International Residency Prize Winner

Barry Lopez Awarded UT Austin’s Dobie Paisano International Residency Prize


The distinguished writer Barry Lopez has been awarded the Dobie Paisano International Residency Prize by The University of Texas at Austin. The award honors a national or international writer who has demonstrated an abiding connection to the natural world.

Along with a stipend, Lopez will receive one month of uninterrupted time to write at the 254-acre Dobie Paisano Ranch, located in the hill country outside of Austin, Texas.

“Barry Lopez is a phenomenal writer,” said Marvin Hackert, interim dean of the Graduate School at UT Austin. “His books, essays and short stories have touched the lives and hearts of millions around the world. We are excited and honored to provide him the opportunity to continue his work at the Dobie Paisano Ranch.”

Winners are chosen for the residency prize by an internal committee. There is no application process.

Lopez received the National Book Award for Arctic Dreams, and he was a National Book Award finalist for Of Wolves and Men, for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals. His work has been widely translated and appears in numerous anthologies.

The prize is supported by the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program at UT Austin, the Texas Institute of Letters, the Ralph A. Johnston Memorial Foundation, the Ralph and Ruth McCullough Foundation, and the William A. and Madeline W. Smith Foundation.

Lopez is the second recipient of the Dobie Paisano International Residency Prize, and will assume the residency in 2018. He is the first American to receive the award. British writer Jim Crace was the first recipient in 2017. Joy Williams has accepted the prize for 2019. 

“It was my good fortune and privilege to be chosen as the first recipient of the Dobie Paisano International Residency Prize,” Crace said. “In a 45-year-long writing career, both as a journalist and a novelist, I cannot recall a more productive period than that month spent at The Paisano. It struck me as one of the most stimulating environments I have encountered. For me, staying there has been a life-changing and life-enhancing experience.”

Lopez’s fiction, which includes Field NotesWinter Count, Crow and WeaselLight Action in the Caribbean, and Resistance, has received numerous accolades. His essays are collected in two books: Crossing Open Ground and About This Life.

His most recent books are “Outside,” a collection of six stories with engravings by Barry Moser, and “Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape,” which he co-edited with Debra Gwartney.

His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, Granta, The Georgia Review, Orion, Outside, The Paris Review, and many other publications.

Lopez has been honored with numerous awards, including: the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the John Hay Medal; Guggenheim, Lannan and National Science Foundation fellowships; Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction; the St. Francis of Assisi Award from DePaul University; the Denise Levertov Award from Image magazine; and honors from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Association of American Geographers, the New York Public Library, the Nature Conservancy, and the American Society of Magazine Editors. In 2002 he was elected a fellow of The Explorers Club.

No one writes with more empathy and intimacy from the heart. No one writes with such fierce curiosity and wisdom. Lured by nature and human nature, Lopez has explored each to the deepest and returned to us with words so precise and beautiful that writer after writer has likened their reading experience as something akin to communion. He has been called “the most important living writer about wilderness” and “an artist in words.” But perhaps Robert Macfarlane of The Guardian has said it best.  He is simply and accurately “a carrier of wonder.”