- BL has been awarded, along with British writer Jim Crace and American writer Joy Williams, the first Dobie-Paisano International Residency Prize. In succeeding years, 2017, 2018, and 2019, the writers will occupy the former home of Texas writer J. Frank Dobie on the 258-acre Paisano Ranch, located on Barton Creek in the hill country west of Austin, Texas. The residency award provides the writers with a month of uninterrupted time in which to work and comes with a generous stipend. The monetary award is provided by the Ralph A. Johnston Memorial Foundation, with administrative support from The University of Texas at Austin and The Texas Institute of Letters. Residents are chosen by a committee. There is no application process.
- "Sliver of Sky" recently appeared in Revista La Biblioteca, the magazine of the National Library of Argentina. The essay, which was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, has also appeared in Ireland (Irish Pages), Germany (Neue Rundschau), and in Italy as an ebook, Frammenti di Cielo. In 2014, the essay appeared in both Best American Essays and Best American Magazine Writing.
- A long essay about, and interview of, BL appears in the December 2016 issue of Alpine Review: Observing the Things that Matter, a Canadian journal, this issue of which, No. 3, is devoted to the topic of Permanence. The interview was conducted by Patrick Pittman with Christopher Stokes at BL's home in the summer of 2015. This 300-page journal of articles, interviews, essays, black-and-white and color photographs, inserts, and foldouts, is an extraordinary, high-quality production.
- On June 4th, 2016, Barry Lopez delivered the commencement address at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine. He was presented with an honorary degree of Master of Philosophy in Human Ecology. His commencement address is scheduled to appear in College of the Atlantic's semi-annual alumni magazine in the fall of 2016.
- On May 16th, 2016 BL left for Amman, Jordan. He visited parts of Jordan, including the historic complex at Petra, and then joined fourteen other writers to read and present, and to attend briefings, in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Haifa, and Nablus, under the auspices of the Palestinian Festival of Literature. BL's The Rediscovery of North America was translated into Arabic for the occasion, published in Jordan, and launched on May 21st in Ramallah.
- On April 13th, 2016 Barry Lopez received The Art of Fact award in literary nonfiction from the State University of New York at Brockport for the body of his work. Previous winners have been Susan Sontag, Tracy Kidder, Calvin Trillin, and Wendell Berry. The ceremony took place at Temple B'rith Kodesh in Brockport, and the award was presented by the College at Brockport Writers Forum at M & T Bank.
- We are pleased to announce that Seattle-based fiction writer Ann Pancake has been selected to receive the first Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship.
Thank you to all of the generous donors who have contributed to the Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship Kickstarter campaign.
Ann Pancake is the author of the novel Strange as This Weather Has Been, and two short story collections: Given Ground and the recently published Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction, the Katherine Nason Bakeless Fellowship from BreadLoaf, and the prestigious Whiting Award, among other prizes and awards.
More information about Ann Pancake and the Fellowship can be found on the Fellowship’s Kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275873096/the-barry-lopez-visiting-writer-in-ethics-and-comm/posts/1152254, and at Ann Pancake's website: http://annpancake.blogspot.com
- BL and Jon Krakauer's onstage conversation at the 2015 Wordstock Literary Festival is now available as a podcast on the Literary Arts website: http://www.literary-arts.org/archive/jon-krakauer-barry-lopez/
- The theme of the Autumn 2015 issue of Granta is What Have We Done. It opens with an essay by BL entitled "The Invitation," in which he reflects on his travels with indigenous peoples, examining what it means to be present in, to gather meaning from, and to know a landscape. Publisher and editor Sigrid Rausing describes the work in this 224-page volume of Granta, the 133 issue of the UK's premier literary journal, as doing "something to alleviate the sense of doom in our title." The issue includes a piece about murder in Romania by Adam Nicholson, Australian writer Rebecca Griggs's report on a dying whale, Robert Mcfarlane's reflections on his mentor Roger Deakin, and a photo essay on the work of taxidermists by Helge Skodvin.
- The University of Arizona Press published James Perrin Warren's Other Country: Barry Lopez and the Community of Artists in December 2015. Mr. Warren interviewed a number of artists who have collaborated with BL and who are his close friends, including composer John Luther Adams, artist Alan Magee, and photographer Robert Adams. Other Country: Barry Lopez and the Community of Artists traces the evolution of this artistic community and the relationships apparent in the artists' work. The book is profusely illustrated. For more information, and to order, please visit http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/Books/bid2544.htm
- The editors of Cutthroat have announced the creation of the Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Award for an essay of up to 5,000 words. To learn more about these awards, please visit the Cutthroat contest page.
