Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L's Warren Writes Introduction to Limited-Edition Book

A fine-press, limited-edition collection of six short stories by Barry Lopez, the prize-winning American author, essayist and fiction writer, features an introduction by James (Jim) Warren, the S. Blount Mason Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University.

“Outside” (Nawakum Press, 2013) was designed and illustrated by Barry Moser, the renowned American book designer, printmaker and illustrator, and includes 11 engravings by Moser.

“I’m so proud and humbled by the production of this gorgeous book,” said Warren, who is writing a book about Lopez. “I am very lucky to have been asked to write the introduction. This is not exactly the normal faculty publication.”

Only 12 copies of a deluxe edition ($3,500) and 28 of a slip-cased edition ($2,200) are available for purchase.

The spine and fore edges of the deluxe edition are black Levant goatskin, and the side panels are made of copper Asahi book cloth. On the spine, the title is stamped in gold on a red leather inlay. The front of the book features an accent of recessed Sycamore veneer and black leather. The deluxe edition includes a portfolio containing all 11 prints from the book, and both editions are numbered and signed by the author and the artist.

The book is printed by letterpress on an archival sheet, and the engravings are printed directly from the blocks on handmade Gampi Torinko, a legendary paper from Japan.

The short stories are drawn from Lopez’s “Notes” trilogy, which he wrote over 20 years, from 1967 to 1994, with stories from “Desert Notes,” “River Notes” and “Field Notes.” Lopez is best known for his book “Arctic Dreams,” which won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 1986, as well as for “Of Wolves and Men,” which won the John Burroughs Medal for natural history writing.

“Some people would say Barry is a nature writer, but he resists that label,” said Warren. “He is a storyteller, both in his fiction and non-fiction, and tries to tell stories that connect human beings to the physical landscape in many different ways, but especially through the imagination. He shows how human beings can belong to and flourish in a place for centuries, and the people that he’s drawn to believe in the collective wisdom of their culture and have a very deeply spiritual view of the land.”

Warren has known Lopez since 2001, when Lopez visited Washington and Lee through W&L’s Glasgow Endowment, which was established by the late Arthur G. Glasgow for the “promotion of the expression of art through pen and tongue.”

Lopez returned to W&L in the spring of 2007 as the first Glynn Family Scholar, through the John and Barbara Glynn Family Professorship, established in 2001 to fund annually a visiting professor who is an accomplished scholar and teacher.

Lopez stayed on campus for two weeks and gave three public performances. He also taught a course for a handpicked group of 10 students and team-taught a Spring Term course with Warren and John Knox, emeritus professor of biology, on field biogeography. “He was a wonderful visitor, and, although it was not in his contract, he was with us all day, every day, even out in the field,” said Warren.

The book is available at the Nawakum website.