Here's a sampling of High Plains titles on Wyoming and the West: history, outlaws and lawmen, women, poetry, memoirs, and other perspectives of the West. For more information click on the image of the book.
Follow the Boys of Company K to Wyoming during the Civil War.
The inside story of the life of Butch Cassidy.
Poems that will change the way the world looks at women in ranching.
A side of the military you never read about—the official U.S. Army Laundresses.
Did Tom Horn commit the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell for which he was hanged?
The story of the horse that became the symbol of Wyoming
A risky living from Indians and explorers.
A road trip for a cause...on a donkey.
In March 1939, a young Wyoming desperado blazed on the scene like a meteor.
As a result of his crime spree, which began with an elk poach and ended with
a bank robbery, seven men died, including the desperado himself. It was over
in a matter of days. It left families, neighbors, and friends bereft and confused.
The effects of the horrors rippled through the community.
The events captured the nation’s attention and the front pages of newspapers. The Denver Post lavished the appellation “Tarzan of the Tetons” on
Durand, though he did not resemble Tarzan in any regard, and the events were
not that near the Teton mountains.
Author Jerred Metz first became fascinated with the story of Earl Durand
in 1973 after hearing a student sing “The Ballad of Earl Durand.” Metz
took his young family to Wyoming in 1978 to interview participants in the events
and returned several times. Fifteen of those interviews became the fifteen
chapters of this book, narrated in the first-person voices of people who lived
through the episode—not mere bystanders, observers, or commentators,
Forty years is a long time to recall events that flew by like a flash. But
the people interviewed had contemplated these events for years, trying to make
them understandable. Their stories flow together like a river as they each,
in turn, recount the last eleven days of Earl Durand.
“The most imaginative creator of pulp melodrama
never, in his wildest dreams, produced as wild a story as Durand lived in
his last ten days. If it had been portrayed on the screen, no one would have
believed it could be real.”
Post, March 25, 1939
“It’s all here—vivid as when I was
life, capture, flight, and last days of the poacher turned murderer, Earl
“This book will excite your emotions, sadden you,
puzzle and anger you. It happened just that way. I remember.”
•• Alan K. Simpson, author & former
“One wonders what Fox News...would make of the
story of Earl Durand. One can imagine Greta of Fox...standing in front of
the cabin at the foot of the Beartooth Mountains [giving minute by minute
“For once the cover blurbs are true: in Larry K.
Brown’s words, ‘this
is a page-burner.’ You’d better wear gloves when you read it, because
this story is hot even without Greta’s help.”
Meredith, Roundup Magazine
As soon as he heard a student sing “The Ballad of Earl Durand” Jerred Metz knew that someday he would pursue the story. “All of my writing begins with a germ of an idea, an inkling, a bit of a story. When I found the events reported at great length and in detail by the Denver Post and other newspapers I knew the story was worth exploring.”
To research The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand Metz interviewed fifteen people who were directly involved in the events of Durand’s last days. “I have a deep interest in the voice of the people, in oral literature,” Metz said. The spoken word—the phrasing of the accounts, the anecdotes specific to the ways of life and hence to the personalities of the people, the flavor of place, and the texture of the time—gave life to the story. His earlier book, Drinking the Dipper Dry: Nine Plain-Spoken Lives, also uses the style of the spoken word.
Metz’s imagination and love of reading led to his academic study of literature. After earning a B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Rhode Island he received a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Minnesota where he taught writing.
After teaching for four years at Webster College in St. Louis, Metz was appointed Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services for St. Louis. Nine years later he went to Cardinal Ritter Institute to direct programs for the elderly. For fifteen years he was the poetry editor of Webster Review. He was a founder of Singing Bone Press.
All the while Metz wrote. He had five books of poetry and two books of prose published before The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand.
Now living in South Carolina, Metz writes, and teaches writing and literature for Coker College and Webster University. He and his wife, a script writer, are working on stage versions of The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand.
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