Alan L. Contreras, a fourth-generation Oregonian, has published several books about the natural world as well as professional work in higher education topics, poetry and essays. His recent work includes Afield: Forty Years of Birding the American West (Or. State U. Press 2009), Edge of Awe: Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country (editor, Or. State U. Press 2019), The Captured Flame: Notes on Books, Music and the Creative Force (Oregon Review 2018) and Collected Poems of Ada Hastings Hedges (ed. with Ulrich Hardt, Or State U. Press 2020). His poetry has appeared in Fireweed, Riven, Gay and Lesbian Review International, the Chronicle of Higher Education and other venues. He is currently writing a history of Oregon ornithology and a collection of essays related to the need for personal refuge and space.