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Words From a Wandering Local
by R. E. Burrillo


After an upstate New York childhood and a bartending stint in New Orleans’ French Quarter, seasonal resort work led R. E. Burrillo to the desert Southwest, whose redrock landscapes were a source of stability through mental and physical illness. In The Backwoods of Everywhere, archaeologist Burrillo excavates his past, examining Indigenous and tourist cultures, the complexities of American archaeology, and what it means to be a local. In the vein of Bill Bryson, Tim Cahill, and Ellen Meloy, Burrillo’s is a fresh voice in humor-spiked nature writing and cultural commentary.

July 2022 | Nonfiction | 978-1-948814-61-4 | 240 pp | $18.95



“Mixing fighting words and wonder, Burrillo extends the boundaries of ‘backwoods’ to back yards, city riots, and the depth of the Grand Canyon. He reminds us to be vexed, amused, and serious about the mark we put on the world.”

 CRAIG CHILDS, author of Tracing Time and Virga & Bone


“An entertaining wander through some serious topics—whiteness and racism, land use and abuse, and how our pasts shape and follow us. Burrillo is part philosopher, part activist as he explores numerous rabbit trails, but he shines most brightly when he returns to his beloved path of archaeology and Indigenous people, providing original insight, irony, and wit.”
JULIA CORBETT, author of Out of the Woods and Communicating the Climate Crisis


“An eclectic constellation of essays inspired by the author’s deep love of place, The Backwoods of Everywhere leads us into fascinating landscapes while compelling us to reassess both their exploitation and their preservation. By turns bracing and meditative, Burrillo’s compelling narrative voice illuminates how adventures far afield can inspire us to a vital reimagination of our concept of home.”  
MICHAEL P. BRANCH, author of On the Trail of the Jackalope





R. E. BURRILLO is an archaeologist and conservation advocate. His book Behind the Bears Ears: Exploring the Cultural and Natural Histories of a Sacred Landscape won the ForeWord INDIES Editor's Choice Prize in Nonfiction. Burrillo's writing has appeared in Archaeology Southwest, Colorado Plateau Advocate, the Salt Lake Tribune, and elsewhere. He currently lives in southern Arizona, where he works as a project manager for PaleoWest.

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