Author Joseph Colwell


Joseph Colwell's ECHOES OF TIME, collection of essays about Dominguez-Escalante NCA.

Two dozen essays written as Joseph explored the fascinating canyon country that is a designated National Conservation Area.

Learn about echoes


Joseph Colwell's book, TALES OF RAVENS NEXT, short stories about living on the land across the West.

A novel of short stories about living with the land and recollections of an environmentally-oriented past.  Events and locations take the reader across generations and the West.

Learn about Ravens


Joseph Colwell's novel SANDS OF TIME. Geology, quantum physics, time travel, and more.

A novel encompassing geology of southern Utah, quantum physics, time travel, Apache culture, and a story of romance and exploration.

Learn about Sands


Joseph Colwell's book ZEPHYR OF TIME, essays on time, nature, geologic time, and his own past.

In this collection of 28 essays and 19 poems Joseph ponders aspects of time and nature, both geologic time and a personal journey into his own past.

Learn about zephyr


Joseph Colwell's book CANYON BREEZES, essays and poems reflect his experiences and places.

In this meditative and spiritual collection of 23 essays and 13 poems, Joseph describes places he has visited or lived in, reflecting on his experiences.

Learn about breezes


Joseph Colwell hiking into Dominguez-Escalante Wilderness.

"Essay Adventures" come with irregularity. Also in Joseph's queue are: memoirs of his US Forest Service career, fire memoirs, and a novel: Hermit of Puccini Ridge.

read discoveries

About Joseph's Writing

         Joseph will be previewing chapters of his newest book ---"Tuscola: A Time and Place"--- monthly in the Tuscola Review, starting in April 2019. He is currently writing the book about his childhood in this small central Illinois town in the mid-20th century.  The Tuscola Review (facebook: Tuscola Review) is a weekly newspaper in Joseph's hometown.
         Inspired by the prose and poetry of such distinguished nature  writers as John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Sigurd Olsen, Loren Eiseley, Rachel  Carson and many others, Joseph describes the natural beauty around us,  as well as connecting it to the human relationship to nature.  Born and  raised in central Illinois, he moved West when he went to the University  of Idaho, studying to become a wildlife biologist and land manager.  He  has lived in Colorado, California, Idaho, Washington, Utah, and South  Dakota over the past 55 years.

      Joseph began his writing in high school as sports editor for the local weekly newspaper, The Tuscola Journal, and was co-editor of the school newspaper, Old Gold and Black Echoes.  In the mid-1970s, he wrote a weekly column, anonymously, for the Del Norte Prospector  (Colorado).  He continued to write essays and poetry for the next  twenty years, and after retirement in 1997 from the US Forest Service,  decided to organize his old writings as well as pen new ones.  Training  himself to rework his bureaucratic-career writing style, he  expanded beyond essays and poetry to explore fiction.

        In 2001, Joseph wrote the novel manuscript he called Sands of Time,  his first work in fiction, which came easily for him.  Upon the advice  of another writer, he set it aside for a one or two year fermenting  period which   turned into fifteen years.  During that time he attended a  short-story writers' workshop, lead by award winning short story  author, Phil Deaver.  Joseph spent several years writing short stories,  many about his Forest Service experiences, all autobiographical fiction.

          Taking the plunge into self-publishing, Joseph selected a group of essays and poems for his first book, Canyon Breezes.  The next year, he put together another couple dozen, most involved with his favorite subject—time—and published Zephyr of Time.   All the while he was polishing Sands of Time, which he submitted to the hybrid publisher, Page Publishing.  Page accepted it, and in March, 2018, Sands of Time  was published.   During the year long edit and publishing process with  Page, Joseph polished a novella and a group of short stories, linked  them thematically with the help of his new editor (wife Katherine) into a  novel of short stories.  Titled Tales of Ravens Nest, it was published in May, 2018.  Heeding the advice of many,  including writers groups, he joined Facebook as one aspect of marketing.  Realizing he was gaining a new audience, he started writing short  essays about current adventures and discoveries.  Those essays will form  a new book, scheduled for 2020. 

          Joseph focuses on what he sees (and hears) around him.   “There is so much interesting detail in nature, I cannot spend ten  minutes outside, whether on my own property or on a hike somewhere, that  I don’t start composing an essay in my head.  I want to capture that  fascination and try and share with everyone else.”Living so many years  in the slickrock canyon country of Utah and Colorado, he has become  entranced by the concept of time, especially geologic time. “I have  lived in many places that are very old geologically , such as the Black  Hills of South Dakota, the Colorado Rockies, even my home state of  Illinois.  But the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau is the  ultimate in geologic time. When we talk about millions and even billions  of years this rock has been here, it humbles me about our miniscule  time frame we live with for our own lives.”

         He is  available to do book signings, or give readings on any of his books.   Combined with his experience with the Forest Service, and other summer  jobs with state and national parks, he has a lot to share concerning the  environment, his perceptions and experiences.


It is easy to obtain your copies of Canyon Breezes, Zephyr of Time, Sands of Time, Tales of Ravens Nest, and Echoes of Time.
They  can be purchased from the author through his Lichen Rock Press partner,  Colwell Cedars LLC, by downloading an invoice below.
          You can also contact Joseph at  if you have questions about multiple book orders or would like him to speak about his work to your group.

Joseph's Western Colorado booksellers are:

Grand Valley Books in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Gambles Ace Hardware, downtown Hotchkiss, Colorado.
Cirque Cyclery in Paonia, Colorado.
Hotchkiss Crawford Museum in Hotchkiss, Colorado.
Delta Historical Museum in Delta, Colorado.
Out West Books in Grand Junction, Colorado.
TADA Gallery in Delta, Colorado.
Fort Uncompahgree in Delta, Colorado.

Maggie's Books, Montrose, Colorado.

BLM Office (by the airport), Grand Junction.
BLM/FS Office, Montrose, CO.
Laughing Goat, outside Hotchkiss.

Joseph's books are also available online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, through print-on-demand ordering.
He has an Amazon Author’s Page and welcomes any reviews you wish to give.
Most bookstores and libraries can also order his books from their distributor, Ingram Book Company.

And most are available at the following public libraries:
Delta County, Mesa County, Montrose County, and Durango County libraries in Colorado.
Moab Public Library in Utah.
Tuscola Public Library in Illinois.


Colwell Cedars Lichen Rock Blank Invoice 2019.Download