Sponsored by Back of Beyond Books, Moab, UT.

A Celebration of 50 Years of Edward Abbey's


The word itself is music.

We regret to announce that due to a series of scheduling conflicts we have cancelled the public events of November 9th and 10th. Please feel free to continue to post testimonials on the website about your experience with Desert Solitaire.

Our goal is to honor the influence Desert Solitaire has had on three generations of readers through keynote speeches, film, music, publications, dance, walks, testimonials and informal gatherings.

Desert Solitaire, published in 1968 has continued to be one of the seminal books on Wilderness as policy, poetry, and personal preference. In its 50th year in print, the fact that it hasn’t gone out of print attests to its continued relevance for both the old guard and the new. Back of Beyond Books has seen hundreds of pilgrims show up at the bookstore or in Moab, looking for the ghost of Abbey or toting dog-eared copies of Desert Solitaire with highlighted passages:

But the love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need—if only we had the eyes to see. – pg 208

This is a celebration not of the ouvre of Abbey, but of the time he spent in Arches National Park as a ranger. During his stay at Arches, Abbey accumulated a large volume of notes, sketches, rants and observations that later formed the basis of his first non-fiction work, Desert Solitaire.