Waterston Desert Writing Prize
Kenneth Garcia – 2016 Finalist
Finalist Kenneth Garcia’s submission, “The House of Radiant Colors: A Memoir,” one chapter of a larger memoir, described his experience working for a mining exploration company in northeastern Nevada during his late teens, where he worked alongside a geologist who sees no beauty in the natural world. (Note: This essay was first published in Hunger Mountain, Spring 2015.)
For the geologist, the land is worthless apart from the precious metals that can be extracted from it. And yet, he knows the deep geological history of the place. Which leads Garcia to ask, how could someone who knew the deep history of this land not see beauty in it? Garcia is the Associate Director, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, where he has been a faculty-administrator for 19 years. He received his PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2008. His academic writings include a book which won an award for “Best Book Published in Theology in 2012,” and scholarly essays in The Journal of Academic Freedom, Theological Studies and Horizons. More recently, Garcia has turned to literary nonfiction and has been published in The Gettysburg Review, The Southwest Review, St. Katherine Review and Hunger Mountain.