BRIAN G.BOOTH



It is with a deep sense of loss that we report the passing of our friend, mentor and bookman, Brian G. Booth. As one of the founding members of The Himes & Duniway Society, Brian's participation, leadership and behind the scenes mentoring provided us with a steady hand that allowed this organization to grow in providing a home for bookcollecting in Oregon.

While the Oregonian published a comprehensive biography of Brian and obituary, we wanted to remember Brian and his books. This page could not hope to cover Brian's accomplishments in the literary world. At best, it will give the reader a sense of the bradth of influence Brian had in the literary community.



Brian Booth Presentation


This picture of Brian is from our 2012 Garden Party hosted by Brian and Gwyneth Booth at their home in Portland. This picture shows Brian doing what he loved. We learned about Webster "Oregon" Jones and his collection of Books of the Northwest. We learned how woman authors had to take the names of men to get their books published. We learned about books and bookcollecting.

Brian rooted out and highlighted Oregon authors. One of these authors was Reed College graduate Loyd Haberly. Brian helped organize the Haberly Exhibit at the Collins Gallery of the Multnomah County Library using many books from his own library and many books given by Brian to the library.

An Oregon author highlighted by Brian was columnist Stewart Holbrook. Brian edited the columns of Stewart Holbrook publishing them as Wildmen, Wobblies & Whistle Punks: Stewart Holbrook's Lowbrow Northwest. This fascinating journey through the history of Portland and the Northwest has been published by the OSU Press continually since its first printing in 1992. Brian was interviewed about the book in January of 1993.

What a fabulous journey through the stories of old Portland.



Cover - Wildmen, Wobblies & Whistle Punks



Brian then took on the writings of H.L. Davis. Davis Country - H.L. Davis's Northwest collects the best writings of H.L. Davis. Published in 2009, Brian and his coauthor Glen A. Love show Davis's vast knowledge of the lore, history and landscape of the Pacific Northwest through Davis's own poems and essays. In the Oregonian in December of 2009, Davis Country was reviewed:

"I read the first two chapters and thought I'd been there before," Booth said.
"These were characters I knew, or my dad knew."


Booth became fascinated with Davis and read everything he could by and about him. He learned that Davis began as a poet and won a national prize and was published in The American Mercury. Its editor, H.L. Mencken, encouraged him to try writing prose and Davis quickly became a successful short-story writer. He wrote "Honey in the Horn" in Mexico, and it won the Pulitzer in 1936. Mencken called it the best first novel he'd ever read. Davis wrote four other novels, including "Winds of Morning," a Book of the Month Club selection in 1952 and a favorite of Booth's.


Cover - Wildmen, Wobblies & Whistle Punks




Brian never stopped loving Oregon, its books and its authors. In 2002, The Special Collections Department of the Lewis and Clark College Library exhibited the writings of Alan L. Hart who was formerly known as Alberta Lucille Hart. The College turned to Brian to put together the accompanying pamphlet compiling Hart's college writings accompanied by an overview and timeline of Hart's life. For more information on this publication.



Dr. Alan L. Hart



Poetry was next as in 2004 Lewis & Clark College exhibited A Century of Oregon Poetry: From the private collection of Brian Booth. The exhibit pamphlet gives an insight into the broad scope of Brian's collecting.

Then there was Glen Coffield, William Everson, & Publishing at Waldport, Oregon. This exhibit was taken from the library of Brian Booth and was featured at Lewis & Clark in 2003. More information about this exhibit can be found here. The pamphlet for this exhibit is here.



Dr. Alan L. Hart

For information on Brian's work, click on the covers above.