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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
Iron Fever & Other Poems  
  Stephan Torre

ISBN 978-0-9717265-3-6     $16.95  /  $18.95 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5       

112 pp      
PUB DATE: Fall 2004       Poetry



The poems of Stephan Torre are built of muscle and stones and the kind of relationship to time and work for which very few of us have the strength. He speaks the deep, true language of necessary things and reminds us all that affection must be the center of everything we do . . . or we have nothing.

—Christopher Howell

The poems in Iron Fever are carefully wrought and passionate. Torre talks of life and work on the edge of wild lands and wrestles with the paradox of man’s drive to change and overwhelm the very wilderness which gives him sanctuary and renews his spirit. Many of the poems have wilderness settings, from Flathead Lake in Montana to the south-central coast of California to the spruce forests and subsistence farms of the Fraser River Valley in British Columbia. The poems are filled with images of manual work—axle grease and wood shavings, with the raw beauty of the mountains and with machinery rusting in abandoned fields. Torre brings to his subjects an understanding and lyric intensity which makes these poems a delight to read.

Stephan Torre is one of my favorite writers. You won’t believe how great these poems are: they stand side by side, for both tenderness and strength, with the great poems of Jim Harrison, Raymond Carver, Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, James Dickey and Charles Wright. These are poems you can lean on, poems upon which you can build a life. Please read them.

—Rick Bass

About the Author

Stephan Torre

After early years growing up in Montana and Wisconsin, Stephan Torre spent his teen years in Monterey, California. After college in Berkeley and San Francisco, he lived on the Big Sur and Mendocino coasts, working as a “wood butcher,” building houses, and salvaging redwood logs. Torre later went north to settle on a remote homestead in the Canadian Rockies with his wife and two daughters, scratching a living from livestock and sawmills. Eventually, he moved south to Point Reyes, California, then to the Great Basin high desert, where he now lives on a small ranch at the base of the Warner Mountains.

Given his priority for living in raw and untamed country, Torre’s poems are seldom without reference to wild landscape. He resists, however, being called a “nature poet,” since he frequently deals with traditional rural male work, gender, privilege, art, and the tensions inherent in people’s rapacious claims of land ownership.

Stephan Torre’s first collection of poems, Man Living on a Side Creek, was published by New York University Press in 1994, the same year it won NYU’s Bobst Award. Stephan Torre has been published in many US and Canadian journals, received two Marin Arts Council grants, and special recognitions for his long poems.


Finalist for the ForeWord Magazine 2004 Book of the Year Award


Torre has developed a language of myth to address human experience in the great wild places of Alaska and the West. . . .

—Publishers Weekly


for Mike Whitt

If you live between windy cow towns
where the grub is greasy, and the sidewinding waitress
with a rodeo buckle under her winking navel
complains to a big hat hay hauler at the counter
she hasn't been fishing in two damned weeks—

that's probably why you moved here,
not for the prime rib and range wars,
or even Barb in the Wranglers,
but because you know how good the country is
by how greasy the food is.

© by Stephan Torre 2004