Trinity University Press

Books about Essays

An Almanac for Moderns

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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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. An Almanac for Moderns contains a short essay for each day of the year that contemplates a unique but factual aspect of unbridled nature. According to a review in the Nation, this collection of essays manages to “appeal to the ordinary lover of nature . . . but the turn of Peattie’s mind is...

Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists

Nan Cuba (editor), Riley Robinson (editor)

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Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists pays tribute to the city’s vibrant creative community. A gathering of literary and visual art, the book features poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from the city’s writers, as well as images of painting, sculpture, photography, and installations from the city’s artists. All gathered here are closely associated with the city or have been in years past, and together they...

Hailed as a much-needed cultural encyclopedia for San Antonio. — San Antonio Current

Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology

Judith E. Moores (editor), Eldridge M. Moores (editor), Lauret E. Savoy (editor)

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Novelists, poets, artists, anthropologists, traditional elders, philosophers, and naturalists come together to create a geological portrait of the Earth—from the violence of earthquakes and erupting volcanoes to epochal patterns in stone and the sinuous flow of rivers. With insights from many cultures and across time, Bedrock wonderfully illuminates the geology of our home planet.

No matter what level an individual is at in his or her degree of natural world understanding, this book will provide new information and plenty of ideas and concepts for...California Literary Review

A Book of Hours

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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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 Book of Hours contains twenty-four essays, one for each hour of the day, that seek to bridge the gap between definitive scientific philosophy and the beauty that Donald Culross Peattie envisioned in everyday life. The Boston Transcript referred to this collection as “science, in sheer poetry,”...

Cargoes and Harvests

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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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. Originally published in 1926, Cargoes and Harvests takes readers on a compelling adventure through the socioeconomic histories of staples such as tea, coffee, cocoa, potatoes, and tobacco. Starting with the seeds and roots of the American landscape, Peattie illustrates where we’ve been and how...

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

Matt Donovan (author)

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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

Clowns and Rats Scare Me

Cary Clack (author), Naomi Shihab Nye (foreword)

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Cary Clack is beloved in San Antonio, and for good reason. He brings wit and wisdom to his writings, making his columns the first thing people turn to in the morning paper. It’s fair to say that Clack speaks to people beyond his local fans, using his heartfelt, probing, and powerful approach to cover national issues such as terrorism, racism, and child abuse. After 9/11 he spent weeks in New York City, observing...

Cary’s witty, often poignant columns cut to the heart of social and political matters, offering the homespun wisdom he earned growing up on the East Side, studying life... — San Antonio Magazine

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)

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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

Death Watch: A View from the Tenth Decade

Gerald Stern (author)

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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

Diversions of the Field

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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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. The essays in Diversions of the Field tackle the subjects of hunting, fishing, game animals, and wildlife in different regions of the country. The Atlantic called the collection “a refreshing animal book,” and the New York Times said it was “written by a naturalist, who is at heart a poet, to...

Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love

Bob Shacochis (author)

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Bob Shacochis, National Book Award–winning author of Swimming in the Volcano, Easy in the Islands, The Next New World, and, most recently, the critically acclaimed novel The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, hones his nonfiction skills in this tour-de-force romp through the worlds of eating and eroticism. Domesticity is an irreverent exploration of the sweet and sour evolution of the enduring romance between author and lover....

Delicious. . . . Domesticity nourishes the senses and the soul.New York Times Book Review

The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

Rebecca Solnit (author)

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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

A Gathering of Birds: An Anthology of the Best Ornithological Prose

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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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 Gathering of Birds is an anthology of selected prose about birds by nineteen writers, among them Hudson, Audubon, and Thoreau, and includes brief biographical information about each. The New York Times called the book “a delightful ‘gathering’ that Mr. Peattie has presented, and his own...

