“The Faculty of Wonder tires easily”, reads the first line of the introduction to Eric Magrane’s and Chris Cokinos’ book “The Sonoran Desert- A Literary Field Guide,” published recently by University of Arizona Press. The volume – described variously a poetry book, exercise manual, sketch book and etiquette manual for greeting the Sonoran Desert – is all these things, but above all it is testament to the wonder that artists and scientists alike feel in the desert. The volume is also, as four critics testified at the recent session on the text at the San Francisco AAG, a machine for producing wonder. Whether read on sofas or plane seats, or talked of in airless conference rooms or even carried into the desert itself, engaging with this volume suggests that far from tiring easily, wonder will endure in both everyday and spectacular encounters.
The comments will eventually be published, more details to follow.