The Pacific Northwest Forum
Second Series Volume I, Number 2, Page 2
Spring, 1988

Working with the Environment:
Writing and Engineering in the Northwest

Since beginning publication a decade ago the Pacific Northwest Forum has devoted its pages to "the history, literature, and environment" of the Northwest. Some of our favorite articles have combined these three perspectives on the region.

In the current issue the articles at first seem to be completely divergent. Two articles focus on the works of Northwest writers. A third article and a photo essay deal with a major construction project.

But in each case the land is a central theme. The authors discussed by Harold Simonson and Nancy Prothro Arbuthnot work the land in their writings and in their inner lives. The engineers described by Craig Holstine work the land to construct an electrical power network.

We can distinguish between the aesthetic aims of the writers and the practical design of the builders... And yet the Northwest we know has been shaped by both. The power lines along the Columbia River, as well as the words of Northwest Writers, shape our mental picture of the region.

And, in turn, the writers of the Northwest, as well as the employees of the Bonneville Power Administration, have constructed a 'Master Grid' bringing power to our lives.

J. William T. Youngs, Editor