A field guide to the Sonoran Desert’s life forms, written by a collection of local poets and essayists, one could say it is also a field guide to the most salient luminaries in Arizona’s current poetic literary universe, plus a few initiates from beyond. This beautiful book delights me, not only with its choir of voices, appreciation of flora and fauna, sweet pencil drawings scattered throughout, but, perhaps mostly, because its flesh is crafted of science and art, all senses attuned to this extraordinary place on the planet. — From Claudia's Picks
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 verdant 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 R os, 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 a new classic, offering up the next generation of voices of this special and beautiful place, the Sonoran Desert.
About the Author
Eric Magrane is the first poet-in-residence at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. He has been an artist-in-residence in three national parks and is the founding editor of Spiral Orb, an experiment in permaculture poetics. Magrane is currently completing his PhD in geography at the University of Arizona. Christopher Cokinos is the author of three books of literary nonfiction: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds, The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars, and Bodies, of the Holocene. Winner of several national awards, Cokinos teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arizona and is affiliated faculty with the Institute of the Environment. Paul Mirocha is the artist in residence at Tumamoc Hill. Mirocha has illustrated numerous books, including work by Gary Paul Nabhan and Barbara Kingsolver. Mirocha is the winner of multiple awards, including those from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.