The Center of the American West is proud to award John McPhee its highest honor, the Stegner Award, on October 27th at 7:00 in the evening in Old Main Chapel on the CU campus. 2011 marks the fortieth anniversary of the publication of John McPhee’s extraordinary work, Encounters with the Archdruid. Patty Limerick has long heralded this book as the Center of the American West’s “founding text” because of its inspiring demonstration of civil dialogue on contentious issues. In addition, McPhee’s excellence in journalism, as marked by both his Pulitzer Prize and his frequent contributions to The New Yorker, also reflects the Center’s commitment to lively and personable communication that clarifies, educates, and entertains. Don’t miss this meeting of like minds, as Patty Limerick interviews John McPhee.
Each year, the Center of the American West presents the Wallace Stegner Award to an individual who has made a sustained contribution to the cultural identity of the West through literature, art, history, or lore of the West. In the spirit of Wallace Stegner, the recipients have demonstrated singular achievement, creativity, and dedication to the understanding of the West and Western issues, and have communicated to others the importance and uniqueness of the West as a distinct region. The award is presented to those who have faithfully and evocatively depicted the spirit and force of the American West.
“Angry as one may be at what careless people have done and still do to a noble habitat, it is hard to be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it finally learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the pattern that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match the scenery.”