Trinity University Press

New Books

A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

Matt Donovan (author)

Cover for A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

The title cloud of Matt Donovan’s A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape refers to the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that buried the city of Pompeii under twenty feet of ash. It’s no surprise, then, that Donovan found the site of the sacred ruins an inspiration, using their legacy to form the beginning of this extraordinary nonfiction debut. Donovan pursues the image of the cloud throughout these fourteen...

Matt Donovan’s essays are haunted, searching, lyrical, and above all dogged in their ability to conjoin personal history with public history, whether he is investigating... — David Wojahn, author of World Tree

Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet

Susan A. Cohen (editor), Julie Dunlap (editor), Bill McKibben (foreword)

Cover for Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet

Coming of Age at the End of Nature explores a new kind of environmental writing. This powerful anthology gathers the passionate voices of young writers who have grown up in an environmentally damaged and compromised world. Each contributor has come of age since Bill McKibben foretold the doom of humanity’s ancient relationship with a pristine earth in his prescient 1988 warning of climate change, The End of...

A fine collection of environmental writing in this thoughtful anthology from a 'new generation of fossil fuel freedom fighters'... an earnest compendium... an intelligent...Starred Review Library Journal

Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition

Amy L. Stone (author)

Cover for Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition

Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 with a parade, Battle of the Flowers, in honor of the memory of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. Similar in many ways to Mardi Gras, the parade has evolved into a ten-day, annual festival in April with more than 100 colorful and cultural events raising money for nonprofit organizations in San Antonio. Cornyation has played an important role in the transformation of Fiesta....

Five years in the making, Stone’s hotly anticipated Trinity University Press book Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition presents her many findings in a... — San Antonio Current

Death Watch: A View from the Tenth Decade

Gerald Stern (author)

Cover for Death Watch: A View from the Tenth Decade

In Death Watch, National Book Award–winning poet Gerald Stern uses powerful prose to sift through personal and prophetic history and contemplate his own mortality. Characteristically audacious, uncompromising, funny, and iconoclastic, Stern looks back at his life and forward to how his story will play out. Wrestling with his identity in Judaism, he explores how his name was uprooted from its origins, as so much of his...

There is no warning as to where Jerry, as his many friends call him, will strike next as he roams about his long and productive life.Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

Rebecca Solnit (author)

Cover for The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed, prizewinning books of nonfiction, brings her dazzling writing to the essays in Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness. As the title suggests, the territory of Solnit’s concerns is vast, and in her signature alchemical style she combines commentary on history, justice, war and peace, and explorations of place, art, and community, all while...

Solnit has been compared to both Susan Sontag and Annie Dillard, though her writing is more lyrical and oblique than Sontag’s and her engagement with nature more overtly... — BookForum

Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape

Debra Gwartney (editor), Barry Lopez (editor)

Cover for Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape

Hailed by book reviewers as a "masterpiece," "gorgeous and fascinating," and "sheer pleasure," Home Ground was published in fall 2006 in hardcover to outstanding reviews. A language lover's dream, this visionary reference is now in its third edition and has revitalized a descriptive language for the American landscape by combining geography, literature, and folklore in one volume.  Have you ever wondered how it came...

Home Ground is a treasure house of a book, chocked with gems of the American vernacular. To learn these terms for features of the landscape is like putting on a new pair...Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Hometown Texas

Joe Holley (author), Peter Brown (photographs)

Cover for Hometown Texas

Peter Brown and Joe Holley are interested in place and what makes people who they are. With particular interest in how people take the hand they’ve been dealt—fate, family, circumstance, luck—and craft a life for themselves, the authors celebrate the grit and gumption of these Texas originals. Introducing quirky characters and tenacious spirits, Holley’s stories seek out the personality of the small town while Brown’s...

Juan O'Gorman: A Confluence of Civilizations

Catherine Nixon Cooke (author)

Cover for Juan O'Gorman: A Confluence of Civilizations

Juan O'Gorman: A Confluence of Civilizations follows O'Gorman's life and the creation of his mural Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas, a spectacular piece of midcentury public art that stands the test of time as one of the Mexican artist's most influential works. O'Gorman was a muralist, painter, mosaic artist, critic, and professor, as well as an architect. He is possibly best known for his close friendship...

