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Love Letters to the Most Abundant Substance on Earth

edited by LAURA PASKUS

“This book packs a narrative, poetic wallop. Having such fine and powerful voices gathered around a single subject makes the rain want to come.”

—CRAIG CHILDS, Tracing Time

As the climate crisis simultaneously pinches water supplies and exacerbates flooding, some of the West’s most thoughtful journalists, poets, and writers remind us that water isn’t a natural resource to manage or a commodity to sell—nor do humans live out their lives at the scale of interstate river compacts, interbasin transfers, or 30-year projections. Rather, water is a force that’s beguiling and seductive—and a creature whose knowledge and will supersedes our own. This diverse group of contributors shares intimate stories of rivers and snow patches, swimming holes and ephemeral streams. They also explore how waters shape our landscapes and our consciousness as they consider what becomes endangered when we lose sight of the power of water.

October 2024 | Nonfiction | Paperback | 9798890920072 | $19.95


Aaron A. Abeyta   |   Christi Bode   |   CMarie Fuhrman   |   Sarah Gilman   |   Ruxandra Guidi   |   Maria Lane   |   Chris La Tray   |   Desiree Loggins   |   Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk   |   Michelle Otero   |   Laura Paskus   |   Daniel Rothberg   |   Luke Runyon   |   Kate Schimel   |   Santana Shorty   |   Leanna T. Torres   |   Fatima van Hattum

Image by Jon Flobrant
Image by Evan Sanchez
Image by Taylor R
LauraPaskus_photo by Adria Malcolm.jpg

LAURA PASKUS is a longtime reporter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a senior producer for NMPBS, where she hosts and produces the television show “Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present, and Future.” Her 2020 book, At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Nature/Environment.


“To live in the arid West is to know water as swift and scarce, rebellious and retreating, and essential within and without. In this beautiful anthology, writers, artists, and poets capture the wonder and heartbreak of learning from water in a dry land.”



Water Bodies overflows with lovely poetry and prose that gives the reader a visceral sense of what water means in the arid West.”

—JONATHAN P. THOMPSON, Sagebrush Empire


“These essays flow and rush and collect in pools of wisdom in a drying climate, reminding us that water is a blessing, and the wellspring of our soul.”



Water Bodies offers deep insights into how water shapes our lives and nourishes our souls, as well as our bodies—through culture, need, ceremony, refreshment, and sustenance.”

—NANCY GUINN, Bookworks owner


“Prepare for tears of sorrow and joy, for these captivating currents of poetry and prose will carry you to the essence of all there is. In this existential moment, Paskus’s moving anthology calls us to embrace water in all its forms–and to savor, and save, all we can.”



Water Bodies is an exaltation. Each essay implores the reader to recognize that the presence of natural water is as essential to the nurturing of the soul as it is to the physical wellness of living beings.”

—MARA PANICH, Fact & Fiction Books owner


“These essays and poems ripple across legacies of the southwestern lands we have shared, for better and for worse, through memories of conflict and mismanagement, connection and protection. This clear-eyed celebration of our most vital life force reveals us to ourselves and embraces a new vision of belonging.”

—RENATA GOLDEN, Mountain Time

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