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Ruth Nolan

Ruth Nolan, a former wildland firefighter for the BLM-California Desert District and U.S. Forest Service, is a prolific California desert writer and scholar who grew up in the Mojave Desert and now lives in the Coachella Valley, where she is professor of English, creative writing and Native American literature at College of the Desert. She is the author of Ruby Mountain (Finishing Line); editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California's Deserts (Heyday); and coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California (Scarlet Tanager), which won a 2018 Eric Hoffer Independent Publishing finalist award in poetry.

Ruth has written for KCET since 2012, and her desert-based feature writing has also appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly; the Los Angeles Times; Bad Ken; Rattling Wall; Desert Oracle; News from Native California; Sierra Club Desert Report; the Desert Sun/USA Today and Desert Magazine. Her poetry has been featured in the Joshua Tree National Park-based short film,Escape to Reality: 24 hrs @ 24 fps, produced by the California Museum of Photography. Her short story, "Palimpsest," was published in LA Fiction: Southland Writing by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press) and received an honorable mention award in Sequestrum Magazine’s 2016 Editor’s Reprint contest.

Ruth has been a featured author/scholar in the Santa Clara University “California Legacy Nature Dreaming Project,” and serves on the advisory committee for Poets and Writers West and for Basin and Range Watch, a desert advocacy organization. Her writing has been supported by grants from Breadloaf, Vermont Studio,Squaw Valley and Joshua Tree National Park writers residencies. She is the cofounder of the Inlandia Institute Writing Workshop Program. She lectures locally and afar on desert literary topics, and has presented at the Sierra Poetry Festival; Lit Quake San Francisco; the Western Wilderness Conference; Heyday's Featured Speaker Series; the California Indian Conference, and the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park, to name a few.

Her current multimedia narrative project Fire on the Mojave: Stories from the Deserts and Mountains of Inland Southern California, has been supported to date with grants from College of the Desert, Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society and the California Writers Residency Program. She holds her M.F.A. in creative writing and writing for the performing arts from the Low Residency Program at the University of California, Riverside.

Land owned by the City of Los Angeles in Owens Valley | Still from Tending Nature
Article
Tending Nature

Paiute Traditions Inform Water Management Practices in Once-Lush Owens Valley

For at least 15,000 years, the Northern Paiute tribes have tended their homeland — a region of green, well-tended gardens and wetlands — by building and maintaining extensive and sophisticated irrigation ditches to channel water from the Sierra Mountains.
Arrowhead Springs festival
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Artbound

A Native American Site Turned Hollywood Glamour-Era Playground... And Back.

The Arrowhead Springs Hotel is best known for being a celebrity getaway in the Hollywood glamour era, but its history dates back to the centuries-long presence of Serrano Indians. The clan has once again gained ownership of the land.
Lewis deSoto Carlota art installation in Joshua Tree (featured)
Article
Artbound

Famed Western Love Story of Willie Boy and Carlota Gets Told Through a Native American Lens

It’s one of the West’s most famed stories: the tragic 1909 account of Willie Boy, a man who killed out of love for a young woman named Carlota. Artist Lewis deSoto re-imagines the tale through a Native American lens in his visual-audio project, “Carlota."
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Artbound

Joshua Tree Debuts Indigenous Film Festival

The Joshua Tree Indigenous Film Festival will screen nine indigenous-themed films during the weekend of November 15-17 focusing on desert and inland Southern California indigenous culture.
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Artbound

Rewriting a Tragic Story: Tim Z. Hernandez's Deportee Memorial Plane Crash Project

Author Tim Z. Hernandez is revisiting the story of an infamous 1948 plane crash of a plane full of Mexican farm workers en route to Mexico from the Oakland, CA.
Article
Artbound

Tomahawks and Tipis: Native American Representations in Commercial Culture

This exhibition dispels stereotypes about Indians long-used by the media.
Exact Opposites | Photo: Courtesy of Exact Opposites.
Article
Artbound

Exact Opposites' Desert Hip Hop Radiates From Arid Blythe

The hip-hop/mixed genre music group, Exact Opposites, not only celebrate the remotest nuances of their hometown, but create original, transformational music with a style all their own, drawn from their lives in this unlikely desert mecca.
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Artbound

Exploring Native American Indian Culture and Arts at Coachella Valley Archaeology Symposium

The Coachella Valley Archaeology Society Symposium is an annual event that celebrates Native American cultural and artistic expression.
nolan
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Artbound

MilTree: Healing Military Veterans Through the Arts

MilTree, a new and quickly growing arts-based outreach organization based in the Morongo Basin, aims to show a display of support for veterans of wars who live in the high desert area.
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Article
Artbound

Riot Grrrl Lives! Meet the Cool Moms and Ladyfest

The feminist, self-empowerment, punk rock arts scene of riot grrrl lives on, now symbolically grafted onto the mother-heart and soul of the onetime desert region of Riverside, California.
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