Nick O’Connell

Nick O’Connell has published three nonfiction books: On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (University of Washington Press, 2003), Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993, also published in Canada, England, Japan, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic); At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (U.W. Press, 1998) which won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and Washington State Governor’s Award and “Contemporary Ecofiction” (1996) for Charles Scribner’s.

He also contributes to National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Hooked on the Outdoors, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, Rock + Ice, and has published short stories in literary journals. He’s an experienced climber, having ascended Denali, Mt. Rainier, the Matterhorn, Mt. Blanc, the Marmolada, and Island Peak in the Himalayas.

He earned a B.A. in French from Amherst College (1980), an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington (1985), where he studied with Charles Johnson, winner of the National Book Award for Middle Passage. In 1996, he completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington in 1996, and now teaches writing classes there and at


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