About Author and Writing Ranch Founder, Ellen Waterston
Ellen Waterston is poet, author and literary arts advocate. Vía Láctea: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino is Waterston’s most recent title. 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 fourth collection of poetry, and is at work on nonfiction examining land use issues in the high desert.
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, Between Desert Seasons winner of WILLA Award for Poetry from Women Writing in the West
- 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
- High Desert Journal, Fall 2013, "Red White Woman"
- Quill and Parchment, Fall 2013, "Fourth of July at the Beach"
- High Desert Journal, Spring 2013, Issue #17, "The GG's".
- These Mountains that Separate Us, An East/West Dialogue Poem, Traprock Books, 2012
- Playa, On the Edge of the Great Basin, 2012
- Oregon Quarterly, "My Vietnam", Winter 2011
- 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.