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Trimble has received significant awards for his photography, his non-fiction, and his fiction—including The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for photography and conservation; The High Desert Museum's Chiles Award for promoting "thoughtful management of the natural resources of the Intermountain West;" and a Frank Waters Southwest Writing Award for fiction. He is proud that his alma mater, Colorado College, honored his choice to remain a stubborn generalist by awarding him a Doctor of Humane Letters for his efforts to increase our understanding of Western landscapes and peoples.
As writer, editor, and photographer Trimble has published nineteen books. His bedrock focus is the land—western wildlands and natural history. Trimble spent ten years listening to Southwest Indian people, and their stories fill several of his books. He has also contributed commentaries to local and national NPR shows, especially “The Savvy Traveler.”
Trimble co-compiled (with Terry Tempest Williams) a landmark effort by writers hoping to sway public policy: Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness. On March 27, 1996, Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) read Trimble’s essay from Testimony, “Our Gardens, Our Canyons,” on the floor of the United States Senate during his plea to protect Utah wilderness. He concluded with, “That short piece of writing is so powerful…because it is a timeless statement about how people feel about natural places.”
Trimble makes his home in Salt Lake City and in the redrock country of Torrey, Utah, with his wife and two children. From his attic studio in the city, he looks out on the Great Basin and Wasatch Mountains and manages his stock photography business. He has four current book projects: a volume of literary nonfiction about the tension between community and development in the West at the beginning of the 21st Century (already the recipient of a fellowship from the Utah Humanities Council and a book award from the Utah Arts Council); a history and celebration of Grand Canyon photographers; a set of children’s books about color in the landscape; and a 20th anniversary revision of his Pueblo pottery book, Talking with the Clay. Trimble’s website is www.stephentrimble.net.