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"Facets Of This Desert" On Wednesday's Access Utah

How does the place we live inform our art? With its valleys and peaks, sagebrush and streams, the Great Basin inspires creative expression in forms as varied as its landscape. Join four distinguished artists—a filmmaker, a photographer, a novelist, and a poet—in a panel discussion about the unique inspiration discovered in the Great Basin. 

Jana Richman was born and raised in Utah’s west desert, the daughter of a small-time rancher and a hand-wringing Mormon mother. She is the author of a memoir, Riding in the Shadows of Saints: A Woman’s Story of Motorcycling the Mormon Trail, and two novels, The Last Cowgirl, which won the Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction, and The Ordinary Truth. Her essays have appeared in various newspapers and journals including The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Quarterly West, and The Fourth River. Richman lives in the irascible small town of Escalante, Utah, bordering the magnificent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, with her husband and backpacking partner, Steve Defa. She is currently working on a collection 
of essays.

As writer, editor, and photographer Stephen Trimble has 
published more than 20 books. In the 26 years since he published his Great Basin natural history narrative, The Sagebrush Ocean, the ecological stories of this place have become so complex that Trimble’s book documents an endangered landscape, a place that no longer exists. Trimble has received a broad range of awards for his photography, his non-fiction, and his fiction, including: The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for photography and conservation; The National Cowboy Museum’s Western Heritage “Wrangler” Award; a Wallace Stegner Centennial Fellowship at the University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Colorado College. He teaches writing in the University of Utah Honors College and makes his home in Salt Lake City and in the redrock country of Torrey, Utah. Trimble’s website is

Alisha Anderson was born and raised in northern California. She later moved to Utah and received her BFA in Studio Arts from Brigham Young University. She recently graduated from the University of Utah with a MS in Environmental Humanities, where she was also awarded The Floyd O’Neil 
Fellowship in Western American Studies. Her time in the Environmental Humanities’ program has added the dimensions of story and place to her evolving work. Her artwork and writing have appeared in various art exhibitions, as well as local and collegiate journals.

Michael McLane is an editor with both Sugar House Review 
and saltfront: studies in human habit(at). He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Colorado State University and an MS in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Western Humanities Review, High Country News, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and Interim. More recently, his work has turned its focus on the Great Basin, with a specific interest in the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) to the west and Salt Lake City to the east. He is at work on a history of the Beck Street area of Salt Lake City and a “lyric map” of the NNSS. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he oversees literary programming for Utah Humanities. 

As Co-Publisher and Editorial Director at Torrey House Press, Kirsten Allen oversees marketing, production, and editorial concerns for Utah’s independent nonprofit literary publisher. Established in 2010, Torrey House Press promotes conservation through literature, combining two of Kirsten’s dearest passions. Kirsten lives with her husband, Mark Bailey, and two cats in Salt Lake City and Torrey, Utah.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.