After an upstate New York childhood and a bartending stint in New Orleans’ French Quarter, seasonal resort work led R. E. Burrillo to the desert Southwest, whose redrock landscapes were a source of stability through mental and physical illness. In The Backwoods of Everywhere: Words from a Wandering Local, archaeologist Burrillo excavates his past, examining Indigenous and tourist cultures, the complexities of American archaeology, and what it means to be a local. 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.
R. E. BURRILLO is an archaeologist and conservation advocate. His book Behind the Bears Ears: Exploring the Cultural and Natural Histories of a Sacred Landscape won the ForeWord INDIES Editor's Choice Prize in Nonfiction. Burrillo's writing has appeared in Archaeology Southwest, Colorado Plateau Advocate, the Salt Lake Tribune, and elsewhere. He currently lives in southern Arizona, where he works as a project manager for PaleoWest.