The Western Writers of America annual conference this month in Lubbock, Texas, will honor a writer I hold in great esteem, Win Blevins, with the organization’s highest award, the Owen Wister Award.
I first met Win Blevins through his beautiful prose that carried me away from my home in North Hollywood, California, on a fantastic journey across the plains and high into the Rockies step-by-step with the mountain men in Give Your Heart to the Hawks (Nash Publishing, 1973), which my father recommended to me soon after he read it. My dad, Jeb Rosebrook, knew I had read the junior biographies of Kit Carson and Jim Bridger, and that I would love Blevins’ passion for the West and the fur trapper era. He was right, and it is one of my top five Western books of all time—and it is still in print. Blevins has written 31 books, including a post-World War II Western, written with his wife, Meredith Blevins, titled The Darkness Rolling (Forge, 2015), set in his beloved Monument Valley. Another Blevins book I treasure is his invaluable Dictionary of the American West.
In a new tradition, Blevins also will be inducted into the WWA’s Hall of Fame with 16 other living Saddleman/Wister Award recipients, along with all prior winners who are deceased.