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2007 New Mexico Book Award
Best Southwest History
University of Oklahoma Press

"What happens when you turn history over to a poet who has also been a rancher? You get a delightful, intelligent, nonlinear treatment of southwestern ranch life that deftly blends history, personal experience, and cultural commentary. I generally dislike authorial intrusions into historical explorations, but, in this case, it works wonderfully....Furthermore, the book weaves together human, natural, and animal history, providing a complete and satisfying portrait of ranch life, yesterday and today....He candidly ponders the meshing of history, myth, and legend that marks so much of western accounts. His journey of self-discovery, backed by substantive research into a good range of historical sources of ranch life, informs and entertains. No reader interested in the American Southwest could ask for more."

--Richard W. Slatta, author of
The Cowboy Encyclopedia and Cowboy: An Illustrated History, from the New Mexico Historical Review, Fall 2007


"This wonderful book describes in gritty detail everything you ever wanted to know about the ranching life....[and] includes many lively anecdotes that make it vivid and interesting." --Santa Fe New Mexican, February 5, 2006

"His narrative is a genuine celebration of ranch life that succeeds in avoiding frills. It extols the isolation, resourcefulness, hardship, hard work, dangers, toughness, perseverance and humor associated with everything from branding calves to baking biscuits." --Albuquerque Journal, February 5, 2006

"Pettit never misses a beat...informative and charming." --San Antonio Express-News, March 5, 2006

"With a storyteller's eye for evocative detail, Michael Pettit tells the story of the Cowden family of West Texas and New Mexico....One man's search for identity through his connections to a family, a place and a way of life....Exceptional skill in presenting character, action and history in detail." --Tulsa World, April 23, 2006

"Pettit tells the story well without any of the good ole boy flavor, but with the style of a literary novel of the West...This is a marvelous history of a ranching family from past to present." --Roundup Magazine, June 2006

"Pettit shares his personal experiences working the family ranch over the years and delves into the origins and growth of the outfit....Ultimately 'Riding for the Brand' is a hymn to the ranching life." --Alabama Press-Register, June 30, 2007

To Order, Contact:

University of Oklahoma Press
Attention: Order Department
2800 Venture Drive
Norman, OK 73069-8218
Toll Free: 800.627.7377
Local/International: 405.325.2000


Cardinal Points
Winner of the 1987 Iowa Poetry Prize

"Combining incisive observation with vivid imagery, Pettit builds this volume, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, around the leitmotif of flight, both actual and symbolic. . . . Those poems not directly concerned with flight focus on motion--physical, spiritual or emotional--as a metaphor for the human condition. [His work] is always well-crafted, moving and highly imaginative." --Publishers Weekly

"A faultless collection by a younger voice in U.S. poetry." --Booklist


American Light

"Michael Pettit's poems are brash, impudent, edged, informed by an energy only the young have, a zinging confidence in the poet's ability to say how things are and, therefore,will be. Pettit's
American Light really does catch America as it is, on the run, cornering, in a fading light, and when that happens we can feel a new poet among us, one who wants to turn everything mortal immortal. [He] is going to be heard from in these poems and others yet to come. If you want to look at where American poetry is going, here's the poet to start with." --Dave Smith


The Writing Path 2

"Pairing teachers' and writers-conference-attendees' work for this volume was an interesting idea, and don't let it lead you to expect the student contributions to be any less riveting than the teachers' pieces. What these stories and poems share--instructors'; and students' alike--is what always makes stories and poems work best: the telling detail and emotion shown, not told." --Bookworm

Includes work by Ron Carlson, Stephen Dunn, Pam Houston, Philip Levine, Bob Shacochis, Gerald Stern, Terry Tempest Williams, & others.


The Writing Path 1

"For anyone curious about the stumbling, the groping, and the glimmers of brilliance of our most established and newest talents,
The Writing Path 1 is a delightful romp." --Bloomsbury Review

A generous collection of pieces by renowned writers juxtoposed with work by their outstanding students, providing a kind of creative tension between teacher and pupil. Includes work by Andrea Barrett, Marvin Bell, Madeleine Blais, Stephen Dobyns, Barry Hannah, Garrett Hongo, Margot Livesey, William Matthews, & others.


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