- In June 2014, Bill Tydeman's Conversations with Barry Lopez was awarded the bronze IndieFab Award in "nature" for 2013 by Foreword Reviews.
- A new French translation of Arctic Dreams (Rêves arctiques) appeared in March 2014. A Korean edition appeared in 2015, and a Chinese edition is scheduled to appear in May of 2016. An original collection of Barry Lopez's essays, Una Geografia Profonda, appeared in Italy in July 2014, translated and introduced by BL's longtime colleague and Italian translator Davide Sapienza. (The book has no counterpart in the United States.) BL's essay "Sliver of Sky" recently appeared in German in the literary journal Neue Rundschau (No. 2, 2014). An Italian translation of the same essay is scheduled to appear soon in Italy as an ebook. BL recently wrote a introduction for "I, Snow Leopard," a long poem by Nuosu (Yi) poet Jidi Majia, which appeared in China in August 2014, in six languages. An English edition of the poem and BL's introduction is scheduled to appear in February 2016 from Manoa Books.
- Barry Lopez's January 2013 Harper's essay "Sliver of Sky" was a finalist for two recent awards: the American Society of Magazine Editors 2014 National Magazine Award in the category of Magazine Essays and Criticism, and the Deadline Club (Society of Professional Journalists) 2014 Annual Award in the category of Magazine Feature Reporting. The essay appeared in Best American Essays 2014 and in Best American Magazine Writing 2014. It also appeared in Irish Pages, Ireland's leading literary journal, and in Neue Rundschau, a German literary magazine.
- Portland Magazine editor Brian Doyle wrote a profile of BL for the spring 2014 issue of Notre Dame Magazine, which featured some of the university's noted alumni.
- A new paperback edition of Home Ground was published by Trinity University Press in August 2013. This is a more portable version of the 2006 book in which editors Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney brought together 45 writers to craft more than 850 definitions for terms used to describe the American landscape — terms such as bosque, vega, trace, flatiron, bayou, milk gap, and looking-glass prairie.
- On June 25, 2013, Open Road Integrated Media released new ebook editions of four books by BL — Arctic Dreams, Crossing Open Ground, Winter Count, and Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter — along with a combined edition of Desert Notes and River Notes. Open Road plans to release an ebook edition of Arctic Dreams in April, 2016.
- A brief essay by BL appears in the April 12, 2013, issue of Newsweek, in a section called The City. Entitled "Perth, Outpost at the Edge," the essay is BL's take on Australia's lone west-coast city.
- BL was the Andrew Glasgow writer-in-residence at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina October 24-November 4, 2011. While there, BL collaborated with Paul Moxon, whose Fameorshame Press is in Mobile, Alabama. Moxon printed a limited-edition broadside of BL's very short story, "The Trail," which was originally published in Orion in early 2010 and appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010, edited by Dave Eggers.
- Toby McLeod of the Sacred Land Film Project interviewed Barry for an upcoming four-part television series entitled Losing Sacred Ground. An excerpt of the interview, in which BL discusses storytelling, is currently featured on their website.
- The Association of American Geographers (AAG) named BL the Association’s 2011 Honorary Geographer. The honor is conferred annually on a non-geographer for excellence in research, teaching, or writing on geographic topics. The award was first presented in 1998 to Stephen Jay Gould. Subsequent honorees include the writers John McPhee and Barbara Kingsolver, and economist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman. The award was presented on April 15, 2011 at the AAG’s annual meeting in Seattle.
- BL was awarded the 2010 Caldera Special Recognition Award on November 5, 2010 at the Nature of Words conference in Bend, Oregon. Caldera provides year-round art and environmental programs for underserved youth. It was established by Dan Wieden, of the advertising firm Wieden and Kennedy, and is directed by Tricia Snell.
- On October 19, 2010, BL spoke at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene, Oregon on behalf of Peter DeFazio, the Congressional Representative for Oregon's 4th District. Mr. DeFazio was up for re-election and BL accepted an invitation to host a fundraising evening. You can view his talk, in three parts, online.
- The final episode of the Bill Moyers Journal, aired in April 2010, featured a conversation between Bill Moyers and Barry Lopez.
If you missed this extended show on your local public television station, you can still watch it on-line at PBS.org.
- On November 9, 2008, BL received the C.E.S. Wood Distinguished Writer Award at the 22nd Annual Oregon Book Awards in Portland, Oregon. The C.E.S. Wood Award is given to an “Oregon author in recognition of an enduring, substantial literary career.” Previous winners have included Ken Kesey and Ursula Le Guin.
- On January 26, 2007, BL received the Rev. Robert J. Griffin Award, presented to a Notre Dame graduate who has made a significant contribution to literature. He graduated cum laude from the University in 1966 with a degree in Communication Arts.
