Alta Live: Desert Oracle’s Ken Layne

Expanding on his newly published Alta Journal article, Ken Layne sits down for a conversation on the wild and weird desert, the publications that inspire and inform his work, and much more.

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Thank you so much for attending Alta Live with Desert Oracle founder Ken Layne and Alta Journal managing editor Blaise Zerega. If you missed any part of our conversation, you can catch up right here.

Here are some notable quotes from Layne from the event:

  • On the inspiration behind and focus of Desert Oracle: “In particular, on the mysteries and stranger stories and the sorta oddities and the very-hard-to-bottle feeling that you get when you are out in the middle of the American wilderness, the desert in particular, and we have so much of it in the Southwest because so much of it is public land.”
  • On delivering the early issues of Desert Oracle: “Years ago, that was one of the things that seemed so romantic about it. You’d make your books, and then you get in the car and you go sell them. And I’ve got all these wonderful desert bookstores all over the Southwest, so that’s a tax write-off, right? I’m gonna go to Arches and Zion and go drink in Moab, and everything else, but if I sell 50 books at Back of Beyond in Moab, well, that’s a tax write-off.”
  • On Joshua Tree as a representation of the desert: Desert Oraclehas never been about Joshua Tree. I need to live sort of in civilization for things like post offices and internet and whatever, so this is a compromise. Once I retire for good, I will be 30 miles from the nearest town, which I can’t wait for.”

    Check out these links to some of the topics brought up.

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