Robert F. Gish

Selected Works

Magic realism meets myth in the real and imaginary efforts of two small towns when they face encroaching corruption and evil. "River of Ghosts explores the disarmingly complex territory of an Iowa region. Mapping the latest trends in American society as well as the ancient legends of Native time, Robert Gish bestows both surface realism and spiritual depth on that territory. The result is a winning combination." --Wayne Franklin
“The people are alive, striving, tragic, often humorous. These are authentic and poignant blues whose melodies will play in your mind long after the book is finished.”
--John Nichols
“Robert Gish has his finger on the pulse of the West. First Horses is a fine collection of stories about who we Westerners are, how we got here--and where do we go from now?”
--James Welch
Gish ranges through settings as diverse as the California coast and the ghost-haunted hills of Indian Territory in a narrative panorama of cultural diversity.
Jazz Gator produces music CD "Bob Gish & Friends"


Robert F. Gish is the author of nearly twenty works of fiction, memoir, folktales, literary biographies and numerous monographs and essays on the literature, history, and culture of the American Southwest.

His story collections include West Bound: Stories of Providence (2005), Bad Boys and Black Sheep: Fateful Stories from the West (1996), Dreams of Quivira: Stories in Search of the Golden West (1996), When Coyote Howls: A Lavaland Fable (1994), and First Horses: Stories of the New West (1993). He also has written a memoir of growing up in the West, Songs of My Hunter Heart: A Western Kinship (1992), and a collection of cross-cultural essays, Beyond Bounds: Anglo, Chicano, and Native American Literature (1996). His literary biographies include Frontier’s End: The Life and Literature of Harvey Fergusson (1988), and Beautiful Swift Fox: Erna Fergusson and the Modern Southwest (1996).

Critical-analytical studies include Paul Horgan (1983), Nueva Granada: Paul Horgan and the Southwest (1995), William Carlos Williams: The Short Fiction (1989), and Hamlin Garland: The Far West (1976). Gish is a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review, The American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and Jazz Inside Magazine.

He taught at the University of Northern Iowa from 1967-1991, where he was University Distinguished Scholar and Professor of English. He served as Director of Ethnic Studies and Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo from 1991-2001.

He holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English and American Studies from the University of New Mexico. He is the recipient of the Erna Fergusson Distinguished Alumni Award from UNM. Of Cherokee-Anglo American descent, Gish is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Pen West, the Authors Guild, and the Screen Actors Guild. He lives with his wife, Judith, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gish and his wife are the parents of three children and have seven grandchildren. He is a jazz guitarist and vocalist.

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