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Portland, Oregon

A Tribute to Barry Lopez

John Freeman, Jane Hirshfield, and Debra Gwartney honor Barry Lopez as part of 2023 Portland Book Festival Cover to Cover event series with Broadway Books Year of Reading Barry Lopez.

As part of 2023 Portland Book Festival Cover to Cover, a weeklong event series with bookish events happening all over the Portland area, local bookstore Broadway Books hosted an evening honoring the late Oregon writer Barry Lopez. Broadway declared 2023 the “year of reading Barry Lopez,” and we gathered three writers to share their memories of Barry and what his work meant to them, centered on his posthumous essay collection, Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World.

Barry Lopez passed away in December 2020. He was known as a nature writer and was awarded the National Book Award and the Oregon Book Award. For many years he made his home in the woods of Oregon, and longtime listeners will have heard him on this program before as Literary Arts hosted him many times, including the book launch for his final publication, Horizon.

To remember Barry as part of Broadway’s celebration of his work, his widow, Debra Gwartney; celebrated poet and his friend Jane Hirshfield; and his editor and friend John Freeman came together to read from the new essay collection and talk about his life and legacy.

Barry Lopez is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received a National Book Award and an Oregon Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist; and eight works of fiction, including Light Action in the Caribbean and Resistance, which also won Oregon Book Awards.