The Luck Archive: Exploring Belief, Superstition, and Tradition

Mark Menjivar (author), Harrell Fletcher (foreword)

Cover for The Luck Archive:  Exploring Belief, Superstition, and Tradition

Artist Mark Menjivar was in an antique bookshop in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when he found 4 four-leaf clovers pressed between the yellowed pages of an aged copy of 1000 Facts Worth Knowing. Their discovery piqued Menjivar's curiosity so much that he began a multiyear exploration into the concept of luck and its intersections with belief, culture, superstition, and tradition in people’s lives. Menjivar tells the story...

Menjivar’s project opens up the possibility, if only for a moment, to reflect on our own beliefs and traditions. And more importantly, it opens the potential to connect,... — Glasstire

Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico

M. M. McAllen (author)

Cover for Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico

In this new telling of Mexico’s Second Empire and Louis Napoléon’s installation of Maximilian von Habsburg and his wife, Carlota of Belgium, as the emperor and empress of Mexico, Maximilian and Carlota brings the dramatic and tragic story of this six-year-siege to life. 

Authoritative, detailed, and engrossing... McAllen ably demonstrates how the Second Empire’s collapse was one of the most spectacular personal tragedies and political...Publishers Weekly

A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic

Peter Turchi (author)

Cover for A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic

With his characteristic genius for finding connections between writing and the stuff of our lives, Peter Turchi ventures into new and even more surprising territory. In A Muse and a Maze, Turchi draws out the similarities between writing and puzzle making and its flip side, puzzle solving. As he teases out how mystery lies at the heart of all storytelling, he uncovers the magic—the creation of credible illusion—that...

Although Turchi’s knack for drawing connections can seem like a sleight of hand in itself, his writing is consistently engaging, lively, and thought provoking. The...Publishers Weekly

Name Them—They Fly Better: Pat Hammond’s Theory of Aerodynamics

Christopher Ornelas (author), Naomi Shihab Nye (foreword)

Cover for Name Them—They Fly Better: Pat Hammond’s Theory of Aerodynamics

Pat Hammond is not your ordinary artist. In fact, she doesn’t even consider herself an artist. She takes everyday objects, such as spinning tops and jars of cicada shells, and infuses them with new meaning and hope. Through humor and personalization, she uses insignificant and unconventional objects to illuminate a “grand truth” about the world, and even about herself. Author Christopher Ornelas found out about...

A Natural History of North American Trees

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

Cover for A Natural History of North American Trees

One in a series of reissued books that have been out of print for decades, by one of the most loved naturalists of all time. "A volume for a lifetime" is how the New Yorker described the first of Donald Culross Peattie's two books about American trees published in the 1950s. In this one-volume edition, modern readers are introduced to one of the best nature writers of the last century. As we read Peattie's eloquent...

Peattie's prose is rich and courtly, the botany illuminating. But the chief delight is how he infuses his short portraits of tree species with the history of a nation.The Denver Post

Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places

Julia Martin (author), Gary Snyder (author)

Cover for Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places

In this thoughtful, affectionate collection of interviews and letters spanning three decades, beloved poet Gary Snyder talks with South African writer and scholar Julia Martin. Over this period many things changed decisively—globally, locally, and in their personal lives—and these altered conditions provide the backstory for a long conversation. It begins in the early 1980s as an intellectual exchange between an...

Gives wise advice about writing and life....His joy in ideas is contagious.Publishers Weekly

Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream

Char Miller (author)

Cover for Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream

In Not So Golden State, environmental historian Char Miller looks below the surface of California’s ecological history to expose some of its less glittering conundrums. In this necessary book, Miller asks tough questions as we stand on the edge of a human-induced natural disaster in the region and beyond. He details policy steps and missteps in public land management, examines recreation's impact on national forests,...

One of the environmental history profession's most thoughtful and astute observers.Environmental History

Open Midnight: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet

Brooke Williams (author)

Cover for Open Midnight: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet

Open Midnight weaves two parallel stories about the great wilderness—Brooke Williams’s year alone with his dog, ground truthing backcountry maps of southern Utah, and that of his great-great-great-grandfather, William Williams, who in 1863 made his way with a group of Mormons from England across the ocean and the American wild almost to Utah, dying a week short. The story follows two levels of history—personal, as...

