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January 2018

Award-Winning Books and Authors!

In honor of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association 2018 Book Awards announced this week, and to celebrate OSU Press author Brian Doyle’s posthumous recognition with the 2018 “Indie Spirit Award,” we thought we would take a moment to look back at some of our award winning titles and authors. We hope you enjoy these books as much as we do!

*Please note: this list is in no particular order nor is it comprehensive.

Renowned author Jarold Ramsey was this year’s winner of the Oregon Book Awards C. E. S. Wood Distinguished Writer Award. He has published three books with the OSU Press.

Words Marked by PlaceWords Marked by a Place: Local Histories in Central Oregon by Jarold Ramsey
Notable author Jarold Ramsey’s newest book Words Marked by a Place, slated to be released this spring, is a book of interconnected writings reflecting on the human and natural history of central Oregon. This chronological collection presents the reader with key episodes of central Oregon history, from nineteenth-century exploration to the railroading and homesteading era to the era of community-building and development that followed.

New EraNew Era: Reflections on the Human and Natural History of Central Oregon by Jarold Ramsey
Distinguished writer Jarold Ramsey authors New Era, a graceful and literate collection of personal essays on the human and natural history of the Oregon high desert, focusing on what happened to the people and the land of this region during and after the homesteading era of 1900 to 1920. It is a book full of stories-about early Indian/Anglo connections, about the ghost town of Opal City, about homestead ranches and the families who struggled to make their lives there.

The Stories We TellThe Stories We Tell: An Anthology of Oregon Folk Literature by Jarold Ramsey and Suzie Jones
Jarold Ramsey and Suzie Jones co-author the first anthology of Oregon folk literature collecting cherished traditional stories and songs, myths and sayings, that have nurtured and informed the state’s best writings. Oregon's written literary heritage owes much to what Oregonians have told and sung and kept in memory, in kitchens and sweat-lodges, on the range and on the street, in canneries and convention centers, in schools, bunkhouses, and funeral parlors. This book celebrates a literature that has been sustained by the artistry and imaginative generosity of countless Oregonians, past and present, with stories to share.

Shaping the Public GoodShaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest by Sue Armitage
This 2017 Oregon Book Award and WILLA Award finalist in the nonfiction category uses the story of Tsagaglalal, or “She Who Watches,” an ancient female chief, as a guide to show that even though women were barred from positions of public authority until recently, they have always worked quietly and informally to assure the stability and security of their families and communities. Women’s community-building and cooperative skills have been decisive in developing the societies of the Pacific Northwest—Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, and British Columbia. Like She Who Watches, women have never been mere observers, but watchful guardians and active shapers of the public good.

Ricky's AtlasRicky’s Atlas, Mapping a Land on Fire by Judith Li and illustrated by Peg Herring
The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2017 Best Hands On Science Book, Ricky’s Atlas, Mapping a Land on Fire is the sequel to Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell. This children’s book follows Ricky Zamora as he brings his love of map-making and his boundless curiosity to the arid landscapes east of the Cascade Mountains. He arrives during a wild thunderstorm, and watches his family and their neighbors scramble to deal with a wildfire sparked by lightning. Joined by his friend Ellie, he sees how plants, animals, and people adjust to life with wildfires.

Ellie's LogEllie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell by Judith Li and illustrated by Peg Herring
Ellie’s Log, by notable scientist and author Judith Li and illustrated by Peg Herring, received an Honorable Mention from the John Burrough’s Society. This book is an engaging blend of science and storytelling. After a huge tree crashes to the ground during a winter storm, ten-year-old Ellie and her new friend, Ricky, explore the forest where Ellie lives. Together, they learn how trees provide habitat for plants and animals high in the forest canopy, down among mossy old logs, and deep in the pools of a stream. The plants, insects, birds, and mammals they discover come to life in colored pen-and-ink drawings.

Diary of a Citizen ScientistDairy of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World by Sharman Apt Russell
Sharman Apt Russell received the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for her book Diary of a Citizen Scientist. This timely exploration of the phenomenon of citizen scientists is told through the lens of nature writer Sharman Apt Russell’s yearlong study of a little-known species, the Western red-bellied tiger beetle. In a voice both humorous and lyrical, Russell recounts her persistent and joyful tracking of an insect she calls “charismatic,” “elegant,” and “fierce.” Patrolling the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico, collector’s net in hand, she negotiates the realities of climate change even as she celebrates the beauty of a still-wild and rural landscape.

