James D. Houston, 1934-2009

 JAMES D. HOUSTON was the author of several nonfiction works and eight novels, most recently Bird of Another Heaven (Knopf 2007) .r. His previous novel, Snow Mountain Passage, was named one of the Year's Best Books by the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post. In 2007, Heyday Books published his long-awaited prose collection, Where Light Takes Its Color from The Sea: A California Notebook.

He was first on the Community of Writers staff in 1983 and returned just about every year since. We will all miss his warmth, wisdom, and generosity. We'll miss his ukelele and guitar and upright bass in the Follies, his renditions with Al Young of "Hey Good Lookin'" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." His is a profound loss to the writing community and this extended family we all share.

There are some lovely obituaries of him. I have put a few links and photos below. DSC_0070_2_2.jpg Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-james-houston18-2009apr18,0,2803256.story Metro Santa Cruz http://www.metroactive.com/metro/04.22.09/arts-0916.html Squaw Valley 1 069.jpg

His dear friend, and fellow CW staff member Al Young, has created a page about Jim on his website: http://alyoung.org/index.php/whats-at-stake/

 Andrew Tonkovich interviewed Jim about what turned out to be his last book, his career-defining collection, "Where Light Takes its Color from the Sea" (Heyday Books 2007).

Here's a lovely musical tribute to him by his friend Braddah Timmy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzeziyOhFog Memorial services for James D. Houston