Sean Prentiss, author of Finding Abbey

Artemis Speaks

Feb 1 2023 • 29 mins

When the great environmental writer Edward Abbey died in 1989, four friends buried him secretly in a hidden desert spot that no one would ever find. The final resting place of the Thoreau of the American West remains unknown and has become part of American folklore. In his book FINDING ABBY, Sean Prentiss goes on an odyssey looking for Abbey's grave and combines an account of his quest with a creative biography of Abbey.

Sean Prentiss takes readers across the country as he gathers clues from his research, travel, and interviews with some of Abbey's closest friends. Along the way, Prentiss examines his sense of rootlessness as he unravels Abbey's complicated legacy, raising larger questions about the meaning of place and home. The result of this remarkable journey is the book, Which won the National Outdoor Book Award, the Utah Book Award for Nonfiction, and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award.

He is also a poet, published several times by Artemis Journal, Crosscut: Poems, a memoir-in-poems about his time as a trail builder in the Pacific Northwest. He also is a co-editor of two anthologies and textbooks about the creative process. Sean serves as Backcountry Magazine's poet laureate. Currently, he is an associate professor at Norwich University in Vermont.

Before becoming a professor and writer, Sean worked as a trail builder in the Pacific Northwest and the Desert Southwest. Wherever he has lived, the power of stories and the power of place has been a part of his life.

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