What is the West?

Is it a set of shared values? An affection for altitude, pines, and windburn? Maybe a certain sense of history? Is it a myth? Or just a reluctance to settle down—a vision of something better over the ridge?


In this series we’ve invited our past authors and artists to take their crack at answering this very basic and complicated question: What is the West? What does it mean to them? Thought-provoking, humorous, heartfelt, poetic, and always impassioned, their answers may well surprise you.

Click on the images below to see what your favorite authors have to say. And come back often, we'll be adding more in the months to come. 

Bruce Holbert

Robert Wrigley

Kim Stafford 

CMarie Fuhrman

Barbara Michelman

Buddy Levy


Lisa Laughlin

Laura Pritchett

Tasha LeClair

Annie Lampman 

Sean Prentiss

David Allan Cates

Richardson head shot in Kanab.jpg

Barbara Richardson

Debra Magpie Earling

Shann Ray

Cheryl Diane Kidder

Steve Coughlin

Rachel Toor

Chris Dombrowski

Allen Morris Jones

Russell Rowland


Jeff P. Jones

Kate Lebo