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
, 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.
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
. Brian helped organize the
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
about the book in January of 1993.
What a fabulous journey through the stories of old Portland.
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.
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.
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.
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
For information on Brian's work, click on the covers above.