Bill Studebaker captured Idaho's landscape in spare and elegant poems and insightful essays. A generous and thoughtful editor, he was an eloquent partisan for Idaho writers and the literature of the West. His vision was as grand as the Salmon country where he was raised; his voice is irreplaceable.
Bill was generous in his writing, giving readers the kindness of seeing ourselves—our humanness—plainly. The poems are each like clipped stories, capturing a telling moment or two that taken together create the mosaic of Bill's heart and life and, because of his gift for finding the common threads, of our shared hearts and lives as well.
Bill was also unfailingly free with his praise for others' work and in his celebration of Idaho's community of writers. He loved Idaho, was always mindful of its letters along with its landscapes. We'll find as time passes that his shadow is long, he gave us much we can hold on to.
Bill was Idaho's true poet laureate. He wrote about the landscapes of this high desert more accurately and more intimately than anyone I know. Re-reading his poems now is like reading them for the first time—new, as all good poetry should be. I hear his voice in every line.
[Bill was] a man who could make poetry work for him, as he talked about the life cycle of the salmon, dying in the very water that gave it life, so that the logger and the truck driver could understand what was being taken from them in the name of progress.