Willis’ Essay Book Earns National Award

Paul Willis' book "To Build a Trail" wins national award

Paul Willis’ book “To Build a Trail” wins national award

Paul Willis, Westmont professor of English, won the 2018 Indies Bronze, Essays and was an Indies Finalist for Autobiography and Memoir by Foreword Reviews for his collection of essays “To Build a Trail: Essays on Curiosity, Love & Wonder” (WordFarm, 2018).

The Foreword Reviews, which honor the best books published by an independent press each year, previously awarded Willis the Indies Gold, for “Bright Shoots of Everlastingness: Essays on Faith and the American Wild” (WordFarm, 2005).

Willis, Santa Barbara poet laureate from 2011-13, has published several collections of poetry, including “Little Rhymes for Lowly Plants (White Violet Press, 2019), “Deer at Twilight: Poems from the North Cascades” (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2018),  “Getting to Gardisky Lake” (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2016), “Say This Prayer into the Past” (Cascade Books, 2013), “Rosing from the Dead” (WordFarm, 2009) and “Visiting Home” (Pecan Grove Press, 2008). With David Starkey, he co-edited “In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare” (University of Iowa Press, 2005). He has published numerous poems in journals such as Poetry, Ascent, Wilderness, and Christian Century.

In 2010, he published a revised version of his first novel, “No Clock in the Forest,” together with three sequels, in a single book, “The Alpine Tales.”

He graduated from Wheaton College, earned a doctorate in English at Washington State University, and has taught at Westmont since 1988.