We are honored to have been awarded a 2019 CAL HUMANITIES QUICK GRANT for our project Exploring the Literature of the California Desert. Workshops and lectures were held at our 2019 HIGH DESERT BOOK FESTIVAL. Other writing workshops, readings and public discussions of prose and poetry inspired by the California Desert will be held throughout 2020.
Some works – like Mary Austin’s lyrical classic novel The Land of Little Rain – date back over 100 years. Aspiring and published authors will participate, including Professor Ruth Nolan from the College of the Desert, who will present a lecture highlighting some of the 80 authors in her anthology “No Place for a Puritan: The literature of the California Desert.” We will explore the lore, mystique and history surrounding legendary desert names in film and books–the Mojave, Death Valley, Palm Springs, Route 66 and Barstow. We want to engage young and old, residents and guests to explore literature that evokes haunting imagery and feelings.