Phantom Canyon

Essays of Reclamation

by Kathryn Winograd


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INDIES Award finalist

The mountains of the American West are the setting for healing and personal development in this collection of lyrical essays. From forest fires to mountain lions, an Ohio farm to a Colorado cabin, and from violation to silence to reclamation, Kathryn Winograd draws keen attention to the details that braid her own history with that of the land on which she dwells with her husband and daughters, and with that of anyone who has experienced loss and fought for renewal. The essays become a ring of concentric circles, where one builds upon the next to achieve deeper meaning and truth, revealing mercy at its center.



“In these lyric essays, Kathryn Winograd mines the ore of girl, daughter, mother, wife, and writer, wilding her selves against Colorado’s high country. The immediacy and traction Winograd gets by pinning herself to mountain place and women’s emotion, whether alive now or in memory, is breathtaking, at times, sublime. What a tough essayist—and tender voice—the West has been waiting for all these years, ever since the ancient ones first arrived.”
Thomas Larson, author, The Sanctuary of Illness

“Winograd finds the most unlikely containers for the most urgent subjects. How does one reconcile, in the natural world, science and faith? Eyes, mind, and heart wide open, Winograd shows us what she can hold in her hand—shotguns, bird eggs, mushroom spores—and tilts our chins up to study the night sky . . . The very best books invent their own genres and Winograd’s Phantom Canyon has done just that. The shimmering syntax, the metaphor, the way the patterned images add up to something that wasn’t there before—that’s the lyric. But there’s also a story there. Phantom Canyon is a page-turner, a collection of lyric essays you won’t be able to put down. As a writer, teacher, mother, daughter, and survivor, I needed this book. You do, too.”
Jill Christman, author, Darkroom: A Family Exposure

“In Phantom Canyon Kathryn Winograd takes her place among America’s most celebrated writers—Thoreau and Annie Dillard come immediately to mind—who turn to the violence and beauty of nature to spark deeper understandings of the human community, and of the body and mind. Winograd adds to the mix her own insistence to confront even the most violent personal trauma—her own experience being raped as a child. For Kathryn Winograd the lyrical imagination, spiritual healing, and the love of beauty everywhere around us, come most fully alive only through recognizing also the harsher realities of the human condition . . . Winograd offers us the fullness and frailty of her own life, the natural world and the people she loves.”
Stephen Haven, author, The Last Sacred Place in North America

“Kathryn Winograd’s Phantom Canyon is a compelling collection. Here is the lyric essay at its most perceptive and powerful. I admire the insight and intelligence of the essays, the magnetic and masterful drive of the language, and above all the aching honesty that infuses every page.”
Robert Root, author, Happenstance and Postscripts: Retrospections on Time and Place



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Additional information


Conundrum Press








5.5. 8.5

Publication Date

February 18, 2014

The Author

Kathryn Winograd

Kathryn Winograd

Kathryn Winograd is the author of Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation A finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, Air Into Breath, winner of the Colorado Book Award in Poetry. Her essays have been noted in Best American Essays, and published in journals including Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, River Teeth, The Florida Review and The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, 6th editon. She’s recently been chosen by AWP as its October Member in the Spotlight. She is faculty for Ashland University's Low Residency MFA Program and Arapahoe Community College.

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