"... a complex book.... In a partly imagined biography reconstructed from the few details of William Williams' life that still survive, Williams follows his ancestor's...Moab Sun News

Outside

Barry Lopez (author), James Perrin Warren (introduction), Barry Moser (illustrations)

Cover for Outside

The six stories in Outside showcase Barry Lopez’s superb talent as a fiction writer. They offer profound insight into the relationships between humans and animals, creativity and beauty, and, ultimately, life and death. Again and again, whether portraying a boy who can change places with his half-coyote dog or a teacher who illuminates the meaning of friendship, Lopez reveals the exterior and the interior, the...

[Barry Lopez is] a powerful storyteller. — Margaret Atwood

Outside Todo el Día!: Nature in English y Español

Madeleine Budnick (author)

Cover for Outside Todo el Día!: Nature in English y Español

ArteKids board books show children the world of art through imaginative paintings, sculpture, photographs, and drawings, with text in English and Spanish. Outside Todo el Día! Nature in English y Español introduces children to the wonders of nature by connecting them to art in a unique, fun, and colorful way. Terms for outdoor concepts like sky/cielo, water/aqua, mountain/montaña, flora (tree/árbol and flower/flor),...

The Road of a Naturalist

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

Cover for The Road of a Naturalist

The Road of a Naturalist is a fascinating autobiographical wonder written by one of America's most beloved naturalists at the height of his fame. A scientist, a philosopher, and a poet, Donald Culross Peattie takes us on an confessional journey across the landscape of his life. Told in flashbacks of years past and interspersed with impressions of a journey by motorcar across the American West, the book is intensely...

San Antonio Uncovered: Fun Facts and Hidden Histories

Mark Louis Rybczyk (author), Robert Rivard (foreword)

Cover for San Antonio Uncovered: Fun Facts and Hidden Histories

San Antonio is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic cities in America. The Alamo City's charm, colorful surroundings, and diverse culture combine to make it one of the most interesting places in Texas and the nation. In San Antonio Uncovered, Mark Rybczyk examines some of the city's internationally known legends and lore (including ghost stories) and takes a nostalgic look at landmarks that have disappeared....

If  you’re new in town, this book is a no-brainer and will give you a leg up on local history, famous places, and notable characters. If you consider yourself a San...Rivard Report

Self-Portrait with Dogwood

Christopher Merrill (author)

Cover for Self-Portrait with Dogwood

In the course of researching dogwood trees, poet and essayist Christopher Merrill realized that a number of formative moments in his life had some connection to the tree named—according to one writer—because its fruit was not fit for a dog. As he approached his sixtieth birthday, Merrill began to compose a self-portrait alongside this tree that, from an early age, he has regarded as a talisman.Dogwoods have never been...

Christopher Merrill has always believed in quests. Over many years and many books he has traveled out, confronting fear, admiring the courage and conviction of others,...Los Angeles Review of Books

Song from the Forest: My Life among the Pygmies

Louis Sarno (author), Alex Shoumatoff (foreword), Michael Obert (afterword), David Rothenberg (afterword)

Cover for Song from the Forest: My Life among the Pygmies

For twenty-five years American Louis Sarno has been recording the polyphonic and hypnotic music of the Bayaka people in Central Africa. His book is a first-person narrative of his life among a hunter-gatherer people and an account of their culture’s extraordinary beauty. Sarno recounts his efforts to protect the Bayakas’ fragile existence in an increasingly destructive world.   Song from the Forest has inspired a...

Conveying the deep connection Sarno feels with the Bayaka and their perilously endangered corner of the world.Independent

The Spirit of Tequila

Joel Salcido (author), Paul Salopek (foreword), Chantal Martineau (introduction)

Cover for The Spirit of Tequila

Agave dates back to the Aztec civilization as an important crop in Mexico. Since the 1600s the people of western Mexico have cultivated blue agave from the red volcanic soil that blankets the region to make what we know as tequila. The Spirit of Tequila celebrates the tradition and culture of this iconic drink. Joel Salcido traveled across Jalisco and neighboring Mexican states capturing images of distilleries and...

Spurs Nation: Major Moments in San Antonio Basketball

Staff of the San Antonio Express-News (author), Jim Lefko (introduction)

Cover for Spurs Nation: Major Moments in San Antonio Basketball

From the Memorial Day Miracle to coach Gregg Popovich’s legendary leadership to winning five NBA championships, the San Antonio Spurs have brought excitement to the Alamo City and the greater NBA family since 1976. Celebrating the team with the most rabid and loyal fan base in basketball history, Spurs Nation captures the Spurs’ unforgettable plays and crucial junctures from the past thirty years. Spurs Nation is the...

