The world is meant to be celebrated.
Torrey House Press is very pleased to welcome Brooke Larsen on board to help us out with all important production and publicity tasks. Brooke continues our beneficial relationship with the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities program where she has just begun pursuing a Master of Arts degree and joins THP as part of their fellowship program. Alisha Anderson, our Development & Community Relations Manager is a recent graduate of the same program. So nice to have you with us, Brooke!
Brooke graduated in 2015 from Colorado College. She says it is there that she first realized she identifies with being a woman of the West. Many of her fellow students at CC were from the east coast and spoke of a dream and concept of the West that, Brooke says, made her take the surrounding Wasatch Mountains a little less for granted. Born in Portland, Oregon, she moved to Utah with her family as a young child and grew up here camping and exploring the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains and the red rock wonderlands of southern Utah with her grandparents.
Terry Tempest Williams has been a major influence on Brooke as she works on figuring out her life’s direction. A couple of years ago the good folks at the Grand Canyon Trust started a program specifically focused on youth called Uplift. Brooke was brought in as one of the first 10 organizers, some of whom had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Terry. Until that time, Brooke was thinking of going to law school in order to affect environmental law and policy. But Terry, as one can easily imagine, rekindled in Brooke a sense of the power and importance of art and storytelling in the role of environmental advocacy.
During an afternoon workshop with Terry, Uplift organizers paired up to tell each other a personal story of transformation. Then they were to go back to the group and tell their partner’s story. Brooke was paired with Terry. Terry called Brooke’s story, “The Forgiveness of Aspens,” an experience that is easy to see moved Brooke. Brooke expresses a strong sense of grief and loss about climate change and says that her generation largely feels that way. She has found storytelling to be cathartic in dealing with that grief. No surprise, Terry Tempest Williams is Brooke’s favorite author. Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert and When Women Were Birds are resonating with Brooke right now. She feels both books speak to the dynamics and complexity of being a woman of the West and that they provide hope and inspiration. She recalls a line at the end of When Women Were Birds where birds remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.
As a result of her experience with Uplift and with Terry’s encouragement, Brooke entered the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities program. She plans to pursue creative nonfiction writing as her thesis.
Brooke expresses openness and some exciting confusion about her future career path. She sees Torrey House Press as a lens to better see and focus the stories waiting to be told out there. She loves our tagline, “Voices for the Land,” and is enthused that no one else is doing what THP is doing to promote conservation through literature and to discover new and unique voices. Books like our upcoming Red Rock Testimony and The Edge of Morning she cites as inspiration. And now she is learning what a galley is.
Welcome aboard, Brooke. You are a great fit.