Michael Branch


Michael P. Branch is Professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has published five books and more than 200 essays, articles, and reviews, and his creative nonfiction has appeared in magazines including Utne ReaderOrionEcotoneHawk and Handsaw, and Whole Terrain. He has had pieces recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American EssaysThe Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His essay series, Rants from the Hill, appears monthly at hcn.org. A confirmed desert rat, Mike lives with his wife and two daughters at 6,000 feet in the remote western Nevada desert, where the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada meet. For more, visit Mike’s website.

Rants from the Hill: Upon the burning of our house
On joining a pyrotechnic American literary tradition
Rants from the Hill: Chicken pastorale
In which the virtues of country life turn out to be a delicious form of self delusion
Rants from the Hill: A prospect from the singing mountain
How the Ranter rolled into the new year in a dramatic fashion
Rants from the Hill: Trial by jury
In which a jury of Great Basinians is put on trial
Rants from the Hill: My home lake
When the most important thing in a lake is not water
Rants from the Hill: Harvesting the Desert Shoe Tree
How a tree helped a little girl overcome her love of the Dodgers
Rants from the Hill: Pleistocene rewilding
Lions and tigers and bears (in Nevada), oh my!
Rants from the Hill: Beauregard puppy
Observations on the cheap virtues of an expensive dog
Of balloons, littering and birthday parties
Of balloons, littering and birthday parties
When you're a curmudgeon in Nevada's high desert, you regard deflated, abandoned balloons as an especially vile form of trash – until it's your daughter's birthday party, and she "needs" to airlift some balloons.
Rants from the Hill: I brake for Rants
Experiments with the polemics of bumper stickers
High Country News Classifieds