Steve Grinstead is the managing editor at History Colorado and the editor of The Colorado Magazine. He is the co-editor of the 2004 anthology Western Voices: 125 Years of Colorado Writingand the co-author of Walking Into Colorado's Past: 50 Front Range History Hikes, winner of the 2007 Colorado Book Award for Nonfiction.
When Ken Kesey described fictional southeastern Colorado settings and characters in one of his novels, he could rely largely on his own memory. The author, who lived in Oregon for nearly all of his life, was born in the town of La Junta, Colorado, in the days of the Dust Bowl.
In March of 2020, History Colorado and the University Press of Colorado published a new kind of book about Colorado’s past: Colorado Day by Day. In it, author Derek R. Everett, who teaches history at both Metropolitan State University of Denver and Colorado State University, looks at a key piece of Colorado’s past for every day of the year—366 days in all.
Every other year, History Colorado gives the Barbara Sudler Award for the best work of nonfiction on a western subject by a female author. Since we’ve begun reading the nominees for this year’s award, we took the opportunity to chat with the winner of the last round, Rachel McLean Sailor, an assistant professor of art history at the University of Wyoming and the author of Meaningful Places: Landscape Photographers in the Nineteenth-Century American West, published by the University of New Mexico Press. A shorter version of this interview appears in Colorado Heritage.