The Grand Array: Writings on Nature, Science, and Spirit

Pattiann Rogers (author)

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The Grand Array is a stunning collection of essays by acclaimed poet Pattiann Rogers. Written over a span of twenty-five years, these essays—and three interviews—show Rogers daringly yet delicately laying out her vision of the essential unity and interdependence of science, spirituality, the arts, and the sensual experience of the physical world. Composed in an anecdotal and lyrical—but never dogmatic—style, The Grand...

Will reward curious and open-minded readers with a similarly expanded perspective—one filled with as much reverence for the complicated, contradictory nature of human...Cold Front Magazine

Green Laurels: The Lives and Achievements of the Great Naturalists

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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One in a series of reissues that have been out-of-print for decades by one of the most-loved naturalists of all time. In Green Laurels, Donald Culross Peattie combines his extensive knowledge of history's foremost naturalists with his personal observations about the subject to form what the New York Herald Tribune called "a delightful book...one would not wish to miss on any account." This piece is accurate and...

Hebrew Writers on Writing

Peter Cole (editor), Edward Hirsch (editor)

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Hebrew Writers on Writing begins in early twentieth-century Warsaw, wanders through the formative years of Hebrew modernism in Europe and Palestine, and comes to engage the charged complexity of contemporary Israel. In the process, it explores, as no English volume has before, the shifting cultural and political landscape out of which the literature emerges and provides readers with an intimate vision of a startlingly...

In a Special Light

Elroy Bode (author)

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In a Special Light is a collection of essays and short pieces by Texas writer Elroy Bode. In simple but memorable prose, Bode explores his home city of El Paso, as well as the land and people of Central Texas. He observes everyday events—a young boy in a barbershop; plaza life; a young couple in Smoky’s Barbecue. Bode also reflects on his life as a high school English teacher, a father, and a writer. The work of Bode,...

This polished Texas writer is drawn to look for meaning in the simple moment observed. — Dianne Young

In the Blue Pharmacy: Essays on Poetry and Other Transformations

Marianne Boruch (author)

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Celebrated poet and essayist Marianne Boruch ponders poets and poetry, examining how the imagination works with mystery and surprise in a variety of writers. Combining a richly associative style with original insights on poetic texts, she brings in material from other worlds—among them, science and music—to demonstrate the myriad ways we transform experience and knowledge. The sixteen essays here explore poets and...

It is rare to open a book, to begin the first sentence, and then want more than anything to burst into the Handel aria that has the line, 'Take me, O take me to your...Jane Hamilton

Irish Writers on Writing

Eavan Boland (editor), Edward Hirsch (editor)

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What does it mean to be a writer in the context of Ireland’s centuries of uncertainty and upheaval? How does an Irish writer define Irish writing? The writers in Irish Writers on Writing, who range from early legends to modern masters, address these questions through their sources: the land, the Church, the past, changing politics, and literary styles. Though the references are multiple, the source is single—the Irish...

A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft

Andrea Barrett (editor), Peter Turchi (editor)

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A Kite in the Wind: Twenty Fiction Writers on Their Craft is an anthology of essays by twenty veteran writers and master teachers. While the contributors offer specific, practical advice on such fundamental aspects of craft as characterization, character names, the first person point of view, and unreliable narrators, they also give extended, thoughtful consideration to more sophisticated topics, including...

Some of our very best fiction writers tackle many of the thorniest and most fascinating aspects of storytelling. Thoughtful and serious and wise, this is much more than a...Richard Russo

The Land’s Wild Music: Encounters with Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and James Galvin

Mark Tredinnick (author)

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The Land's Wild Music explores the home terrains and the writing of four great American writers of place—Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and James Galvin. In their work and its relationship with their home places, Tredinnick, an Australian writer, searches for answers to such questions such as whether it’s possible for a writer to make an authentic witness of a place; how one captures the...

Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

Kathleen Dean Moore (editor), Michael P. Nelson (editor), Desmond Tutu (foreword)

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Moral Ground brings together the testimony of more than eighty visionaries—theologians and religious leaders, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, naturists, activists, and writers—to present a diverse and compelling call to honor our individual and collective moral responsibilities to our planet.

