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Winter Creek
One Writer's Natural History

Winter Creek is a five-part narrative essay in which John Daniel traces the development, from childhood in the East to adulthood in the Northwest, of his sense of membership in the natural world and the writing vocation. He writes with disarming honesty of the "long route" he took to maturity through his rootless and restless youth, when he looked for meaning in drugs and an active outdoor life in the West. From time spent fishing, climbing, and making a living logging, as well as through friendships with writers William Stafford, Wallace Stegner, and Wendell Berry—the dedicatee of Winter Creek—Daniel developed a personal and artistic ethos based on a long view of evolution and the glory of living in one's senses with an open mind.

A resident of rural Oregon, Daniel also sounds a cautionary note to fellow environmentalists about the tensions between urban and rural Northwesterners with regard to use of the natural world. As economic change transforms the region, he argues, many traditional human communities are as threatened and the plants and animals conservationists strive to protect.

Following the format of other volumes in Milkweed Editions' Credo series, Winter Creek contains a critical and biographical portrait of the author by series editor Scott Slovic and a complete bibliography (through 2001) of his publications.

Winter Creek by Author John Daniel
Winter Creek
2002, Milkweed Editions

Listen to audio excerpts from Winter Creek

Praise for Winter Creek

Read the reviews.

"John Daniel's voice is perfectly modulated, his judgments restrained, his sense of self dead level. This approach, together with Daniel's lyrical sensibility, makes this contour map of one writer's evolution wonderfully engaging."
—Barry Lopez

" 'It is enough, it is plenty, to be one small parcel of Nature's becoming,' " writes Daniel. In this reflective and polished text, he has very much insinuated himself into the process."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Best known for the two books that earned him Oregon Book Awards—the eloquent essay collection The Trail Home and a poignant memoir of his zestful mother, Looking After—Daniel has here crafted a long and lucid essay as much about the polestars of his heart as about the details of his life. . . . Readers familiar with Daniel's work will savor the slim but strong Winter Creek, the latest in Milkweed's Credo series of brief books by notable American writers of natural and human community. Readers new to this former logger will find here an excellent primer not only on Daniel's work but on writing especially attuned to the natural world."
—Brian Doyle, Portland Oregonian