The Spokane River

Edited by Paul Lindholdt

  • Published: April 2018
  • Subject Listing: Pacific Northwest / History; Environmental Studies; Literature
  • Bibliographic information: 296 pp., 10 bandw illus., 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

From Lake Coeur d'Alene to its confluence with the Columbia, the Spokane River travels 111 miles of varied and often spectacular terrain-rural, urban, in places wild. The river has been a trading and gathering place for Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. With bountiful trout, accessible swimming holes, and challenging rapids, it is a recreational magnet for residents and tourists alike. The Spokane also bears the legacy of industrial growth and remains caught amid interests competing over natural resources.

The contributors to this collection profile this living river through personal reflection, history, science, and poetry. They bring a keen environmental awareness of resource scarcity, climate change, and cultural survival tied to the river's fate.
Paul Lindholdt is professor of English at Eastern Washington University. He is the author of Explorations in Ecocriticism: Advocacy, Bioregionalism, and Visual Design and In Earshot of the Water: Notes from the Columbia Plateau, which won the 2012 Washington State Book Award for Biography/Memoir. The contributors are Sherman Alexie, Bob Bartlett, Tim Connor, Rick Eichstaedt, Don Fels, Guadalupe Flores, Jerry R. Galm, Greg Gordon, Stan Gough, Margo Hill, Chris Kopczynski, Becky Kramer, Beatrice Lackaff, Tod Marshall, Camille McNeely, Bart Mihailovich, Stan Miller, Barry G. Moses (Sulustu), Carmen A. Nezat, Jack Nisbet, Rachael Paschal Osborn, John Roskelley, Allan T. Scholz, Bishop William S. Skylstad, William Stimson, Julie Titone, Nance Van Winckel, Sara L. Walker, Jess Walter, Jerry White, Chad Wriglesworth, and J. William T. Youngs.

"From politicians, historians, and hippies to ecologists, anthropologists, and religious leaders, The Spokane River offers a fascinating, kaleidoscopic view of the river that is richly representative of its complexity and human history."
-Michael P. Branch, author of Rants from the Hill and How to Cuss in Western

"This fascinating multidisciplinary 'biography' of the Spokane River has something for everyone. All of the contributors-many of them household names in the Inland Northwest-help readers appreciate and understand this special watershed."
-John W. W. Mann, author of Sacajawea's People: The Lemhi Shoshones and the Salmon River Country

"The Spokane River is a beautiful biography of a legendary western river. Like the best life stories, The Spokane River surprises and enthralls, probing into the past and beneath the surface to reveal the complicated personality of a beloved place."
-Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change

"Every spring six thousand square miles of mountain snow sings through Spokane Falls a timeless, single-syllable aria of a river's renewal. This eloquent book contains imaginative, spiritually resonant, humorous, masterfully researched, astute human translations of that voice."
-Jonathan Johnson, poet, author of May Is an Island

"Running the gamut from loving impressions to far more sobering treatments by scientists, engineers, archeologists, historians, and notably by members of the Spokane Tribe, this is as complete a treatment of the river as we could hope to find in one highly readable volume."
-John Keeble, author of Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound and The Shadows of Owls

"A wonderful expression of watershed consciousness. All those who dwell along the Spokane River should read and cherish this collection."
-Tom Lynch, coeditor of The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology and Place


"Inform[s] readers on the deep history of the river and the impact it's had on all aspects of the region. . . . The history of the Spokane River has broader implications for environmental awareness . . . [and] show[s] people how to take ownership of their local environment."
-Wilson Criscione, Inlander