Craig Childs - House of Rain
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Photo: JT Thomas
Photo: JT Thomas
I travel the interstitial places, cracks in the sidewalk.

Half my life ago I went to a job fair at the University of Colorado. I put on my good boots and a button-down, loaded my arms with papers I'd written and opened the door on the waiting room where intent young men and women sat wearing neatly pressed business outfits. Like me, they were waiting for their future to happen. At that instant, I spilled every paper I had, a beautiful white cascade. Scooping my life's work off the floor as every person sat and stared, I realized I was in the wrong room. I excused myself out the door and promptly exited the job fair.

That's not when it started, but it was one of those turning points where yet again the obvious became painfully clear to me. Roads diverge in the wood and I start climbing trees.

I look for the places in between whether I have a month, a day, or a minute. Pinacate, Olympic Peninsula, Manhattan, I find wilderness. The Ramble in Central Park at dusk: I tried to explain with my body language to lurking, silent men that I was not here for a filthy blow job. I was looking for dark stitches in the city. Tibetan Plateau: I arrived knowing nothing, intentionally not reading up or chatting with other travelers, so that every step I took would dissolve what I once believed. This morning I was in scrub oak near my house in western Colorado, cock-eyed and backwards in nets of branches finding bones left from mountain lion meals and labyrinths of rabbit paths. It's what I do.

This website is dedicated to these moments, which I keep compiled under the "Places" button. There are periods of silence, of course, unable to find my way back to a computer. But I do my best to always return.

For a more formal bio, see below.

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Craig Childs writes about the relationship between humans, animals, landscape, and time. His stories come from visceral, personal experience, whether in the company of illicit artifact dealers or in deep wilderness. He has published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, and is a commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, Outside, and Orion. At High Country News, he's a contributing editor, and he teaches writing for both University of Alaska in Anchorage and Southern New Hampshire University.

The New York Times says "Childs's feats of asceticism are nothing if not awe inspiring: he's a modern-day desert father." He has been called a born storyteller by the New York Sun, and the LA Times says his writing is like pure oxygen, and "stings like a slap in the face." He has won several key awards including the 2013 Orion Book Award, the 2011 Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, 2008 Rowell Art of Adventure Award, and twice he has won the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, first in 2007 and then 2013.

Childs is an Arizona native, and he grew up back and forth between there and Colorado, son of a mother hooked on outdoor adventure, and a dad who liked whiskey, guns, and Thoreau. He has worked as a gas station attendant, wilderness guide, professional musician, and a beer bottler, though now he is primarily a writer. He lives off the grid with his wife and two young sons at the foot of the West Elk Mountains in Colorado.


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