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‘George Venn : The Literary Lion of La Grande’ explores George Venn’s upbringing, his environmental work, writing process and legacy all while showcasing La Grande, Oregon as the beautiful backdrop for several poetry readings. Following the viewing of the short film will be a Q&A with filmmaker Erik Schultz from Paper Flames and George Venn.
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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 received the Stewart Holbrook Award from Literary Arts for his General Editorship of the 6-volume Oregon Literature Series.
His most recent work editing Brock Evans Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied: The Autobiography of an Eco-Warrier won the national Book Excellence Award for Autobiography.