Advancement News

We’re delighted to announce that UW Press Advisory Board member Mike Repass has made a major gift to the press to establish the Michael J. Repass Fund for Northwest Writers. This new fund will focus on books about the history and culture of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Established in 2013, the University of Washington Press’s Northwest Writers Fund supports the work of some of the region’s most talented nonfiction writers. The fund was launched with a generous matching gift from longtime press supporters Janet and John Creighton. Several UW Press board members contributed, including Linda and Peter Capell, Ruth and Alvin Eller, and Mike Repass, as did other friends and supporters in the community. We would like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who has given to the fund, which has enabled us to provide advances to the authors of six projects thus far to help them complete their research and writing.

The first two books developed with the fund’s support, Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography by David B. Williams and Reclaimers by Ana Maria Spagna, were published last fall. Garth Stein praised Too High and Too Steep as a “wonderful, fascinating, and surprisingly poignant rendering of the birth of Seattle. . . . I loved this fabulous book, and consider it required reading for anyone interested in the Northwest and the history of American cities.” Reclaimers is a beautifully wrought account of ordinary people up and down the West Coast doing extraordinary work to reclaim and restore their land and rivers. Kim Stafford wrote, “These stories restore our faith in sacred land, and in ourselves. Dawn may yet illuminate what has been reclaimed.” The third book supported by the fund, Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish, is another story of reclamation, focusing on community efforts to clean up the Duwamish River. The book features Tom Reese's striking photographs, an essay by Eric Wagner, and an afterword by James Rasmussen, Duwamish Tribal member and director of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. Earth Day founder Denis Hayes described Once and Future River as a "book of hope" and continued, "When people truly know the Duwamish, they can't help but love it. And we really need more people to love the Duwamish River." The most recent book published with the fund's support is Kathleen Alcala's The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island. Gary Paul Nabham described it as "a timely and charming book on how place-based foods infuse community by one of the finest writers to ever emerge from the Pacific Northwest." Please check our events calendar for news about readings and other events with authors.

To contribute to the Northwest Writers Fund or for more information, please contact Meredith Wisti at (206) 543-3056 or