Reg Saner was born in 1931 in a farm town on the Illinois prairie. He first saw mountains during military service when he was sent to Big Delta, Alaska, for alpine and arctic survival training. After combat duty as an infantry platoon leader in the Korean War, he studied Renaissance culture at the University of Illinois, and as a Fulbright Scholar in Florence, Italy, at the Universitá degli Studi.
On honeymooning in Colorado, he and his wife, Anne, decided to move there. Among other honors, his previous writings, all set in the American West, have won several national prizes. His poetry collection, Climbing into the Roots (Harper & Row, 1976) received the first Walt Whitman Award as conferred by the Academy of American Poets and the Copernicus Society of America. His second book, So This Is the Map (Random House, 1981) was a National Poetry Series “Open Competition” winner selected by Derek Walcott. His Essay on Air, a book of poems, was published by Ohio Review Books, 1984, followed by the collection titled Red Letters, which received a “Forty-fifth Anniversary Award” from the Quarterly Review of Literature.
He has won an NEA fellowship, the Creede Repertory Theater Award, the State of Colorado Governor’s Award, and has been an invited Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Fondazione Culturale in Bellagio, Italy, and received the Wallace Stegner Award conferred by the Center of the American West.
His nonfiction books include The Four-Cornered Falcon: Essays on the Interior West and the Natural Scene (Johns Hopkins, 1993; Kodansha paperback, 1994) and Reaching Keet Seel: Ruin’s Echo & the Anasazi (University Press of Utah, 1998). In spring 2005 the Center for American Places published The Dawn Collector: On My Way to the Natural World. His prose and poetry have appeared in more than 50 anthologies.