Will light a righteous fire under those who are receptive to its message; the best we can do is hope that it spreads, and spreads, and spreads.Utne

Nineteenth-Century American Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Brenda Wineapple (editor)

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Nineteenth-Century American Writers on Writing features essays, letters, poems, prose, and excerpts of interviews by fifty-seven writers of the century, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Fanny Fern, Ulysses S. Grant, William James, and Frances Harper. Each of these writers confronted what it meant for a literature to be defined as “American” during a century rocked by the industrial...

A strong pick for any literary history collection with a focus on American literature. — Midwest Book Review

On the Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest

Char Miller (author)

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On the Edge grew out of a lifetime spent living and traveling across the American Southwest, from San Antonio to Los Angeles. Internal to the various U.S. states and Mexico's northern tier, there are struggles over water, debates over undocumented immigrants, the criminalizing of the border, and the region's evolution into a no-man's land. The book investigates how we live on this contested land—how we make our place...

Miller’s advocacy of protecting the environment and creating livable cities has inspired public officials to invest in the central city and enhance our natural world. — Nelson Wolff, Bexar Country Judge

Polish Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Adam Zagajewski (editor)

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Polish Writers on Writing captures the brilliance and originality of a literature rightly considered one of the most important and influential of our time. These writers are branded by the political realities of their country—creating literature out of the brutality of the Second World War, under the inhibiting and numbing Communist reign, and finally within a free society, but one burdened by its history. No common...

The Road of a Naturalist

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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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...

Romanian Writers on Writing

Edward Hirsch (editor), Norman Manea (editor)

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Vanity doubled by vitality, vulnerability mixed in with force, and the fear of dissolution intimately linked with the desperate pride of defeating historical time confer upon Romanian literature a special tension, born from wandering and threat. The eighty-one writers gathered in Romanian Writers on Writing explore this unsettling tension and exemplify the powerful, polyphonic voice of their country’s complex...

A brilliant publishing enterprise. One of the best elements in American culture is a genuine, welcoming interest in writing from other languages. Beginning with essential...Robert Pinsky

Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity

Jonathan White (author)

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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

Transforming San Antonio

Nelson W. Wolff (author), Henry Cisneros (foreword)

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San Antonio boasts one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolitan regions, thanks to visionary personalities, key politicians, a vibrant citizenry, and a bit of luck. In this lively behind-the-scenes account, Bexar County judge and former San Antonio mayor Nelson Wolff conveys the complexity of the characters and the events—who said what to whom when and how that affected further developments. Wolff focuses on four...

Unchopping a Tree

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

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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

What I Can’t Bear Losing

Gerald Stern (author)

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In stunning personal essays that combine autobiography and meditation, poet Gerald Stern explores significant events in his life. As in his poetry, Stern discovers his subject as he goes along. His poetry has been variously praised for its visionary quality, its passion, its wholehearted embrace of life, its scope, its tenderness, and its use of paradox and irony. He is often compared to Walt Whitman, but Kate...

National Book Award–winning poet Stern brings the same renowned voice to prose, from a life that began in 1925 in what he recalls as the ‘Calvinist’ Pittsburgh of his...Kirkus

The World According to Coleen

Coleen Grissom (author)

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In a collection of musings that is as much historical record as it is memoir, Coleen Grissom provides a unique view of life on and off an American university campus. As an administrator and faculty member at Trinity University in San Antonio for over five decades, Grissom has seen the feminist movement take hold, the sexual revolution take off, and the tragic deaths of students, friends, and family. Her honest, witty,...

Coleen Grissom is a superb example of Dear Reader—the intelligent, passionate, fully engaged, gets-all-the-jokes audience. And she’s not exactly shy about sharing her...Margaret Atwood, author of Moral Disorder and Other Stories