A Gem City Atlas: Novel maps of Laramie, Wyoming

  • Cold War, Warm Planet: To accompany an essay by Kathryn Flagg. Illustration by Kelsey Giroux, graphic production by Shizue Seigel, cartography by Ben Pease.

  • Wild Wild East: To accompany an essay by LuLing Osofsky, design by Pauiius Staniunas, cartography by Shizue Seigel.

  • Many Homes: Concept by Kristen Elizabeth Gunther. Photography by Kristen Gunther and Shizue Seigel, cartography and design by Shizue Seigel.

  • Racks and Rifles: To accompany "A Scavenger Hunt," an essay by Kristen Elizabeth Gunther. Design by Shizue Seigel.

  • Ghosts and Cottonwoods: To accompany an essay by Tasha LeClair. Art and cartography by Shizue Seigel.


What is Laramie? This winter, creative writing graduate students at the University of Wyoming teamed with Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas author Rebecca Solnit and cartographers Ben Pease and Shizue Seigel to answer that question. The series of maps and essays that resulted provide a nuanced portrait of place -- one that pairs missile silos with beetle kill, ghosts with cottonwoods, the wild West with its longstanding Asian influences. Beneath that, says the project's lead professor Alyson Hagy, lies a deepened sense of community that developed through an ever-widening net of collaboration, which drew in locals, artists, and other university departments and public institutions. Any community could undertake such an effort to endlessly re-imagine itself, Hagy adds: When people see Laramie: A Gem City Atlas -- on display at the UW Art Museum through June 18 -- "their first response is, 'I would map this,' or 'I would map that.' "

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