Our Authors

Michael L. Johnson

Michael L. Johnson

From Hell to Jackson Hole: A Poetic History of the American West

A native of Missouri and former resident of Texas and California, Johnson teaches English at the University of Kansas. Johnson won the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America for his prose book, New Westers: The West in Contemporary American Culture (University of Kansas, 1996). In 2001 his poetry collection, From Hell to Jackson Hole: A Poetic History of the American West won the Benjamin Franklin Award. Johnson’s most recent book, Hunger for the Wild: America’s Obsession with the Untamed West (2009) is receiving high acclaim.

Richard W. Etulain wrote of it: “This stunning volume immediately vaults Michael Johnson to the forefront of authorities on the Wilderness West. A brilliant and profound story.”

On the dedication page of From Hell to Jackson Hole, Johnson agrees with 19th century Scottish essayist, historian, and teacher Thomas Carlyle that “History is the essence of innumerable biographies” (“On History”). From Hell to Jackson Hole is just that: a collection of many condensed Western biographies, as well as many iconic events, arranged in chronological order.

Don Ian Smith

Don Ian Smith

Murder on the Middle Fork, Symon’s Daughter: A Memoir of Elizabeth Symon Smith

Don Ian Smith is the author of five inspirational books, including his best-selling By the River of No Return. He retired from his last church in Boise, Idaho, after 43 years as a Methodist minister, and then moved back to the little city of Salmon, ID, the location of his first church. He also taught school, worked with juveniles in detention, represented a college, and owned and operated a small cattle ranch in Salmon, where he resided with his wife for the remainder of his days. Rev. Smith passed away in May 2007.

Naida West

Naida West

Rest for the Wicked, Eye of the Bear, River of Red Gold, Murder on the Middle Fork

Author Naida West and her husband live in an old farmhouse on a small ranch bounded on the south by the Cosumnes River and the north and west by Rancho Murieta, a distant suburb of Sacramento. A poet with a Ph.D., in 1990 Naida quit teaching and lobbying to be a full-time novelist. During her 20 years of researching and writing about the people who walked the land before her, large new houses have altered the area but artifacts from the ground and the unchanged river landscape were a constant inspiration. West mixes real-life people and true events with representational characters to bring the past to vivid life. Her novels are soul-stirring sagas, and her endnotes educate readers who want to know more about the historic people and events.

Updated June 4, 2014