Richie Swanson explored North America by bicycle and backpack 1977-2006, frequently visiting Indian reservations and wildlife refuges. Sunstone Press published First Territory (May 2013), his novel about the U.S. invasion of Yakama homelands, Washington and Oregon Territories 1855-1856.

Richie writes fiction, bird conservation articles and an occasional book review and newspaper column. American Athenaeum and Prick the Spindle Magazine nominated his short stories set on the Upper Mississippi for 2013 Pushcart Prizes (River Sun Warblers, The One above the Bottoms). Alligator Juniper listed So Hard Pull the Insides as a finalist in their 2003 national fiction contest.  Weber: the Contemporary West, Raven Chronicles, SNReview, HEArt—Human Equity Through Art, Transnational-Perspectives.org, The Magazine of History and Fiction and other journals have also published Richie’s short stories.

Richie and fellow conservationists successfully instigated a cooperative management agreement between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the City of Winona, Minnesota for one thousand acres of river bottoms. The gem of nature is now managed as the “Aghaming Unit” of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Richie’s efforts for Aghaming are featured in Wading Right In: Discovering the Nature of Wetlands (Catherine Owen Koening and Sharon M Ashworth, University of Chicago Press 2019), and at Https://www.bigrivermagazine.com/Aghaming.html (Turning a No-Man’s-Land into a Nature Preserve, Pamela Eyden, Big River Magazine, May-June 2018,).

Richie has monitored bird populations for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and conducted Breeding Bird Censuses in association with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and American Association of Field Ornithologists. He has monitored nests, as a citizen scientist, for the Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project since 2019. He has documented red-shouldered hawks on the upper Mississippi since 1994.

Oregon Coast Magazine, Birder’s World, High Country News, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Wisconsin State Journal and other periodicals have published Richie’s wildlife-related nonfiction. Richie won the Year 2000 National Peace Writing Award for an unpublished novel, director, Peace Hope, James R. Bennett, Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas. The 2012 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction named his short story collection Removal a national finalist.

Richie was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. He has lived simply in a boathouse on the upper Mississippi since 1987. He has served in leadership roles for peace groups, the Winona Boathouse Association (neighborhood organization) and Winona Bird Club for 30+ years.

Richie has infinite miracles of nature and many people to thank, but especially Barbi who sees glitter in every river riffle, every ocean wave, mountain stream and desert trickle.

Richie Swanson
Box 1054
Winona MN 55987