Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Pam Houston. Her new essay collection, Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country, is available from W.W. Norton & Co.


Houston’s other books include two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton.

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I’ve heard you say (because of course, I am you) that poets have influenced your work.  Can you tell us how they influenced Contents May Have Shifted in particular?

I went to graduate school in a creative writing program that housed both Mark Strand and Larry Levis, unquestionably two of the greatest poets of their time.  I almost couldn’t help but to have learned to revere poetry–Strand’s compression of big ideas and Larry’s gut wrenching associative leaps.

132. Davis, California

Back on the greenbelt, this time with Fenton the dog and Liam, big brother showing little brother the ropes. If you have spent every day of your life, as Liam has, on a ranch in Colorado, the tiniest things can impress you. Streetlights, water sprinklers, fire trucks, bicycles, roller blades. Everywhere he looks, so many people, each one of them the keeper of a potential pet.