Ellen Waterston is a poet, author and literary arts advocate. She is the author of Vía Láctea: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino, Where the Crooked River Rises, and a memoir, Then There Was No Mountain, which was rated one of the top ten books of 2003 by the Oregonian and a WILLA finalist. After eleven years as founder/director of The Nature of Words, a literary arts nonprofit, she passed the baton in 2012 to focus on the Writing Ranch, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize and her writing. Founded by Waterston in 2000, the Writing Ranch offers writing workshops and retreats. The Waterston Desert Writing Prize, established in 2014, is awarded annually each June to nonfiction projects concerning deserts anywhere in the world. Waterston is completing a fourth collection of poetry, and is at work on nonfiction examining land use issues in the high desert.