Essays

Recollecting life on the edge of the prairie
Recollecting life on the edge of the prairie
Portraits of trans life and landscape in rural Washington.
On the road, a taste of home
On the road, a taste of home
The Saini family’s Punjabi dhabas serve ‘good vibes only.’
The anxiety and satisfaction of race day
The anxiety and satisfaction of race day
A writer traces the motivations that led her to run a half-marathon on the California coast.
SCOTUS has shown poor judgment before
SCOTUS has shown poor judgment before
Remembering Japanese internment on a journey to Heart Mountain as Roe falls.
Getting over not fitting in
Getting over not fitting in
Why I have a jackalope tattoo, and another of a covered wagon.
When I knew I had made it home
When I knew I had made it home
I drifted around the rural West and country for decades. Until I reached a small corner of Colorado.
Raquel Gutiérrez feels shades of desperate
Raquel Gutiérrez feels shades of desperate
The author of ‘Brown Neon’ on queer fatherhood and being broke down in the desert.
As we celebrate Juneteenth, a look at the true history of emancipation
As we celebrate Juneteenth, a look at the true history of emancipation
A historian describes how Black people were kept unfree even after slavery ended.
Witness to the Cold War in the desert
Witness to the Cold War in the desert
Terry Tempest Williams on Emmet Gowin’s unflinching photos of the Nevada Test Site.
Falling out of the nest
Falling out of the nest
A writer reflects on our instinct to save nature.
How to choose a pronoun
How to choose a pronoun
The land does not care what parts of you are male or female.
What does it mean to live well on an overheating planet?
What does it mean to live well on an overheating planet?
A walk through the Quinault rainforest leads to a cascade of questions.
On grieving trees
On grieving trees
For years, a young writer saw the tell-tale signs of beetle kill. And then the infestation came for the pines at her own home.
Hate speech on the Bitterroot
Hate speech on the Bitterroot
How a day on the river made me question my relationship to a place I call home.
The place that coal built and fire burned
The place that coal built and fire burned
Extractive industry laid the infrastructure for the suburban sprawl that fueled Colorado’s destructive Marshall Fire.
When the little owl vanishes
When the little owl vanishes
A writer reflects on parenthood and what to talk about when confronting extinction.
Rekindling connections in the small flame of a qulliq
Rekindling connections in the small flame of a qulliq
An Inupiaq writer welcomes the nourishing glow of a seal oil lamp into her home.
The hidden fires
The hidden fires
Keeping honest about what we burn and why.
The time of the Indigenous critic has arrived
The time of the Indigenous critic has arrived
Now that the industry is finally greenlighting Indigenous films and TV, Indigenous critics ought to lead the conversation.
The public lands that kept us sane
The public lands that kept us sane
In honor of National Public Lands Day, High Country News staff reflect on access to spaces across the West.
How wildlife sightings create community
How wildlife sightings create community
What we share and what we keep quiet in small mountain towns.
Anxiety and hope in wildfire-prone Oregon
Anxiety and hope in wildfire-prone Oregon
How might we live in the reality of our climate?
A new Conservation Corps for the climate
A new Conservation Corps for the climate
What it means to contribute to the future of a place.
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