Taking to the River: Huckleberry girl Shiloh Richter, writer and editor, in Willa Cather's inspiration of New Mexico
I took to the river because I had to, and I wrote. Just me and my dogs, and writing to John Mayer since 2010. That's what the books are. It came from starting out from the smallest glimpse of truest nature and becoming deeply drawn by having to follow it. And from that raft, finding the very real.”
Shiloh Richter, M.A., taught college literature including Creative Writing and Folklore at Sul Ross State University: Rio Grande College. She is the author of My Love Affair with Moonbeam: Ten + Years of Wonder, Bursting Love and Creativity; Coyote Weaves a Song: A Mythological Song from the Beginning of Time Volumes I & II; and On Being: Snow White and the Emergence of Presence and the Real Poetic: Unseen Visions of 'Being' in the Woods and the art print tapestries 'Until Shiloh Comes' Cosmic Flow Tapestry and Hermesesque: The Grateful Universe.
History of BSW
In the fires of the San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s, just two days before the City Lights book manager was arrested for selling Howl and Other Poems, Books of the Southwest literary journal was begun on the West Coast, with the first issue coming out on June 1, 1957. Kerouac’s On the Road was published that September. BSW was there at the beginnings of 60s and the Grateful Dead. Lawrence Clark Powell, who started the journal, was head librarian at UCLA, and close friends with Henry Miller who came there to also break open the boundaries. Lawrence was also close friends with sensual food writer M. F. K. Fisher in San Francisco, whom Lawrence had even joined in Provence, France, where the history of BSW now even goes, further back into the Paleolithic and always coming this way. Lawrence and Fisher both returned to San Francisco before Lawrence went on to Los Angeles. The literary and musical scape on the West Coast was vibrantly opened.
Our first issue of BSW with new editorship in 1997
Lawrence Clark Powell, the first editor and publisher, at UCLA
In 1957, Books of the Southwest, then a checklist and review of books, went into publication, reviewing books written by authors from or about the Southwestern United States.
Authors Lawrence Durrell, Lawrence Clark Powell and Henry Miller
It was first compiled monthly by Lawrence Clark Powell and issued by the Library of The University of California at Los Angeles. Betty Rosenberg edited by his side, along with head reference librarian Everett Moore, also at the UCLA library. By 1966 it was being compiled by Donald M. Powell at the University of Arizona Library in Tucson, and also by Betty Rosenberg at the University of California, Los Angeles.
W. David Laird
For many years after that, Californian W. David Laird edited the journal with reviews written by experts across the Southwest. He took over as editor in April 1977 while he was University Librarian at University of Arizona. In December 1977, Betty Rosenberg retired with this note published in Issue 229: "An Editorial Farewell: When Larry Powell blithely began BSW in June 1957 with Everett Moore and I keeping a restraining, and editorial, hand on his enthusiasm, I had no idea that I’d still be at it twenty years and two succeeding editors later. Attribute it to the abiding fascination of all writings on the West. The charms of western reading still entice but retirement and a pervasive mañana outlook … May BSW go on forever: read and enjoy." In her part, she was succeeded by Hilda Bohem, covering Southern California.
The first logo was designed by William Bellin, a costume, prop, and set designer in the performing arts industry who also worked professionally as a graphic artist and designer. He later moved to New York. In 1997 David decided to hang up his spurs on the publication. As a small venture, most of the journals subscribers were libraries and the rare, wonderful Southwestern enthusiasts. In 2001, the journal was discontinued in print and went completely on-line, adding fuller-length articles and reviews.