Terry Tempest Williams
- For other people of the same name, see Terry Williams.
is an American author, naturalist, and conservationist. Her writing is rooted in the American West and has been significantly influenced by the arid landscape of her native Utah in which she was raised. Her workranges from issues of ecology and wilderness preservation, to women's health, to exploring our relationship to cultureand nature.
Williams has been called "a citizen writer," a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. "So here is my question," she asks, "what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?"
Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women’s health, committed acts of civil disobedience in the years 1987 - 1992 in protest against nuclear testing in the Nevada Desert, and again, in March, 2003 in Washington, D.C., with Code Pink, against the Iraq War. She's been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda.
Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Terry Tempest Williams is the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
; An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field
; Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape
; Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert
; and The Open Space of Democracy
. Her book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World
, was published in 2008 by Pantheon Books.
In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. In 2009, Terry Tempest Williams was featured in Ken Burns' PBS series on the national parks.
She divides her time between Wilson, Wyoming and Castle Valley, Utah, where her husband, Brooke serves as field coordinator for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.