THE LEGEND OF BILLY JENKS: and Other Wyoming Stories

THE LEGEND OF BILLY JENKS: and Other Wyoming Stories

THE LEGEND OF BILLY JENKS: and Other Wyoming Stories

By Robert Roripaugh

Here are the real Wyoming stories, set not on Brokeback Mountain but against the Wind River country and the rugged landscape of the oilfields, written by someone who grew up on the land.

Robert Roripaugh has gathered his best short stories from a lifetime of writing and publication in respected magazines and journals such as Atlantic Monthly and South Dakota Review and compiled them for the first time in this collection.

The characters in the eight stories in this collection are fiercely drawn and won’t be soon forgotten: the misfit Billy Jenks; Virginia Shield speaking through Freshman English themes about her home on the Wind River Reservation; Slade Wilson, the man who killed the split-toed wolf;  Bill Reno, returning to Wyoming after a military tour in Japan.

  • •978-0-931271-88-5 • 192 pp • trade paper • $15.95 ORDER NOW
THE LEGEND OF BILLY JENKS: and Other Wyoming Stories

THE LEGEND OF BILLY JENKS: and Other Wyoming Stories

By Robert Roripaugh

"[Few writers know the West, and particularly Wyoming, so well or have the talent to transport us into the spectacular landscape and lay bare the hearts of the unique and always engaging characters shaped by that landscape.  The stories made me laugh and made me cry and kept me turning the pages until the very end. The Legend of Billy Jenks is a literary treasure."
•• New York Times bestselling novelist Margaret Coel

"[These stories are] rooted in Wyoming’s high mountains and plains, and are powerful with the scent of sagebrush, hay, and human grace. Robert Roripaugh is a true and wise guide through this rich land he loves."
•• Alyson Hagy, author of Snow, Ashes

Robert Roripaugh

Robert Roripaugh

A writer of fiction as well as poetry,  Robert Roripaugh was appointed by Governor Jim Geringer as Wyoming's Poet Laureate from 1995 through 2002.

He spent his early years on a ranch along the Wind River Mountains near Lander and completed B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Wyoming in the 1950s. After Army service in Japan and further graduate work, he returned to Laramie where he taught creative writing and western American literature for 35 years.

Roripaugh's latest book, The Legend of Billy Jenks, (High Plains Press, 2007) collects for the first time short stories he has written over the past 55 years, with new notes on each story and a foreword by John Nesbitt, western novelist and English instructor at Western Wyoming College.

Roripaugh’s poetry is collected in Learn to Love the Haze (Spirit Mound Press, 1976, and High Plains Press, 1996) and The Ranch (2001), a finalist for a Western Writers of America Spur Award for 2002. A novel set in postwar Japan, A Fever for Living (Morrow, 1961), was published in hardcover and paperback editions in both America and England. Honor Thy Father (Morrow, 1963), a historical novel dealing with a family ranching in Wyoming's Sweetwater River country in the late 1800s, won a Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center and was recently reprinted in a paperback edition by HarperCollins.

Over Roripaugh’s career, his poems and stories and stories have appeared widely in magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Atlantic Monthly, Quarterly West, and South Dakota Review.