Wins Colorado Book Award
Fort Collins Writers/Editors Honored at Statewide Ceremony
October 20, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Linda Doyle, Publicist, Johnson Books
On Tuesday, Oct. 18th, Comeback Wolves: Western Writers Welcome the
Wolf Home won the Colorado Book Award in the anthology
competition. Comeback Wolves is a collection of fifty-one new essays
and poems celebrating and considering the idea of wolf restoration in
Colorado and the Southwest.
The book was conceived by Gary Wockner, a Fort Collins writer and ecologist
who was appointed to the Colorado Wolf Working Group in 2004. He joined
with co-editors SueEllen Campbell (Fort Collins) and Gregory McNamee (Tucson,
AZ), and together they collected the stories and poems and edited the
volume in to its prize-winning form. Gary, Gregory, and SueEllen also
each contributed an essay to the book.
It was quite
a project, said Gary Wockner. But as the essays and poems
started pouring in, we knew we had a special book in the works. Wolves
are provocative animals, and they drew out provocative stories from all
includes new writing from bestselling Colorado authors such as Clarissa
Pinkola Estes (Women Who Run With The Wolves), and Pam Houston
(Cowboys Are My Weakness). Many additional Southwest writers and
poets contributed to the book including John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield
War), Craig Childs (Soul of Nowhere), and Colorados Poet
Laureate, Mary Crow. The foreword to Comeback Wolves was written
by Colorado Congressman Mark Udall.
Wolves sold out its first printing very quickly, said Johnson
Books publicist Linda Doyle. Wolf books always sell well, and this
one is quite unique. Were happy it won the Colorado Book Award.
In addition to
winning the award, Comeback Wolves is also a statement of proactive
advocacy. All the royalties from the book are donated to a program operated
by the wildlife conservation organization, Defenders of Wildlife, which
works throughout the American West to prevent conflict between imperiled
predators and humans before it occurs.
to do something positive with this book that actually moved the issue
forward, said Gary Wockner. The program operated by Defenders
uses the money to create a sustainable balance between people and wolves
in the American West. Im delighted to be able to contribute to their
The Colorado Book
Awards are given out yearly by the Colorado Center for the Book, a literacy
program operated by the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities. About 350
people attended this years award ceremony which was hosted by E-Town
radio host, Nick Forester, and included a keynote address by self-described
"wannabe writer" and Denver Mayor, John Hickenlooper. When Gary
Wockner received the award for Comeback Wolves, he led the audience
in a 350-person full-throated howl to call wolves back to their native
is available from all booksellers, and can be ordered at www.comebackwolves.com.
SueEllen and Gary, Oct. 18th, 2006, Denver Center for the
Fort Collins Weekly Article:
Fort Collins writer wins Colorado Book Award
Wednesday, 25 October 2006
Local Author has Critics Howling
Gary Wockners Comeback Wolves wins
Colorado Book Award
By Greg Campbell
Whos afraid of the big, bad wolf? Not Gary Wockner, whose
new anthology about the reintroduction of the gray wolf won the
Colorado Book Award last week.
Question: How do you make a ballroom filled with 300
nicely attired adults, including the mayor of Denver, bay at the
Answer: You demand it of them, especially if youre
one of the editors of Comeback Wolves; Western Writers Welcome
the Wolf Home and you just won the Colorado Book Award in the
I had the whole crowd howling to call back wolves
to their home habitat in Colorado, says Gary Wockner, a Fort
Collins writer, conservationist and one of three editors for Comeback
Wolves. So every one ripped one out full-throated.
That was fun.
Comeback Wolves features the work of 51 contributors,
including Wockner, each of whom have written poems, essays and short
stories celebrating the reintroduction of one of the most iconic
animals of the American West: the gray wolf. Wockner says he conceived
the idea for the book after he was appointed to the Colorado Wolf
Working Group by the Division of Wildlife. When he made the call
for entries, he says he was stunned by the response.
I was surprised at how fast the stories came
in and how good they were, he says. It really hit a
nerve with a lot of people.
It just punched a button and
people took off with it.
Wockner says he was worried that the entries would
focus on gloom and doom topics such as the conflict
between wolves and ranchers, but was surprised to find that the
unifying theme among these varied authors is one of hope.
It took me like the third time that I read it,
but it sort of jumps off the page, he says. Its
the concept of hope, something about the idea of restoring the nature
thats been lost, bringing back an animal that was eradicated.
It brought back peoples sense of hope.
I was really surprised by the number of writers
and poets that hit on that issue, he continues. Ninety-five
percent of the poems and stories were extremely positive.
The book features some powerhouse writers, including
John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War; Craig
Childs, author of Soul to Nowhere and Clarissa Pinkola Estes
author of Women Who Run With The Wolves. It was co-edited
by SueEllen Campbell of Fort Collins and Gregory McNamee of Tucson.
Wockner says he knew these and other contributors
had made a great book whether it won (the Colorado Book Award)
One hundred percent of the books royalties will
be donated to Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation organization
that works to prevent conflict between predators and humans before
In addition to the recognition garnered by the award,
thats certainly something to howl about.
Comeback Wolves; Western Writers Welcome the Wolf
Home is available through most local and online retailers. Visit