Conference to celebrate frontier poet – September 24, 2004

Conference to celebrate frontier poet

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
September 24, 2004

By LEE JUILLERAT

Miller became an archetype for the Western frontiersman through his exploits living among the Wintus Tribe and as a gold miner, Pony Express rider, gunfighter, judge, journalist, author, poet, playwright, rogue and hero.

Joaquin Miller, known as the “Poet of the Sierras,” will be honored during a two-day conference Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8 and 9, on the Southern Oregon University campus in Ashland.


joaquin-millerThe Joaquin Miller Conference and Celebration will be the first conference devoted to the life, literature and legend of Miller, a celebrated Western frontier poet, writer and adventurer. The event will be hosted by SOU’s Department of History at the Stevenson Union.
Miller, who dubbed Crater Lake the “sea of silence” during an early visit before the creation of Crater Lake National Park, lived many years in what is known as the state of Jefferson.

Miller became an archetype for the Western frontiersman through his exploits living among the Wintus Tribe and as a gold miner, Pony Express rider, gunfighter, judge, journalist, author, poet, playwright, rogue and hero.

Dr. Gary Miller, chairman of SOU’s department of history, believes Miller was a unique person who also influenced people in the United States and overseas.

“Joaquin Miller was legendary for his insights gained by living with the indigenous peoples of the region, his vivid accounts of the era through his poetry and prose, love for the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and his valiant efforts to bring justice to Native Americans,” Gary Miller said.

The conference will open Oct. 8 with an open session at 9 a.m. Featured will be a poetry recital by Alan Mainwaring. Sessions will include “Separating Face From Fiction: Joaquin Miller’s Life Amongst the Wintus,” by Julie Cassidy, “A Deeper Wild: Research on Joaquin Miller’s Early Life” by author William Sullivan, and “Brothers Under the Skin: Joaquin Miller and Captain Jack” by keynote speaker Alan Rosenus.

Set for 7 p.m. will be a premier showing of the Crater Lake documentary by Crater Lake National Park, Southern Oregon Public Television and KSYS/KFTS, originally commissioned for the park’s 2002 centennial.

The Oct. 9 session features “Koffee Klatch: Tall Tales, Likes and Rumors of Joaquin Miller,” “Mount Shasta and Joaquin Miller: A Lifetime Bond,” and “The Poetry and Prose of Joaquin Miller, discussion and recitals.” Planned that night is a 7 p.m. presentation of “In the Land Where the Acorns Dance,” written, directed and produced by Michael O’Rourke, and at 9 p.m., “A Night in the Howlin’ Wilderness” at the Standing Stone Brewing Company.

The conference is free for all students, $15 in advance and $25 at the door for the public.

Along with SOSC, other sponsors include the Southern Oregon Historical Society, Southern Oregon Public Television KSYS/KFTS, Heyday Institute, Joaquin Miller Newsletter, College of the Siskiyous Library, Montagne Publishing Company, Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission and Humboldt State Department of History.

For the conference program, celebration events, registration and more information, visit the conference Web site at www.joaquinmiller.net.

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