Barry Lopez is a corresponding editor with Manoa, a book-length literary journal published twice a year by the University of Hawai'i Press and edited by Frank Stewart. A recent issue, Where the Rivers Meet: New Writing from Australia, was guest edited by Australians Larissa Behrendt, a novelist, lawyer, and member of the Eualayai and Kammillaroi nations of northwest New South Wales, and Mark Tredinnick, a poet, essayist, and writing teacher living in Sydney, and by BL and Frank Stewart. The 184-page issue of essays, fiction, and poetry features photographs by Aboriginal photographer Ricky Maynard. In 2008, Stewart and BL edited two issues of Manoa devoted to the theme of reconciliation, Maps of Reconciliation and Gates of Reconciliation. These issues featured the work of writers from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.
BL serves on the advisory boards of a diverse group of organizations. Among them are Theater Grottesco in Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Mountain Lion Foundation; The Orion Society; and Reader-to-Reader, which sends books, free of charge, to the nation's neediest libraries. He recently joined the advisory boards of The North American Network of Cities of Refuge, the Sacred Land Film Project, Living with Wolves, and Portland's Literary Arts.
On September 9, 2007, the President and a Vice-Provost of Texas Tech University, together with a small group of representatives from the Texas Tech University community, including Barry Lopez and artist Richard Rowland, made a formal offer of reconciliation between the University, which stands on former Comanche land, and the Comanche Nation. The event took place at Comanche Nation Tribal Headquarters near Lawton, Oklahoma, and represented the culmination of many months of preparation. This unprecedented ceremony and presentation of gifts marked the official beginning of a collaborative effort between the tribe and the University to improve educational opportunities for Comanche youth and to open the entire University community to “a Comanche way of knowing.”
Projects already underway include: 1) exchange programs for faculty and students, developed according to the provisions of a Memorandum of Understanding between Comanche Nation College and the University; 2) a long-term oral history field project, intended to establish an historical record of post-contact events seen from a Comanche point of view; 3) an ethnomusicology project designed to record, collect, and archive modern and traditional Comanche music, for deposit at both the Comanche Nation Museum and at the Southwest Collection at the University; and 4) a program that will bring tribal elders to the University in Lubbock, Texas, to begin work with students in the Honors College aimed at establishing a cultural context for each species of plant collected on traditional Comanche lands and now housed in the University’s herbarium.
The ceremony at Lawton began with a presentation of colors by Comanche military veterans—the American flag, the Comanche Nation flag, the Oklahoma State flag, and the flag of the Comanche Indian Veterans Association. BL and tribal chairman Wallace Coffey acted as co-masters of ceremony. Comanche drummers, singers, and dancers purified the ceremonial grounds prior to opening remarks from Chairman Coffey and by President Jon Whitmore and Vice-Provost Jim Brink. Following a statement about uniting in a common cause with the Comanche Nation, delivered by BL on behalf of the University, four members of the Comanche Indian Veterans Association were asked by Chairman Coffey to select an empty clay pot from a ceremonial table and to take up a position at one of the ceremonial grounds’ four cardinal points. BL asked four University representatives, each one holding a similar clay pitcher full of local groundwater, to join the veterans at the cardinal points.
The clay vessels, designed and built by artist Richard Rowland, were created from material that lies exposed in a narrow canyon on the eastern edge of Texas’s Llano Estacado, the site of a catastrophic loss for Comanche people. Here on September 29, 1874, more than a thousand horses stolen from the Comanche were shot and killed by troops of the Fourth United States Cavalry. BL and Richard Rowland dug clay and gathered other materials for the vessels at the site and fired them in an anagama kiln, using wood from several places in Texas and Oklahoma. The water for the ceremony was borrowed from a part of the Ogallala aquifer that lies beneath traditional Comanche country, land on which the University now stands.
At a signal from Chairman Coffey, the singers and drummers began a song and those holding the pitchers began slowly pouring water into the pots. At the conclusion of the song, Chairman Coffey asked that the water now in the pots be poured out onto the Earth. The University presented some of the Comanche people with Pendleton blankets, the colors were struck, and everyone joined in a slow line dance, twice circling the drummers and singers. The ceremony closed with the Comanche setting up receiving lines, so that each person present might be able to shake hands with every other person.
- Following the publication of Home Ground, edited by BL and Debra Gwartney, BL began work with Sandra Phillips, Senior Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, on an exhibit featuring the images of American landscape photographers. Entries from Home Ground will accompany many of the photographs. The show is scheduled to open in 2019.
Updated 5 February 2016
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Barry Holstun Lopez. All Rights Reserved.