Bears Ears archaeologist publishes book on backcountry adventures – The Durango Herald

Archaeologist RE Burrillo will lecture on his new book in southwestern Colorado. (Courtesy picture)

Burrillo will embark on a book tour in southwestern Colorado

Southwestern archaeologist and writer RE Burrillo will host readings and conversations about his new book, “The Backwoods of Everywhere: Words from a Wandering Local.”

The collection of non-fiction stories will be published by Torrey House Press in June.

Burrillo traveled extensively as a seasonal worker in national parks. He settled in the desert southwest and credits the red rock canyons of Grand Gulch for his recovery from a four-year battle with neurological Lyme disease.

He has worked as an archaeologist in the Bears Ears area since 2006.

In his latest book, “Burrillo delves into his past, examining what it means to be a local, indigenous and tourist culture, and the complexities of American archaeology,” states a press release from Torrey House. “In the vein of Bill Bryson, Tim Cahill and Ellen Meloy, Burrillo is a new voice in humorous nature writing and cultural commentary.”

Author Craig Childs says, “Mixing words of battle and wonder, Burrillo stretches the boundaries of the ‘backwoods’ to backyards, urban riots and the depths of the Grand Canyon. It reminds us to be upset, amused, and serious about the mark we put on the world.

Burrillo is also the author of Behind the Bears Ears: Exploring the Cultural and Natural Histories of a Sacred Landscape, and winner of the Foreword Indies Editor’s Choice Prize. His articles have appeared in Archeology Southwest, Colorado Plateau Advocate, the Salt Lake Tribune and elsewhere. He lives in Arizona, where he works as a project manager for PaleoWest.

He will discuss and read his latest book in June at the following locations:

  • June 16: Mancos, Fenceline Cider, at 6:30 p.m.
  • June 17: Dolores, Dolores Public Library at 5:30 p.m.
  • June 18: Bayfield, Pine River Library at 7 p.m.
  • June 21: Durango, Rochestor Hotel with Maria’s Bookshop at 6:30 p.m.

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