Publication Date: April 2011
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I have been in love with the working ranch cowboy for my whole life. As a girl, I sat beside my dad in coffee shops and feed stores, listening to livestock men cuss the weather, examine cattle prices, and make deals. I held the halter rope while he shod the remudas of large ranches as well as reset the shoes on people’s family pets. I begged to go when he trotted off into desert mornings with crews of men on horseback. And I dreamed of living on a cow camp, of the kind of ranch romance that Texas rancher Tom Moorhouse talks about with his drawling, twanging long a sounds.” from the author’s preface From the Texas panhandle to the mountains of Arizona, Amy Auker has lived the cowboy lifeas wife, as mother, as cook, as ranch hand, as writer. In fine-grained detail she captures the prairie light, the traffic on small farm-to-market roads, the vacant stillness of shipping pens when fall works are over. But she also captures the unmistakable westernness of the people and creatures around her: the son who must get back on the horse that just bucked him off, the husband who gives great gifts, the animals whose names and temperaments are as recognizable as family. Auker understands those who live in the sway of nature’s moods far off the main roads, and she commends them to us in luminous prose backlit by her own hard-earned experience.
Linda M. Hasselstrom combines forty-five years of experience raising cattle on the Northern Plains with thirty years as an environmental activist to create essays and poetry, and co-edit anthologies that make a significant contribution to environmental writing today.She is the author or editor of twelve books including Woven on the Wind, Feels Like Far, and Leaning into the Wind. She has received a number of honors for herwork including an NEA fellowship for poetry and the South DakotaHall of Fame'sWriter of the Year award. She divides her time between Wyoming and South Dakota.