Writer and naturalist Ellen Meloy and photographer Stephen Strom met in the fall of 2004 and began work on a book of images and prose expressing their shared love of the desert. Two months later, Meloy died suddenly at her home in southern Utah. Over the years to follow, Strom called on Meloy's writing to put his new photographs to words. The collaboration seemed to deepen over time, and it comes to fruition in This Desert Hides Nothing, edited by poet Ann Walka, a friend of Ellen Meloy.
About the Author
ELLEN MELOY was a native of the West and lived in California, Montana, and Utah. Her book Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild (2005) was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for nonfiction. The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky (2002) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Utah Book Award and the Banff Mountain Book Festival Award in the adventure and travel category. She is also the author of Raven's Exile: A Season on the Green River (1994) and The Last Cheater's Waltz: Beauty and Violence in the Desert Southwest (2001). A posthumous collection of Meloy's radio essays, Seasons: Desert Sketches was published by Torrey House Press and Radio West in 2019. Meloy spent most of her life in wild, remote places; at the time of her sudden death in November 2004 (three months after completing Eating Stone), she and her husband were living in southern Utah. STEPHEN STROM spent his professional career as an astronomer. Born in 1942 in New York City, he graduated from Harvard College in 1962. In 1964 he received his Masters and PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University. Stephen began photographing in 1978. His work, largely interpretations of landscapes, has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and is held in several permanent collections including the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the University of Oklahoma Art Museum, the Mead Museum in Amherst, MA, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His photography complements poems and essays in three books published by the University of Arizona Press: Secrets from the Center of the World, a collaboration with Muscogee poet Joy Harjo; Sonoita Plain: Views of a Southwestern Grassland, a collaboration with ecologists Jane and Carl Bock; Tseyi (Deep in the Rock): Reflections on Canyon de Chelly, co-authored with Navajo poet Laura Tohe; as well as in Otero Mesa: America's Wildest Grassland, with Gregory McNamee and Stephen Capra, University of New Mexico Press (2008). Death Valley: Painted Light with poet Alison Deming was published in 2016 and is distributed by the University of Arizona Press.