Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Victor W. Pearn  

Pen Name: 



-- Victor W. Pearn on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Pearn was born in Jacksonville, Illinois and is a graduate of University of Illinois, Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

Pearn served in the US Marine Corps from 1969 - 1972. He received his a BA from the University of Illinois, Springfield and a MA in English Literature/Creative Writing at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He grew up in Jacksonville, Illinois and now lives in Boulder, Colorado.Before writing ''Point Guard'', his first novel, Victor wrote poetry exclusively.Pearn has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, in 1994 for the chapbook ''Swans Pausing'' and last year for his most recent collection ''American Western Song, Poems from 1976 to 2001''. Pearn's poems have been called "short, expressive, nostalgic and visual". ''American Western Song'' is an exploration of Pearn's experiences living in Colorado and going through Marine basic training during the Vietnam War.A book review on ''Apricot Harvest'', Pearn's latest book, from James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, of Midwest Book Review. ''Poetry expresses ourselves in many ways. “Apricot Harvest” is the twelfth book of poetry from Victor W. Pearn, longtime poetry enthusiastic and longtime teacher, bringing his passion and world travels together for his latest volume. A treat for poetry readers, “Apricot Harvest” shouldn’t be quickly overlooked, highly recommended. “An Ignorant Commune”: Have they eaten all the wild/animals on their land?/Are they/now trying to/eat all the insects?''

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Devil Dogs and Jarheads
ISBN: 0966619633

Busca Inc. 2003

Book by Victor W. Pearn

American Western Song
ISBN: 0738838683

Xlibris Corp. 2000

Victor Pearn is indeed "A man for all seasons." This is my conclusion after feasting upon each delicious morsel of his poetry. It is my belief that Victor Pearn's poetry will be considered to be among the finest works of poetry in both the Twentieth Century and our New Millennium. He has the unique gift of expressing in poetry what is otherwise inexpressible. His word pictures make you feel like you are there experiencing the things he describes so vividly. Victor also possesses the unique ability of being both tough minded and tender hearted. He is one of those rare individuals whose writings are both sweet and reasonable. His poetry reflects who he is today and where he has been, as he is a child of the Sixties and Seventies who has tasted both the bitter and the sweet and has come through those refining trials as a man who has lived what his poetry teaches. I am proud to commend Victor Pearn's poetry to all who are hungry and thirsty for a special literary feast.

Dr. Jerry Gibson

Point Guard
ISBN: 0977731804

Pearn and Associates, Inc.. 2006

Gary loved to play basketball from the first moment his hands touched a ball and he dribbled up and down his stairs. He always dreamed of playing point guard on the high school varsity team. Flustered by fights with the town bully, and conflicts with a coach who never gave him a fair shake, Gary transferred to Ashland High for his senior year.

Ashland was a sleepy little farm community in Illinois, it was the place where he had been born. Gary wasn't treated like a new kid at all he was a wayward friend who'd finally returned home. Everything began to click with his new coach and teammates.

At a time for hot rods, tiny Nash Ramblers, and long black hearses, Elvis had the top hits on radio and the juke boxes. Magically, all the dreams for the purple and white Ashland Panthers basketball team began to come true. Point Guard is the story of how it happened way back in 1957.

Swans pausing: A book of poems
ISBN: 0964423901

Foothills Publishing. 1994

signed**Foothills Publishing, 2nd edition2002, softcover,Signed by poet 5/24/02, 20 pages-clean(.a8)

Dream Season: My Brother Gary and the 1957 Ashland Panthers

Burning Daylight/Pearn Associates, Inc.. 2011

Dream Season is the true story of Gary Pearn's senior year of high school playing basketball in the small farm community of Ashland, Illinois, and of his teammates and 18 classmates who were all seniors in 1957. Gary, the author’s brother, played guard the other guard was his teammate Jerry Conner. Jerry went on to become first a sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune, and later a professor of Law at the University of Minnesota.
The author began this book ten years ago as a tribute to his brother, who passed away in 2003.

Light Across the Alley: The Story of a Young Matchmaker

Pearn & Associates, Inc.. 2011

Katy Macky is a freshman at Colorado University on scholarship in the Theater Department as a costume designer. Going first back to her middle school days and then forward to the present, Light Across the Alley tells her story as a Matchmaker — Katy experiences visions of the future babies of her friends and of herself. Then she sets people up with each other.

Apricot Harvest: Poems
ISBN: 098465237X

Indian Paintbrush Poets. 2012

Victor W. Pearn was born in 1950 in Jacksonville, Illinois and began writing poems at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii when he was 21 years old. He earned his BA from the University of Illinois, Springfield, and his English Literature MA in creative writing at Colorado University, Boulder. "One Year of Grace," won the 1983 university wide poetry contest, and was printed as the prologue in the 1984 Coloradan by Colorado University. He's the author of Devil Dogs and Jarheads, a collection of poems describing the culture of the U. S. Marine Corps during the war in Viet Nam, published by Michael Cooper, at And poems from that book have been read four times by Garrison Keillor on his NPR broadcast of "The Writer's Almanac." In 2009-2010 Mr. Pearn instructed eight freshmen English classes and six sophomore Writing classes, a total of 585 English majors, at Jining University located in Qufu, China. Currently, he resides with his wife Summer, where he continues writing and publishing books and poems in Colorado. Apricot Harvest, his twelfth book was written in China, and inspired by the contemporary Chinese culture, speaks from those experiences he had while living in Shandong Province from August 2009 to September 2010.

Cattails and Sagebrush
ISBN: 0989724204

Indian Paintbrush Poets. 2013

Stories abound in this book, and a river runs through it. The stories are random and recurring, like memory itself. Family history. A conversation struck up with an old man in a bar. A long ago Pony League team undefeated. A young marine walking in an empty baseball field in Oahu, reading his college acceptance letter. The stories, like the cue balls Pearn describes in another poem, touch each other and change trajectories. The river is the Poudre - born in the Rocky Mountains, eastern slope, flowing through Fort Collins. Pearn gives his readers its colors and its creatures in many lights and seasons. Like memory, it is a place to return to, a source of renewal. There is another force moving these poems, one not found so much in contemporary writing. Call it boundless hope. In his poem "Three Square Meals," Pearn says he "did not have the American dream" because he never wanted to be rich he just wanted to be a writer. But the American dream is writ large in these poems - true grit and work and the possibility of glory in baseball fields and boot camp - and in poetry. Many of the poems in this book are conversations with poetry and poets that begin in a seventh-grade classroom and are now part of his outlook and his art. The American dream shines in Pearn's memories of Jacksonville, Illinois, in the good days of the 1950s and 60s when there was work in huge and colorful variety for anyone who was willing to do it. But he also tells some 21st centuries stories of hope and struggle. His wife, a recent immigrant from China, confronts the gulf between her education and the jobs available to her. They walk the bureaucratic maze in their efforts to bring her son to the United States. This is a book to read and return to. -Peggy Sower Knoepfle



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

Please contact author at: 970-599-8924.