Get some West If you broach the subject of the OldWest at any mixed gathering where strong, informed opinions flow like a geyser of crude or a healthy stream, you’re bound to get an earful about the state of the new West, too.
From the rush to find gold to the drive for techie dominance in Silicon Valley and the struggle to reverse the trend of eroding traditions in culture, family, and livelihood, the progression of the American West has always served as a yardstick for the way the rest of the country sculpts its ever-shifting identity.
In Voices of the American West (Fulcrum Publishing, 2009), Colorado writer Corinne Platt assembles narratives from people who call theWest home: politicians, ranchers, conservationists, activists, agricultural and environmental innovators, journalists, authors, artists— the cross section of ideas brewing among them is as varied as the landscape they roam. And Platt— without taking sides— gives more than 45 of them equal consideration here.
The voices of figures such as artist Roxanne Swentzell, indigenous-foodways preservationist Gary Nabhan, writer Terry Tempest Williams, and former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall are complemented by black-and-white portraits by photographer Meredith Ogilby, whose work lends the writing an affectingly intimate context. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, Platt, Ogilby, and other contributors discuss and sign copies of Voices at Garcia Street Books, 376 Garcia St., 986-0151.