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Bears Ears archaeologist releases book on backwoods adventures

Archaeologist R.E. Burrillo will give talks on his new book in Southwest Colorado. (Courtesy photo)
Burrillo will embark on a book tour in Southwest Colorado

Southwest archaeologist and writer R.E. Burrillo will host readings and conversations on his new book “The Backwoods of Everywhere: Words from a Wandering Local.”

The collection of nonfiction 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 excavates his past, examining what it means to be a local, Indigenous and tourist cultures, and the complexities of American archaeology,” states a Torrey House news release. “In the vein of Bill Bryson, Tim Cahill and Ellen Meloy, Burrillo’s is a fresh voice in humor-spiked nature writing and cultural commentary.”

Author Craig Childs states: “Mixing fighting words and wonder, Burrillo extends the boundaries of ‘backwoods’ to backyards, city riots, and the depth of the Grand Canyon. He reminds us to be vexed, 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 Archaeology 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 from his latest book in June at the following locations:

  • June 15: Durango, Rochester Hotel with Maria’s Bookshop at 6:30 p.m.
  • 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.