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Wallace Stegner Center Lecture – Chip Ward

March 8 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Stony Mesa Sagas

12:15-1:15 p.m., S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom, Level 6
Book description from Publisher’s Weekly review

“Ward refracts the challenges of the modern American Southwest in this zany mosaic debut novel. In three nearly self-contained sections, residents of tiny Stony Mesa face off against outsiders who fail to appreciate the land. The first plot pits wannabe cowboy Bo Hineyman and his neon-signed tourist trap bar against townspeople as his daughter, Luna Waxwing, returns to Stony Mesa to protest an oil sands development. Hineyman’s death spawns a murder investigation and allows Luna to reshape his ranch into a more ecologically sound operation. The second section ruminates on the scars of earlier development: the discovery of a mass grave stalls out a proposed mini-mansion project. In the final section, members of a corrupted church, greedy seekers of water rights, and an anti-Federal militia all clash with ragtag conservationists.

Throughout, Ward manages to make a wide range of views understandable—those of ranchers, activist hippies, conflicted Native Americans, and retired urbanites—while pillorying outsiders who have no love for the land. A cast of entertaining characters, slowly revealed mysteries, and plot twists produce an immersive and powerful tale of finding beauty in a harsh landscape.”

1 hour of CLE. Lunch provided.
No registration required. Free and open to the public. Due to copyrights this event will not be streamed or recorded.


Chip Ward, Author
After living for years in wilderness, Chip Ward moved to the edge of an environmental sacrifice zone, where he organized and led several campaigns to make polluters accountable. He co–founded HEAL Utah and served on the board of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance for several years. Starting as a bookmobile librarian, Ward ended his library career as the assistant director of the Salt Lake City Public Library. He is the author of two books, Canaries on the Rim: Living Downwind in the West and Hope’s Horizon: Three Visions for Healing the American Land. He writes regularly for Tomdispatch.com. His essay about homelessness, “How the Public Library Became the Heartbreak Hotel,” is the inspiration for the movie The Public, now in production. Ward delivered keynote speeches at Stegner symposiums in 2005 and 2010.


The King’s English Bookshop will be onsite selling this book.

For questions about this event contact Kris (801) 585-3440.

Paid parking is available at the Rice-Eccles Stadium using the pay-by-phone app. We encourage you to use public transportation to our events. Take TRAX University line to the Stadium stop and walk a half block north. For other public transit options use UTA’s Trip Planner. The law school is on the Red Route for the University’s free campus shuttles (College of Law stop).


March 8
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
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College of Law


S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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