About Author and Writing Ranch Founder, Ellen Waterston
Ellen Waterston is poet, author and literary arts advocate. Her upcoming nonfiction title, High-Centered: The Oregon Desert Trail as National Metaphor, will be published by the University of Washington Press in 2020. Hotel Domilocos: Poems, published by Moonglade Press, is her fourth volume of poetry. In 2015, she converted her verse novel, Vía Láctea: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino to a libretto, sung to a musical score by composer Rebecca Oswald. The verse novel, based on walking the Camino de Santiago in 2012, was premiered as an opera in Bend, Oregon's Tower Theatre, June 2016. Poetry awards include the WILLA for two previous collections and the Obsidian Prize for Poetry. Prose titles include Where the Crooked River Rises, a collection of Waterston's award-winning essays and a memoir, Then There Was No Mountain, rated one of the top ten books of 2003 by the Oregonian and a WILLA finalist.
After eleven years as founder/director of The Nature of Words, a literary arts nonprofit, she passed the baton in 2012 to focus on the Writing Ranch, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize and her writing. Founded by Waterston in 2000, the Writing Ranch offers writing workshops and retreats. The Waterston Desert Writing Prize, established in 2014, is awarded annually each June to nonfiction projects concerning deserts anywhere in the world. Waterston is completing a fifth collection of poetry.
Hotel Domilocos, Moonglade Press, 2017
Vía Láctea, A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino, Atelier 6000, 2013
Between Desert Seasons, Wordcraft of Oregon, 2008
I Am Madagascar, Ice River Press, 2004
Cold Snap, Fishtrap, Inc., 2011
Then There Was No Mountain, Rowman and Littlefield, hard copy: 2003; paperback 2005
Honors & Awards
2014 keynote speaker at Oregon Natural Desert Association Conference
2014 Playa Writing Residency, Summer Lake, Oregon
2014 speaker at TEDxBend
2014 keynote speaker at Oregon Poetry Association's Spring Conference
2013 keynote speaker at the Northwest Poets' Concord
2013 keynote speaker at the Central Oregon Community College Faculty Convocation
2013 competition judge fro the Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest
Served on the faculty of Summer Fishtrap 2012
2012, Oregon Arts Commission, Career Opportunity Grant
2012 Playa Writing Residency, Summer Lake, Oregon
2011, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology writing residency, Neskowin, Oregon
2011 Playa Writing Residency, Summer Lake, Oregon
2011, Werner Writer in Residence as part of Fishtrap, Enterprise, Oregon
2009, Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artists Fellowship
2009, Island Institute Writing Residency in Sitka, Alaska
2009, Individual Artists Fellowship Grant by the Oregon arts Commission
2008, Winner, Oregon Quarterly Magazine Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest
2007, awarded Honorary Distinguished Professor of Humane Letters for accomplishments as an author and poet and promotion of the literary arts through The Nature of Words and The Writing Ranch. Award followed Ellen's address to the Oregon State university/Cascades Campus 2007 graduating class.
2007 Winner, Obsidian Prize in Poetry
2005, I Am Madagascar winner of WILLA Award for Poetry from Women Writing in the West
Her memoir, Then There Was No Mountain, published in 2005, was recognized by the Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year; she also earned an appearance on Good Morning America for this work.
Anthologies & Journals
Quill and Parchment, Fall 2013, "Fourth of July at the Beach"
These Mountains that Separate Us, An East/West Dialogue Poem, Traprock Books, 2012
Playa, On the Edge of the Great Basin, 2012
New Poets of the American West, Many Voices Press, 2010
Interviews & Audio
Waterston, Ellen. (2014, April 26). Ellen Waterston: Metaphormosis - Change Your Metaphor, Change Your Life. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/e8gh4Z294lA
Waterston, Ellen. Interview by Emily Harris. Think Out Loud. Oregon Public Broadcasting: 2 June 2011. Radio. Link.
Waterston, Ellen. Production by Katrina Sarson. Oregon Art Beat. Oregon Public Broadcasting: 27 Oct. 2011. Television. Link.
Waterston, Ellen. Read by Garrison Keillor. The Writer's Almanac. American Public Media: 26 June 2010. Radio. Link.