Junipers and the Web of Being

Copublished with the Utah State Historical Society. Affiliated with the Utah Division of State History, Utah Department of Heritage & Arts.

Throughout prehistory and history, junipers have influenced ecosystems, cultures, mythologies, economics, politics, and environmental controversies. In terms of their effects on human lives the juniper may be the most significant tree in the interior West. Interwoven explores these interconnecting aspects of junipers. Ghost beads, biotic communities, gin, tree masticators, Puebloan diapers, charcoal, folklore, historic explorers, spiral grain, tree life cycles, spirituality, packrat middens, climate changes, wildfire, ranching, wilderness, and land management policies are among the many different threads the book follows. These and other topics shed light on a fascinating organism, but the book is more than a compilation of facts. At once a scientific, experiential, historical, and metaphorical walk among junipers and their interrelationships, Interwoven may change readers’ experiences with these trees and the natural world. 

Finalist for the Utah State Historical Society Best Book Award.
Finalist for the 2019 ASLE Book Award for excellence in ecocriticism and environmental creative writing.
Named a “notable book” by the prize committee of the 2018 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award.

Kristen Rogers-Iversen is an award-winning author who has worked as an independent editor and writer; as a therapeutic musician for hospice patients; and as an editor, writer, and administrator at the Utah Division of State History. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Utah and is a Certified Music Practitioner. 

Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations
Prologue: Strands
1. Roots
2. Germination
3. Survival
4. Spirals
5. Leaves and Seeds
6. Wood
7. Smoke
8. Spread
9. Relationships
10. Restoration
11. Kin
Selected Bibliography

Praise and Reviews:
“This book is one of the best examples I have seen of combining complex scientific concepts and human history in a way that makes the reader see and feel, as it weaves together personal narrative, human and cultural history, explanation of laws and policies, and commentary. One can tell that the author knows what she is talking about—and she is telling us a fascinating story. I did not want to put it down.”
—Susan Marsh, author of A Hunger for High Country and coauthor of Saving Wyoming’s Hoback 

“Here’s an example of seeing wonder in the commonplace, of uncovering fascinating stories about common, humdrum, nonsexy brush. Rogers-Iversen pulled me into these plants’ stories with user-friendly English, a balanced approach to environmental issues, and well-referenced statements. I admire her effortless mixing of literature, Native American lore, tree physiology, and personal anecdotes. If you like Tony Hillerman, you’ll like this book!”
—George Constantz, author of Ice, Fire, and Nutcrackers: A Rocky Mountain Ecology