Melissa L. Sevigny

Science Writer



Mythical River named top Southwest Book of the Year

The Pima County Public Library named Mythical River as a top pick for the 2016 Southwest Books of the Year. Reviewer Vicki Ann Duraine wrote:

Imagine a world in which a river’s conservation was as important as the community it supports. With the insight of a hydrologist and the heart of a poet, Sevigny champions this ideal in her lyrical and exhaustively-researched science journal cum memoir, interweaving the centuries-old paradigm of unlimited natural resources with the facts as she knows them: the Southwest is running out of water and rain does not follow the plow.It is a call to arms: Mythical River may be the most important book you read all year.

Reviewer Bill Broyles said:

She’s balanced, funny, and perceptive… [and] brings a youthful exuberance to her alluring narrative.

Under Desert Skies was also nominated. Learn about all the titles chosen on the Pima County Public Library website or read the Arizona Daily Star’s article.

Latest News

Brianne Kane interviews me for Scientific American.

Kevin Schindler writes about Brave the Wild River in Flagstaff Business News.

Taya Jae interviews me for KVNF’s show “The Pen and the Sword.”

Margy Dudley interviews me for the KDUR’s Four Corners Arts Forum, available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Sarah Dunn publishes a Q&A with me for Atlas Obscura.

People magazine features Brave the Wild River in their May 29 issue: “The use of archival letters and diaries lends the tale a gripping you-are-there vibe.”

Anne Bogel discusses Brave the Wild River on episode 381 of the Modern Mrs. Darcy podcast: “I don’t think you’ve read anything like this, because nothing quite like this exists.”

Literary Hub’s Book Marks names Brave the Wild River as one of the best reviewed books of the week.

Holly Lammert interviews me for Moab Sun News.

Bree Burkitt at KNAU interviews me about Brave the Wild River.

Interview about my writing process in Famous Writing Routines.

Joan Meiners reviews Brave the Wild River for The Arizona Republic: “It’s a story so relevant to modern discussions about water resources, climate change, science, sexism and the impacts of recreation as to likely feel shocking to many readers that they have not heard much about these trailblazers before.” 

More news and reviews

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Latest Writing

How Women and Girls Struggle to Pursue Their Interests in Science,” Literary Hub, May 23, 2023.

Tenacious specimens of the Grand Canyon,” excerpt from Brave the Wild River in High County News, May 2023.

Teachers in Arizona tap the power of plants to teach kids resilience,” aired on NPR’s All Things Considered, May 12, 2023.

We Camped in Oak and Pinon Pine,” Sierra Magazine, March 29, 2023.

Grassroots efforts bring firewood to Hopi people,” NPR’s All Things Considered, January 16, 2023.

More writing

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1st place award

My article A River’s Return, published in Edible Baja Arizona, wins first place for environmental/science writing from the Arizona Press Club! The article describes how the Colorado River’s experimental pulse flow restored water, and hope, to the Delta. (Photo courtesy of Seth Cothrun, with aerial support from LightHawk).

Advance Praise for Mythical River

Mythical River is an excellent read and an important contribution to the literature of the Southwest, especially that which focuses on water. The book’s scope moves from the micro to the human-scaled to the planetary, but it is all tied together to give a complete picture of the southwestern environment and the vital part water plays within it.”

—Christopher Cokinos, author, Bodies, of the Holocene

Advance Praise for Under Desert Skies

“Through a series of engaging interviews, Melissa Sevigny guides her readers on an amazing journey of solar system exploration in a way that captures the pioneering spirit of the Lunar and Planetary Lab’s researchers. It is a must-read for anybody interested in humanity’s quest to understand our origins and place in the universe.”

—Dante Lauretta, Professor of Planetary Science, University of Arizona

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