Rick Bass

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Rick Bass
Rick Bass in 2015
Rick Bass in 2015
Born (1958-03-07) March 7, 1958 (age 65)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
OccupationWriter and environmental activist
EducationUtah State University
Notable worksFor a Little While
Notable awardsStory Prize
SpouseElizabeth Hughes Bass (1987-2015)
Official website

Rick Bass (born March 7, 1958) is an American writer and an environmental activist.[1] He has a Bachelor of Science in Geology with a focus in Wildlife from Utah State University. Right after he graduated, he interned for one year as a Wildlife Biologist at the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company in Arkansas. He then went onto working as an oil and gas geologist and consultant before becoming a writer and teacher. He has worked across the United States at various universities: University of Texas at Austin, Beloit College, University of Montana, Pacific University, and most recently Iowa State University. He has done many workshops and lectures on writing and wildlife throughout his career. Texas Tech University and University of Texas at Austin have collections of his written work.


Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas.[1] He studied petroleum geology at Utah State University. He grew up in Houston, and started writing short stories on his lunch breaks while working as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1987, he married the artist Elizabeth Hughes Bass, with whom he had two children before their divorce in 2015. He moved to Yaak Valley, where he worked to protect his adopted home from roads and logging. Rick serves on the board of the Yaak Valley Forest Council. He teaches and gives readings in the U.S. and abroad.[2]

His papers are held in two collections: the Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community, and the Natural World, part of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University,[3] and Texas State University–San Marcos's Wittliff Collections.[1]


Bass won The Story Prize for books published in 2016 for his collection of new and selected stories, For a Little While.[4] He won the 1995 James Jones Literary Society First Novel Fellowship for his novel in progress, Where the Sea Used to Be.[5] He was a finalist for the Story Prize in 2006 for his short story collection The Lives of Rocks. He was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award (autobiography) for Why I Came West (2009). He was also awarded the General Electric Younger Writers Award, a PEN/Nelson Algren Award Special Citation for fiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.



  • The Watch: Stories. W. W. Norton & Company. 1994. ISBN 978-0-393-31135-8. (Originally published 1989)
  • Platte River. University of Nebraska Press. 1994. ISBN 978-0-8032-5973-7.
  • In the Loyal Mountains. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1995. ISBN 0-395-71687-X.
  • The Sky, The Stars, The Wilderness. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1997. ISBN 0-395-71758-2. Rick Bass.
  • Fiber. University of Georgia Press. 1998. ISBN 978-0-8203-2063-2. fiber rick bass.
  • Where the Sea Used to Be. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1999. ISBN 978-0-395-95781-3. (Originally published 1998)
  • The Hermit's Story. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2003. ISBN 978-0-618-38044-2. (Originally published 2002)
  • The Diezmo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2005. ISBN 0-395-92617-3. Rick Bass.
  • The Lives of Rocks: Stories. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2006. ISBN 978-0-618-59674-4. Rick Bass.
  • Nashville Chrome: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2010. ISBN 978-0-547-31726-7.
  • All the Land to Hold Us. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2013. ISBN 978-0-547-68712-4. Rick Bass All the Land to Hold Us.[6]
  • For a Little While: New and Selected Stories. Little Brown. 2016. ISBN 978-0-316-38115-4



About Rick Bass, non-fiction by others[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "A Guide to the Rick Bass Papers, 1982–1994". Southwest Writer's Collection. University of Texas. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  2. ^ "Rick Bass". Narrative Magazine. May 7, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Rick Bass: An Inventory of His Papers, 1958–2001 and undated"
  4. ^ John McMurtrie (March 8, 2017). "Rick Bass wins Story Prize". San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ "Carl Sandburg Awards Bestowed On 4 Local Writers", by John Blades, Chicago Tribune, November 6, 1995.
  6. ^ "'All the Land to Hold Us' by Rick Bass". Boston Globe. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  7. ^ "O. Henry Award Winners 1919–1999". Random House. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2007.

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