For the Love of RiversFor the Love of Rivers: A Scientist’s Journey by Kurt Fausch
Kurt Fausch, stream ecologist and award recipient of the 2016 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, ponders both the science of rivers and streams but also the larger questions of why rivers are important to humans, why it is in our nature to want to be near them, and what we can do now to ensure the future of these essential ecosystems in his book For the Love of Rivers.

2016 Geological Society of America fellow, Dawn Wright, co-authored her book Place Matters Astrid Scholz and published it through the OSU Press.

Place MattersPlace Matters: Geospatial Tools for Marine Science, Conservation, and Management in the Pacific Northwest by Dawn Wright and Astrid Scholz
Co-authored by distinguished scientists Dawn Wright and Astrid Scholz, this book discusses how marine geographic information system (GIS) is contributing to the understanding, management, and conservation of the shores and ocean of the Pacific Northwest, where scientists, resource managers, and conservationists- often in collaboration- are making advances in the way that data are collected, documented, used, shared, and saved.

Morning LightMorning Light: Wildflowers, Night Skies, and Other Ordinary Joys of Oregon Country Life by Barbara Drake
Morning Light, a 2016 Oregon Book Award finalist, examines the life lessons Barbara Drake has learned in her long stint of country living. As entertaining and instructive as it is personal and reflective, Drake’s writing highlights her appreciation for the landscape of western Oregon and the reasons we should care for our rural landscapes.

Field Guide to Oregon RiversField Guide to Oregon Rivers by Tim Palmer
Tim Palmer does due justice to Oregon’s pristine network of waterways in this 2016 Oregon Book Award finalist. Field Guide to Oregon Rivers offers all audiences an interpretive approach to 120 rivers and streams throughout the state of Oregon, highlighting their natural history, geology, climate, hydrology, plants, animals, and ecology and showcasing their beauty with 150 award-winning photographs.

A Week in Yellowstone's ThorofareA Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare: A Journey through the Remotest Place by Michael Yochim
A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare, a finalist for the 2017 High Plains Book Award in the nonfiction category, explores Michael Yochim’s weeklong expedition in the remotest place in the country, outside of Alaska, ironically named the Thorofare for its historic role as a route traversed by fur trappers. Drawing on first-person accounts of rangers who have patrolled this region in Yellowstone National park, archival documents, and Yochim’s personal experiences over almost three decades, this book distinguishes between the notions of wildness and wilderness and argues that wildness is the most precious, and easily lost, attribute of wilderness.

Marie EquiMarie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passion by Michael Helquist
Named a 2016 Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association, Marie Equi explores the fiercely independent life of an extraordinary woman. Equi self-studied her way into a San Francisco medical school and then obtained her license in Portland to become one of the first practicing woman physicians in the Pacific Northwest. She leveraged her professional status to fight for woman suffrage, labor rights, and reproductive freedom and broke boundaries in all facets of life by becoming the first well-known lesbian in Oregon.

Beloved Oregon author Brian Doyle received this year’s Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association 2018 “Indie Spirit Award.” He published four of his works with the OSU Press.

Children and Other Wild AnimalsChildren and Other Wild Animals: Notes on badgers, otters, sons, hawks, daughters, dogs, bears, air, bobcats, fishers, mascots, Charles Darwin, newts, sturgeon, roasting squirrels, parrots, elk, foxes, tigers and various other zoological matters by Brian Doyle
Renowned author Brian Doyle’s collection of delightful, short vignettes pondering animals and human mammals of all sizes won a 2016 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. Doyle explores the seethe of life on this startling planet, the astonishing variety of our riveting companions, and the joys available to us when we pause, see, savor, and celebrate the small things that are not small in the least.

