Synopses & Reviews
There is an otherness to the high desert, something momentous and sacred in the purity of the silence. In this compelling collection of personal essays, award-winning poet and author Ellen Waterston illuminates the people, places, and landscape of Central Oregon's vast high desert.
In Where the Crooked River Rises, Waterston reveals the blessings and challenges of decades spent as a rancher and town resident in a place that "has been, and remains," her touchstone and crucible. The high desert is Waterston's teacher, and she describes its lessons with grace and care, inviting readers to look at their own lives through a lens of wide-open spaces, sagebrush and juniper, pumice and rabbit brush.
"In this remarkable collection of essays, Ellen Waterston conjures the beauty and variety of Central Oregon's High Desert country. Her settings include Bend, Paulina, Brothers, and Wagontire. She populates these places with authentic, colorful characters including ranchers, coyote trappers, loggers and a Horse King. Encroaching on their territory are meth cookers and wilderness rehabilitation programs. The author astounds us with the beauty of a desert lily, star gazing, or the sudden appearance of a UFO. Using Ellen's essays and a good map, the reader should explore this unique landscape and meet the hardy people who persevere here. This collection is a treasure like the region's legendary Blue Bucket Mine. --Craig Lesley, author of Burning Fence
"Ellen Waterston is one of the most important essayists in Oregon... She brings hard-won experience, a scholar's tenacity for fact and detail, and a poet's sense of language and rhythm to her work. ... Her essays are great reads that always make me think, often make me laugh, and roll around in my head for days and weeks after I've read them." --Guy Maynard, editor of Oregon Quarterly
About the Author
Ellen Waterston is the author of Between Desert Seasons, Poems; I Am Madagascar; and Then There Was No Mountain, a memoir selected by the Oregonian as one of the top ten books in 2003 and a finalist for Foreword Book-of-the-Year and WILLA book awards. She is founder and president of the Writing Ranch and founder and director of The Nature of Words. Waterston ranched in Oregon's high desert for nearly two decades before moving to Bend, Oregon.