For years Jay Schoenberger searched unsuccessfully for a compilation of the great wilderness writings. He wanted a book he could throw in his pack and read in the great outdoors or enjoy at home when he itched for a connection to the backcountry. Some outdoors compilations focus purely on male bravado and risk-taking in the backcountry. The wilderness presents a test to be passed. Mountains are an object to be conquered. Other compilations extol the beauty of nature but include writings that place the reader in the position of what Wendell Berry has called a “viewer of views.” The reader is a detached observer peering through the looking glass at the separate, the other: NATURE. The impression left is one wholly separate from those who become immersed in a wilderness experience, in all its beauty, frightfulness, and curiosities.
I AM COYOTE contains some of the most powerful wilderness-related essays, poetry, and passages. The writings focus principally on the relationship between individuals and the wilderness they inhabit. From Emerson, Muir and Shackleton to Kerouac, Stegner, and Dillard, the writings discuss the wilderness’s transformative and transcendent power on humans living in ephemeral conditions.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of I AM COYOTE go toward the scholarship fund of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS is the leader in wilderness education, with over 19,000 students participating in its courses in 2013 alone. NOLS takes students of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions where they learn environmental ethics, technical outdoor skills, and leadership. The NOLS financial aid program awards students with scholarships based on a combination of need and merit. In 2013, NOLS awarded over $1.5 million in scholarship support to 624 students.
I AM COYOTE is printed on acid-free, 100% recycled post-consumer waste paper with soy-based, zero-VOC recycled inks.