Authors Uncovered: Desert Chrome

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Wilkinson Public Library
Lower Terrace

Event Details

Join us for a reading and author talk with Kathryn Wilder, as well as photographer TJ Holmes, and her brilliant photos!

Kathryn Wilder entwines her personal story of grief, motherhood, and return to the desert with the story of America’s mustangs. Living in Hawai‘i, immersed in a deep-rooted love for the ocean and a relationship with a local activist, when three key people in her life die she turns to the Colorado Plateau—with its sagebrush steppes, deep canyons, and desert rivers—which she knows as “country big enough to hold sorrow.”

Searching for grounding within grief, Wilder grapples with a former heroin addiction and the haunting loss of custody of her two sons before mustangs show her the way out of lost. She ends up in southwestern Colorado on property bordering a mustang herd; there she finds connection, friendship, and a new sense of purpose among people who, like her, are magnetically drawn to the wild horses who share their desert home.

Desert Chrome illuminates these controversial creatures—their complex history in the Americas, their powerful presence on the landscape, and the means to keep both horses and habitats healthy and wild—and celebrates the animal nature in us all.

Kathryn Wilder’s memoir, Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West (Torrey House Press, 2021), won the 2022 Colorado Book Award in Creative Nonfiction, a Silver Nautilus Book Award, and a National Indie Excellence Award. Wilder’s essays have been cited in Best American Essays, and have appeared in such publications as High Desert Journal, High Country News, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, and many Hawai`i magazines. With an MFA from the Institute of American Arts, she lives in Disappointment Valley and Dolores, Colorado, in the company of mustangs.

TJ Holmes lives in the high desert of Colorado’s undisap­pointing and endlessly fascinating Disappointment Valley with mustangs and other neighbors of the four-legged variety. She documents Spring Creek Basin’s mustangs and acts as a birth-control provider (as a BLM volunteer) with the goal of reducing the need for roundups and removals of the wild hors­es that were there first and should be there always.

Event Type(s): WPL Programs
Age Group(s): Adult