The Wet EngineThe Wet Engine: Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart by Brian Doyle
In this poignant and startlingly original book, Brian Doyle examines the heart as a physical organ—how it is supposed to work, how surgeons try to fix it when it doesn’t—and as a metaphor: the seat of the soul, the power house of the body, the essence of spirituality. In a series of profoundly moving ruminations, Doyle considers the scientific, emotional, literary, philosophical, and spiritual understandings of the heart—from cardiology to courage, from love letters and pop songs to botany and Jesus. Weaving these strands together is the torment of Doyle’s own infant son’s heart surgery and the inspiring story of the young heart doctor who saved Liam’s life.

Mink RiverMink River by Brian Doyle
This 2011 Foreward Review’s Editor’s Choice Prize-winning novel is Brian Doyle’s stunning fiction debut that brings a small town on the Oregon coast to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people. There are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter… It’s the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and readers will close the book more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.

The GrailThe Grail: A Year Ambling & Shambling through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wide World by Brian Doyle
A self-described "wine doofus," Brian Doyle chronicles his year in one Willamette Valley vineyard, exploring the creative and chaotic labor of making the perfect pinot noir. Doyle serves as a cheerful tour guide through the world of wine, alert to the colorful and riveting stories that swirl around its creation and consumption, and sharing these stories about the natural history of the vineyard, the fussiness of the pinot vine, the boom in pinot noir around the world, the surprising buying habits of tasting room visitors, and the subtle craft of winemakers who know, as Jesse Lange says, grinning, "how to get out of the way of great grapes.

Be sure to pick up one of these prized titles to keep you company while waiting (perhaps im-) patiently for our soon-to-be released Spring 2018 books!

San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk Commemorates Marie Equi

OSU Press author Michael Helquist had the opportunity to present at the unveiling of the mock-up of Marie Equi’s plaque for San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk. Michael’s biography, Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions, explores the fiercely independent life of an extraordinary woman who used her professional status as a physician to fight for woman suffrage, labor rights, and reproductive freedom and was the first well-known lesbian in Oregon. Marie Equi’s inclusion in San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk is a well-deserved honor commemorating her unparalleled life journey.

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Michael Helquist, Marie Equi biographer, at unveiling of mock-up.The official mock-up of Marie Equi’s plaque for San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk was unveiled last month during a presentation by author Michael Helquist (Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions). The rendering reveals Equi’s likeness, her signature, and a description of her efforts to achieve a more just society. In spring 2018 the 3’ by 3’ bronze plaque will be installed in the sidewalk along Market Street, San Francisco’s primary thoroughfare, as part of a tribute to deceased LGBTQ individuals worldwide who made significant contributions to their fields.

Equi will join a stellar group of nearly three dozen individuals who have already been recognized with plaques, ranging from activists Bayard Rustin, Harry Hay, and Jane Addams; artists Frida Kahlo and Keith Haring, authors Virginia Woolf, Yukio Mishima, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Tennessee Williams, and Federico Garcia Lorca; scientist Alan Turing, singer Sylvester James, and Jose Sarria, founder of the Imperial Court System.

The Rainbow Honor Walk is an all-volunteer project based in San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. Begun in 2011, the organization funds production and placement of the bronze plaques through community outreach and private donations. (Each plaque costs about $5,000.) The City and County of San Francisco collaborates with planning and installation and the city’s art commission approves the design. Artist Carlos Casuso of Madrid, Spain was selected to design the plaques following an international design competition. The first 24 plaques were installed mostly along Castro Street in the city’s LGBTQ neighborhood, and then organizers extended the route on either side of Market Street with the next batch of twenty-four plaques.

Mock-up of Marie Equi bronze plaque to be installed in Rainbow Honor Walk.In November 2017 Helquist and historian Paula Lichtenberg presented a talk at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco that illustrated the shift in the general public’s attitudes toward same-sex intimate relationships from the late 1890s to the 1920s. Helquist referred to the Oregon public’s general acceptance of Marie Equi’s relationship with her companion Bessie Holcomb in the mid-1890s contrasted with the harsh disapproval she encountered during a public inheritance dispute involving her intimate companion in Portland in 1906.

Although Marie Equi’s reputation extends beyond the Pacific Northwest, she was not particularly well known in San Francisco’s activist, women’s, and LGBTQ communities. Her recent biography significantly changed that.

For more information on Marie Equi see michaelhelquist.com and for the Rainbow Honor Walk see rainbowhonorwalk.org.

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