Patricia Lichen

Patricia Lichen


B.S., The Evergreen State College, 1987


Patricia K. Lichen


Contact via email

Biographical Note

I have done all but one of these things:

*** left the White House in the back of a paddy wagon *** studied dolphins in the Florida keys *** dislocated my knee in the rigging of a topsail schooner *** been arrested in Peru for piracy *** learned tapdance from Rusty Frank *** been a Girl Scout leader *** chained myself to harpoon guns on whaling ships to prevent them from killing whales *** stood inside an active volcano *** shared an office with Jesus Christ *** danced the hula in front of 50,000 at Aloha Stadium *** steered a 130-foot trawler through the Panama Canal *** lived on a commune in Tennessee *** discussed shoes in sign language with a chimpanzee.

Shari Auth's book cover, Introduction to Auth Method

Publication Types

Fiction, Non-Fiction

Latest Publication Title

Kidnapping the Lorax, Puddletown Publishing, 2011

Additional Publications

Brittle Stars & Mudbugs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Shorelines & Wetlands, Sasquatch Books, 2002
River-Walking Songbirds & Singing Coyotes: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Mountains, Sasquatch Books, 2001
Passionate Slugs & Hollywood Frogs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Backyards, Sasquatch Books, 2001
Oregon's New Forests, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, 1995
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Publication Excerpt

"Consider the passenger pigeon,” Walden was saying as he and Lacey walked toward the river. “Now, I never saw a passenger pigeon, and you never did either, because the last one died in captivity in 1914. And these days, we tend to think of the extinction of the passenger pigeon as inevitable and ancient as that of the dinosaurs. But just a few generations ago, people saw clouds of these birds at a time. There’d be a billion pigeons in one awesome flock. The flocks would fly in a solid mass that lasted for miles. They’d block out the sun.”

“All right, Walden, I have a lot of tasks ahead of me. Can we speed this up? Your point, I suppose, must be that we managed to kill off all the passenger pigeons through our greed and short-sightedness, and now the world is a poorer place. Correct?” Lacey skirted a particularly large sword fern. If these woods were any indication, sword ferns were in no danger of extinction.

Walden stopped and faced her. “Yeah, that’s part of what I’m saying, Lorax, and it’s certainly inspiring to hear how much of an impact the complete annihilation of a species makes on a high-ranking government official such as yourself. But here’s the rest of what I wanted to say about the passenger pigeon: I don’t miss the sight of those birds and you don’t miss it, because we never saw it. And yeah, maybe our lives are diminished by that, but it’s hard to miss a phenomenon you never knew. But take a minute to extrapolate that out: each generation sees a certain amount of changes made to the natural environment. More asphalt, fewer trees. More smog, fewer blue skies. More bright lights, fewer stars. And these changes seem acceptable to each generation—it’s just the price of doing business. But if a person could see all those changes over time, if you could witness what each generation gives up as being a reasonable sacrifice to progress, then you’d be able to recognize how much we’ve lost—truly how much of our world we’ve lost forever … And yet every generation continues to give away another piece.”

Lacey’s response, which began “Yet what would you propose …” was interrupted by the whistled purdy purdy call of a bird she didn’t recognize, and then suddenly Walden was tackling her, one arm around her waist, the other bracing them for the impact as they fell into the ferns. As soon as they were on the ground, and before she could cry out, he had his hand against her mouth, and was whispering in her ear. “Listen to me, Lorax. That call was the song of the cardinal—but there aren’t any cardinals in the Pacific Northwest. That signal means Tracker has spotted someone nearby.”

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

During one of my evaluations, professor Pat Labine told me that I wrote well. I waved off the compliment; she repeated, she detailed, she insisted, until I truly heard what she was saying. This is some of the best that TESC instructors do: paying close attention and helping students figure out what things we do well--and may want to direct further attention toward.