Saturday, March 24, 2007

What Wildness Is This

When I got my copy of What Wildness Is This, an anthology of women writing about land and life in the Southwest co-edited by WWW member Susan Wittig Albert, my jaw dropped. It wasn't just the wide range of writers represented, including Barbara Kinsolver, Leslie Marmon Silko, Teresa Jordan, Naomi Shihab Nye, Luci Tapahanso, Denise Chavez, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer - nearly 100 in all. Nor was it the inspiring range of genres and cultures and languages; nor even the fact that it includes an essay of mine. It was the sheer beauty of the words and the design. Anthologies can be throw-away volumes, catchalls of unrelated writing hastily thrown together. Not this one: everything from the cover photo to the paper, ivory and a satisfying weight, with a lovely ragged outside edge, to the order of the voices and the writing itself, is beautifully done and inviting. Inviting readers to take it home and curl up in a favorite reading spot, and let the pages fall open to sample the voices of women speaking eloquently and passionately for land, culture, self, and place.

What Wildness Is This was just released by University of Texas Press. "Land Full of Stories," a writing conference inspired by the book will take place in San Marcos, Texas, June 7-9, 2007.

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