Literature" (1974 -1997); Editor-in-Chief, Updating the Literary West (1997) "The breadth and depth of Beaver's Fire is stunning and illuminating-offering a penetrating coherence that marks it as a distinct and invaluable work.... To read this wonderful miscellany is to feel Northwest culture and literature animate overlapping circles. The roads and rivers, fields and forests, neighborhoods and towns-where you live-might never be the same." -Tim Barnes, Author, Definitions for a Lost Language (2010) and Everyone Out Here Knows: A Big Foot Tale (2014) "George Venn uncovers many hidden histories of the Pacific Northwest, a region he cares about deeply. Between these covers, you will encounter stories you didn't know and counter stories for the ones you thought you knew. You need to know these other histories." -Nancy Cook, Professor of English, University of Montana