Renowned for his iconic novels and nonfiction work highlighting the landscapes and people of the American West, Edward Abbey is also an accomplished and passionate poet. These poems from Abbey’s private journals are published here for the first time.
While best known for his fiction, Edward Abbey was also an enthusiastic creator of verse. Earth Apples, Abbey’s first and only collection of poetry, adds to his literary reputation as an irreverent writer. Whether writing about vast desert landscapes, New York City, or a love of bawdy women, Abbey’s verse is eloquent and unapologetically passionate. The poems gathered here, published digitally for the first time, are culled from Abbey’s journals and give an insightful and unique glance into the mind of this literary legend.
Edward Abbey was born in Home, Pennsylvania in 1927. In 1944, at the age of 17, Abbey set out to explore the American Southwest, bumming around the country by hitchhiking and hopping freight trains. It was during this time that Abbey developed a love of the desert, which would shape his life and his art for the next forty years. After a brief stint in the military, Abbey completed his education at the University of New Mexico and later, at the University of Edinburgh. He took employment as a park ranger and fire lookout at several different National Parks throughout his life, experiences from which he drew for his many books. Abbey died at his home in Oracle, Arizona in 1989.