TTU Home Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Home Sowell Collection

Robert Michael Pyle

Robert Michael Pyle


The Xerces Society

Robert Michael Pyle is a professional writer and lepidopterist living in Grays River, Washington. He was born on July 19, 1947 in Denver, Colorado. He attended The University of Washington (B.S. and M.S.) and Yale University (Ph.D., School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 1976). He has published 17 books, including Wintergreen: Rambles In a Ravaged Land which won the 1987 John Burroughs Medal and Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year. Other awards include The Washington State Book Award (2008) and The National Outdoor Book Award (2007) for Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place. He has published hundreds of papers, short stories, poems and essays in many magazines and journals. Pyle wrote the popular column “The Tangled Bank” that appeared in Orion Magazine and Orion Afield and was published in book form as The Tangled Bank: Writings from Orion. Pyle is active in many organizations including the Xerces Society. He has also served as butterfly conservation consultant for Papua New Guinea and as Northwest Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy.

About the Collection: Papers,1874-2014 (131 boxes) includes correspondence, photos and slides, drafts and galley copies of Pyle's major books, as well as maps, AV material and computer disks. Correspondence, which is comprised of 35 boxes, reflects personal cards and letters, business correspondence with publishers and lepidopterist societies. Correspondents include David James Duncan, Rick Bass, Barry Lopez, William Kittredge, Annick Smith, Doug Peacock, David Quammen, John Lane, and Pattiann Rogers. Many other important American writers, politicians, and scientists are also included. Other materials document Pyle's participation with organizations such as The Xerces Society, The Nature Conservancy, The Orion Society and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Drafts and research for books in this collection: Chasing Monarchs, Magdalena Mountain, Mariposa Road, Sky Time in Gray's River, The Tangled Bank, The Thunder Tree, Where Bigfoot Walked, and Wintergreen.

“Notables,” “Battle Papers” and “Journeys” are terms Pyle used on his files, these folders include correspondence, articles, publicity and other printed material. Folder titles in quotations indicate the title was from Pyle’s original folder. Word documents on computer disks were printed by the SWC/SC Library staff. Some disks and files could not be opened.

  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Magdalena Mountain: a Novel. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press, 2018.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Chinook & Chanterelles: poems. Sandpoint, ID: Lost Horse Press, 2016.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Through a Green Lens: Fifty Years of Writing for Nature. Corvalis, OR: Oregon State UP, 2016.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Evolution of the Genus Iris: Poems. Sandpoint, ID: Lost Horse Press, 2014.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. The Tangled Bank: Writings from Orion. Corvalis: Oregon State UP, 2012.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Walking the High Ridge: Life as a Field Trip. Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2000.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies Passage. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Audubon Handbook for Butterfly Watchers. NY: Scribner’s, 1984.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Wintergreen: Rambles in a Ravaged Land. NY. Scribner, 1986.
  • Pyle, Robert Michael. Audubon North American Butterflies. NY: Knopf, 1981.
  • Filmography:
    • The Dark Divide. Directed by Tom Putnam. Based on a book by Robert Michael Pyle. 2020
    • Sasquatch Odyessey: The Hunt for Big Foot. Directed by Peter von Puttkamer. Featuring Robert Michael Pyle, as himself. 1999.

    Updated:July 9, 2021