As the younger generation watches the new crop of players filter in, this chronicle will fill them in on who they have to thank for the caliber of basketball they are...Rivard Report

Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity

Jonathan White (author)

Cover for Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Resource Institute, headed by Jonathan White, held an ongoing series of "floating seminars" aboard a sixty-five-foot schooner, featuring leading thinkers and artists from an array of disciplines. Over a period of ten years, White conducted interviews with the writers, scientists, environmentalists, and poets exploring the human relationship to the wild. The interviews are collected in...

In 1983 writer Jonathan White, founder and president of the Resource Institute, a nonprofit educational organization in Seattle, transformed a dilapidated schooner into a...Publishers Weekly

Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

Jonathan White (author), Peter Matthiessen (foreword)

Cover for Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

In Tides, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White takes readers across the globe to discover the science and spirit of ocean tides. In the Arctic, White shimmies under the ice with an Inuit elder to hunt for mussels in the dark cavities left behind at low tide; in China, he races the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five-foot tidal bore that crashes eighty miles up the Qiantang River; in France, he interviews the monks that...

Anyone inclined to take the movement of the tides for granted will think twice after reading this wide-ranging study from a conservationist and avid sailor... White’s...Kirkus Reviews

Unchopping a Tree

W. S. Merwin (author), Liz Ward (illustrations)

Cover for Unchopping a Tree

There’s no mystery to chopping down a tree. But how do you put back together a tree that’s been felled? Mystical instructions are required, and that’s what W. S. Merwin provides in this prose piece. Written with a poet’s grace, an ecologist’s insights, and a Buddhist’s reverence for life, this elegant work describes the difficult, sacred job of reconstructing a tree. Step by step, page by page, with Merwin’s humble...

In his personal anonymity, his strict individuated manner, his defense of the earth, and his heartache at time’s passing, Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the...Orion

Vamos, Body!: Head to Toe in English y Español

Madeleine Budnick (author)

Cover for Vamos, Body!: Head to Toe in English y Español

Arte Kids board books show children the world of art through imaginative paintings, sculpture, photographs, and drawings, with text in English and Spanish. Vamos, Body! Head to Toe in English y Español introduces young minds to body concepts by connecting them to art in a unique, fun, and colorful way. Cheeks (mejillas), chins (barbillas), and eyes (ojos) are represented by masterful artworks from around the world....

William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked

Paul Mariani (author)

Cover for William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked

William Carlos Williams emerged alongside Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Frost, and Yeats as one of the foremost poets of the twentieth century. Paterson, Williams's epic masterpiece, raised everyday American speech to the highest levels of poetic imagination. A finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book, William Carlos Williams is a remarkable, rich blend of art and scholarship. From a small-town...

The most laudable aspect of Paul Mariani's critical biography of William Carlos Williams is that it largely succeeds in placing him, in his biographer's words, as ''the...New York Times Book Review

Words without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence, and Incarceration

Sarah Shotland (editor), Sheryl St. Germain (editor)

Cover for Words without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence, and Incarceration

Writing workshops in prisons and rehabilitation centers have proven time and again to be transformative and empowering for people in need. Halfway houses, hospitals, and shelters are all fertile ground for healing through the imagination and can often mean the difference for inmates and patients between just simply surviving and truly thriving. It is in these settings that teachers and their students need reading that...

Sit down, turn off the phone, and prepare for a stunning, if difficult, read. . . Reading this book is to read the most intimate, often horrifying, stories that humans can...Publishers Weekly

Writing Architecture: A Practical Guide to Clear Communication about the Built Environment

Carter Wiseman (author)

Cover for Writing Architecture: A Practical Guide to Clear Communication about the Built Environment

Writing Architecture considers the process, methods, and value of architecture writing based on Carter Wiseman’s thirty years of personal experience writing, editing, and teaching young architects how to write. This book creatively tackles a problematic issue that Wiseman considers to crucial to successful architecture writing: clarity of thinking and expression. He argues that because we live our lives within the...

Argues that clear communication is integral for successful architecture, since words have an important part in expressing ideas, and because any architect will admit they...Archidose