Paper pub. date
January 1987
ISBN 9780870713538 (paperback)
ISBN 9780870713521 (hardcover)

Marking the Magic Circle

George Venn

Award: Silver Medal and Special Award for Oregon Literature, Literary Arts, 1988

Award: 100 Best Oregon Books (1800-2000), Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, 2005

George Venn, in this collection of poetry, fiction, Chinese translations, and essays both personal and literary, challenges his readers to root themselves in the strength of home, rather than looking for direction to far away intellectual and political centers. His writing resonates with the reality of life in the Northwest -- the spiritual richness of a life lived in harmony with the requirements of place, and the problems of unemployment and poverty faced by so many in the region. In his literary essays Venn explores the rich variety of the Northwest’s literary heritage, and undertakes to convince those who live in the region of the value and authenticity of this heritage. Venn’s blend of creativity and scholarship is unique in the Northwest, enriching both his scholarship with a poet’s vision and his poetry and fiction with a deep understanding of their context and roots in the region’s literature.

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About the author

Poet, writer, literary historian, editor, linguist, and educator, George Venn (1943) is an eclectic, complex, and distinguished figure in western American literature. As one university press editor described him, "Venn’s blend of creativity and scholarship is unique...." Venn enhanced that description in the 2005 Contemporary Authors: "Politics: Independent. Religion: Ecumenist; mystic; no literalistic ethnocentric orthodoxy; everything universal." His distinguished and eclectic literary practice is best affirmed by Marking The Magic Circle (1987), a collection of fiction, poetry, essays, translations, and Jan Boles photographs. In 1988, this book won a silver medal from Literary Arts; in 2005, the same book was selected by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission as one of the 100 best Oregon books in the two centuries.

George Venn is the General Editor of Oregon State University Press' Oregon Literature Series

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