The Sonoran Desert
A Literary Field Guide
Paperback ($19.95), Ebook ($19.95)
A land of austerity and bounty, the Sonoran Desert is a place that captures imaginations and hearts. It is a place where barbs snag, thorns prick, and claws scratch. A place where lizards scramble and pause, hawks hunt like wolves, and bobcats skulk in creosote.
Both literary anthology and hands-on field guide, The Sonoran Desert is a groundbreaking book that melds art and science. It captures the stunning biodiversity of the world’s most lush desert through words and images. More than fifty poets and writers—including Christopher Cokinos, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ken Lamberton, Eric Magrane, Jane Miller, Gary Paul Nabhan, Alberto Ríos, Ofelia Zepeda, and many others—have composed responses to key species of this striking desert. Each creative contribution is joined by an illustration by award-winning artist Paul Mirocha and scientific information about the creature or plant authored by the book’s editors.
From the saguaro to the mountain lion, from the black-tailed jackrabbit to the mesquite, the species represented here have evoked compelling and creative responses from each contributor. Just as writers such as Edward Abbey and Ellen Meloy have memorialized the desert, this collection is sure to become the new classic, offering up the next generation of voices of this special and beautiful place, the Sonoran Desert.
“The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide brings to life the beauty, strangeness, and biodiversity of the plants, invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that make the Sonoran Desert their home. It is as charming as it is informative, even if you live nowhere near a desert. What a wonderful resource this book is.”—Ann Fisher, co-editor of The Ecopoetry Anthology
“Forget what you think you know about deserts—or field guides. This is something entirely unexpected and entirely necessary. Among the fairy duster and devil’s claw, bobcat and butter-butt—among the tears of laughter and lament—you’ll rediscover another awesome creature that has long found sustenance in the desert: the human creative spirit.”—John T. Price, author of Man Killed by Pheasant: And Other Kinships
“A book of delights for the mind and spirit, this is what a field guide ought to be. What better way to truly see a place than through the unblinking eyes of literature? What better way to truly love a place than through the embrace of ecology? Put them together, as Magrane and Cokinos have brilliantly done, and here is their irresistible invitation to the spectacular desert.”—Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature