Water, the most critical fluid on the planet, is seen as savior, benefactor, and Holy Grail in these fifteen essays on natural and faux oases. Fluvial geologist and former Colorado River guide Rebecca Lawton follows species both human and wild to their watery roots--in warming deserts, near rising Pacific tides, on endangered, tapped-out rivers, and in growing urban ecosystems. Lawton thoroughly and eloquently explores human attitudes toward water in the West, from Twentynine Palms, California, to Sitka, Alaska. A lifelong immersion in all things water forms Lawton's deep thinking about living with this critical compound and sometimes dying in it, on it, with too much of it, or for lack of it. The Oasis This Time, the inaugural Waterston Desert Writing Prize winner, is a call for us to evolve toward a sustainable and even spiritual connection to water.
Rebecca Lawton grew up exploring rivers and deserts throughout the American West. Her writing on water, climate, and wild and human nature has been honored with a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair, the Ellen Meloy Award for Desert Writers, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, a WILLA for original softcover fiction, Pushcart Prize nominations in prose and poetry, and residencies at Hedgebrook, PLAYA, and The Island Institute. She lives with guitarist Paul Christopulos in Summer Lake, Oregon, where she directs PLAYA's residency program for writers, artists, and scientists.