Discover Dance of the Coyote
Back to the new Discover feature
I became enamored of Bill Hotchkiss accidentally. I was looking for a good book once, roaming the eerily silent aisles of the Undergrad Library at Purdue University (the library was in a basement, and hardly anyone ever was there!)–when I came across a book whose cover piqued my interest. I liked reading about the West, thought wolves were kinda cool, and the couple in the book seemed to be interested in something besides themselves.
Turns out I was so engrossed in the book that I read it in one setting. It’s about a woman zoologist who releases wolves and coyotes from her old research station at her university and then takes a couple wolves with her on a trip to find her Russian ancestors in Alaska. She meets a guy on the road, and he’s working to end ranchers’ merciless and endless killing of the oft-scapegoated animals. The book sold me on coyote and wolf advocacy and I later wrote a piece about it at Jack Magazine.
Even later I heard from the author himself because he had found an online site that I had written about his books. We wrote back and forth occasionally, and when I began my Moon Willow Press, he sent me several manuscripts, including a couple books of poetry and his auto-biography. Sadly, Mr. Hotchkiss died a few years ago, and I was never able to publish his books–but in the process I shared some emails with his wife, friends, and students, who all loved him dearly. I’m glad I got to let him know how much his book affected me.