Tributary Voices
Literary and Rhetorical Exploration of the Colorado River

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Author: Paul A. Formisano

Format: Paper
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781647790424
Published Date: 2022

The Colorado River is in crisis. Persistent drought, climate change, and demands from urbanization threaten this life-source that provides water to more than forty million people in the U.S. and Mexico. Coupled with these challenges are our nation’s deeply rooted beliefs about the region as a frontier, garden, and wilderness that have created competing agendas about the river as something to both exploit and preserve. Citizens and experts look to law, public policy, and science to solve worsening water problems, but today’s circumstances demand additional perspectives to foster a more sustainable relationship with the river.

Through literary, rhetorical, and historical analysis, Tributary Voices considers a more comprehensive approach to river management. The book examines nature writing, women’s narratives, critiques of dam development, the Latina/o communities’ appeals for river restoration, American Indian authors’ and tribal nations’ claims of water sovereignty, and teachings about environmental stewardship and provident living. This innovative study models an interdisciplinary approach to water governance and reinvigorates our imagination in achieving a more sustainable water ethic.

Author Bio
Paul A. Formisano is associate professor of English and director of writing at the University of South Dakota. He teaches and writes about Western American literature and the environmental humanities’ value in addressing the West’s natural resource issues.

”Formisano’s research is dazzling, wide-ranging, and richly multidisciplinary. He not only knows, but helpfully offers informative mini-lectures on recent fields such as Latinx environmental justice and 'Indigenizing Environmental Justice,' where differing conceptions of the relationship to the Earth lead to seeking relationships of reciprocity.”
Melody Graulich, professor emerita of English and American studies, Utah State University, author of Exploring Lost Borders: A Collection of Essays About Mary Austin