Statement of Intent

The Canyon Echo is from a place diverse in cultures and landscapes. Perhaps we are Diné, Anglo, or Ute. Whoever we are, we are here together. Where we live, water comes as sudden news to desert mesas and winds its way through arroyos and canyons, the neural network that informs and nourishes this country and its inhabitants. Canyon Echo listens to what reverberates through these canyons on the middle and lower stretches of the San Juan River, hoping to echo with clarity for those who call desert and river home.

–Editors of the Canyon Echo, 1994

From 1993 to 1997, the Bluff-based Canyon Echo published a monthly collection of essays, poetry, and journalism from southeast Utah. Under the leadership of publisher Linda Richmond and editor Phil Hall, the paper drew advertisers from as far away as Cortez and contributors from all across the country. News briefs were included in each issue, covering Bluff, Navajo Nation, and San Juan County politics. But the Echo was more than a community newspaper. Articles on prehistory, ecology, and geology are common in the archives. Most issues left space for a poetry spread, and more than once the cover story was penned by Bluff resident and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Ellen Meloy. 

Today, as the town of Bluff sorts out the details of its recent incorporation, and as San Juan County welcomes in the first majority-Diné commission in history, we’re reviving the Canyon Echo. Our goal is to live up to the standards set by the print journal. We hope to establish an active online community forum for local news and opinion as well as an outlet for place-based poetry and essays. Each month—thanks to the generous cooperation of Linda Richmond and the collection of original newspapers preserved by Tamara Wiggans Desrosiers—we’ll also be publishing archival articles from the print Echo to our website. All articles will be free and available online.

Sound like a good idea? We need your help. Visit the Bluff Rumor Mill page to submit tips, letters, comments, poetry, essays, or echos to editor Eli Beck, or shoot an email to thecanyonecho@gmail.com.