Kase Johnstun; Rob Carney - Salt Lake City

Oct 13, 2021, 7:00 pm


Kase Johnstun; Rob Carney

Book Title

Let the Wild Grasses Grow; Accidental Gardens


Salt Lake City

Wasatch Front Region


Weller Book Works
607 Trolley Sq
Salt Lake City , UT 84102-2827
Map [+]


Weller Book Works is excited to celebrate two debut books by two Utah favorites, Kase Johnstun and Rob Carney.

There is a centuries-old Japanese form of writing called the haibun: meditative narratives ending with a haiku that acts as a summary or extension of the ideas and moods in the prose. In Accidental Gardens, Rob Carney both honors this form and gives it an update for the 21st century. These 42 essays-arranged into sections titled "Environmental Studies," "Wine Is Rain in Translation," "Seven Seeds," and "Raccoon Verses"-are all short and end, haibun-style, with poems or encapsulating images. These essays are impressed by the natural world, and unimpressed by politics. They are lessons on poetic craft, and poetic themselves. They are at home in the American West but aware of the whole earth, all its landscapes and animals and magic, but also its fragility since so many of its human inhabitants are reckless and absurd. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes reverent, Accidental Gardens is always smart, and vital, and concerned.

Let the Wild Grasses Grow chronicles the lives of Della Chavez and John Cordova, childhood friends separated by a tragic accident, who find each other again during World War II after leading separate lives of struggle through the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and, for John, abuse at the hands of his grandfather. This sweeping American love story celebrates the power of home landscapes, family heritage, and first love.

This program is made possible with support from Torrey House Press, Weller Book Works, and Utah Humanities.