John T. Price is the author of the memoirs Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father (forthcoming in Spring 2013 by Trumpeter Books/Shambhala Press); Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships (Da Capo Press, 2008; paperback to be released by University of Iowa Press, Spring, 2012) and Not Just Any Land: A Personal and Literary Journey into the American Grasslands (U. of Nebraska Press, 2004). Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1966, he attended the University of Iowa, where he earned his B.A. in Religion, M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing and Ph.D. in English. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and other recognitions, his nonfiction writing about nature, family, and spirit has appeared in many journals, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies including Orion, The Christian Science Monitor, Creative Nonfiction, Isotope, and Best Spiritual Writing 2000. He is a Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he teaches nonfiction writing, and a fellow at the Black Earth Institute. He lives with his wife Stephanie and three sons in the Loess Hills of western Iowa.
But if the spiritual journey to a place begins, as some claim, with mortal fear, then it was not the bison or the falcon or the Badlands that first drew me closer to the region in which I'd been raised. It was the pheasant, that particular baby pheasant--there on a highway in eastern Iowa--which almost, as my sister Allyson would say, rocked my world. In a sense, that's exactly what it did. It made me wake up, become more observant of what's lurking in the margins. What's lurking there, despite the rumors, is the possibility of surprise, of accident, of death. And if it's possible in this overdetermined landscape for a pheasant to kill a man, then why not also the possibility of restoration, renewal, and, at last, hope?
“Man Killed by Pheasant” from Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships
Read an interview with Price by M.F.A. candidate Sarah Minor here.