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Ron Ellis


Always, I have been charmed

by woods and waters and hunting and fishing.


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Ron Ellis, a native Kentuckian, is the author of Cogan’s Woods and Brushes with Nature: The Art of Ron Van Gilder and editor of In That Sweet Country: Uncollected Writings of Harry Middleton and Of Woods & Waters: A Kentucky Outdoors Reader. He is a contributor to the anthologies Afield: American Writers on Bird Dogs, Astream: American Writers on Fly Fishing, A Passion for Grouse: The Lore and Legend of America’s Premier Game Bird, and The Gigantic Book of Hunting Stories. His work has been published in Sporting Classics, Kentucky Afield, Kentucky Monthly, The Contemporary Sportsman, and The Journal of Kentucky Studies, among others. He is the recipient of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and Professional Assistance Award. 


In recognition of artistic excellence, Ron Ellis is the recipient of an Al Smith Fellowship and a Professional Assistance Award from the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, which is supported by state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ellis recreates the tastes and sounds of rural America with scenes that…are kept fresh by his devotion to quiet, lovely detail.

—Publishers Weekly

Within sight of the creek,
I drift into the welcoming quiet of a sacred place 

protected by old trees and quick, cold water,
a place rich in everlasting memories, 

marked by slants of light that
I feel are bending toward hope.

—from “Hopper Magic”

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In the car’s interior, in a wash of the dashboard’s soft blue light, we slowed the beating of our hearts as we rode along in the night, the sky spattered with irregular groupings of stars and the lights of hillside farms stretched out in the dark before us, like luminous strands along the backbones of the distant ridges.

—from Cogan’s Woods

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What he carried in that coat, beyond a whistle, some fire-starter blocks, dog leashes, a pair of gloves, and two empty hulls, were his stories—some of which I had been a part of and others that I am left only to imagine.

—from “His Canvas Coat”


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