Warren, Scott S. 1957-
WARREN, Scott S. 1957-
PERSONAL: Born August 22, 1957, in Wilmington, DE; son of R. Bruce and Nancy (a lab curator; maiden name, Hunter) Warren; married Beth Lamberson (a development director for public radio); children: Kathrine, Christopher. Ethnicity: "Anglo." Education: Utah State University, B.F.A. (photography), 1980. Politics: "Democratic." Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, bicycling, travel.
ADDRESSES: Office—P.O. Box 3512, Durango, CO 813026. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Freelance photographer and writer, 1980—.
MEMBER: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
AWARDS, HONORS: Alicia Patterson fellowship, 1998.
(Photographer) Enemy Ancestors: The Anasazi World with a Guide to the Sites, by Gary Matlock, Northland Press (Flagstaff, AZ), 1988. (With wife, Beth Lamberson Warren) Victorian Bonanza: Victorian Architecture of the Rocky Mountain West, Northland Press (Flagstaff, AZ), 1989.
(And photographer) The San Juan Skyway: A Colorado Driving Adventure, Falcon Books (Helena, MT), 1990.
(And photographer) Cities in the Sand, Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), 1992, published as Cities in the Sand: The Ancient Civilizations of the Southwest, Skipping Stones, 1994.
(And photographer) Exploring Colorado's Wild Areas, Mountaineers Books (Seattle, WA), 1992.
One Hundred Years of Arizona, Mountaineers Books (Seattle, WA), 1993.
One Hundred Hikes in Arizona, Mountaineers Books (Seattle, WA), 1994.
Exploring Arizona's Wild Areas, Mountaineers Books (Seattle, WA), 1996, 2nd revised edition, 2002.
(And photographer) Desert Dwellers: Native People of the American Southwest Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
One Hundred Classic Hikes in Colorado, Mountaineers Books (Seattle, WA), 2001.
Contributor to periodicals and newspapers, including Audubon, National Geographic World, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Outside, Washington Times, and Salt Lake Tribune.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Photographs and video of people in Siberia and Cuba.
SIDELIGHTS: Freelance photographer and writer Scott S. Warren has carved out a successful career for himself capturing images of the Arizona and Colorado wilderness and of the ruins of the long-lost native civilizations of the American Southwest. He has worked often for National Geographic World and other well-known publications; however, it is as an author-photographer with a dozen books to his credit that Warren is best known. "My interest in producing books stems from the fact that I have been a photographer for about as long as I can remember (since age twelve, actually)," he once commented. "I received a B.F.A. in photography in 1980 and shortly after decided that the printed page was the best medium for my work."
Warren was born in Delaware, but he grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where his mother worked as a photographer. Her fascination with cameras rubbed off on her son, who majored in photography at Utah State University and attended the National Geographic photography workshop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Warren began shooting landscapes, but soon branched out into capturing images of human interest and travel destinations for various publications.
Warren's first two books were collaborative efforts. In 1988 he teamed with writer Gary Matlock on Enemy Ancestors: The Anasazi World with a Guide to the Sites, which chronicles the ancient history and culture of the Anasazi Indians, a tribe who lived during the period 200 B.C.-1300 A.D. in the area that is now part of the state of Arizona. An unnamed reviewer writing in American West observed that Enemy Ancestors "serves as an interpretive text and guide to well-known and little-known ruins.... Fine photographs ac company the text." In 1989 Warren and his wife Beth created Victorian Bonanzas: Victorian Architecture of the Rocky Mountain West, which an American West reviewer praised as "a delightful volume."
Warren has authored numerous other books, which can be loosely divided into two categories: travel guides and picture books which capture the essence of times and places little-known or forgotten. In the former category, the travel guides include Exploring Colorado's Wild Areas, One Hundred Hikes in Arizona, Exploring Arizona's Wild Areas, and One Hundred Classic Hikes in Colorado.
The reviews for Exploring Colorado's Wild Areas are typical of the critical reaction to Warren's tour guides. Assessing the book for Bloomsbury Review, Amanda Bailey noted, "this book breaks down the lesser-known regions of the Colorado wilderness with excellent detail." She went on to point out that "Rather than bring hordes of adventurous souls to the pristine wilderness areas of the state, author Scott S. Warren hopes to 'help disperse backcountry visitors more evenly.'" Meanwhile, a reviewer for Sierra lauded the same book as "a thorough introduction to Colorado," one that provides "detailed trail descriptions, trailhead directions, and maps."
Among the second type of books on Warren's bibliography—those which chronicle times and places little-known or now forgotten—are The San Juan Skyway: A Colorado Driving Adventure, Cities in the Sand: The Ancient Civilizations of the American Southwest, Desert Dwellers: Native People of the American Southwest, and Land of the Lost.
Reviewing Cities in the Sand for School Library Journal, David N. Pauli commented, "The book is graced with attractive color photographs, many of them full-page," and as such it would be "a good resource for research and reports." Deborah Abbott of Booklist expressed a similar assessment, noting that "This in-depth look at the ancient cultures of the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon peoples of the Southwest provides student researchers with plenty to ponder."
School Library Journal reviewer Lisa Wu Stowe wrote that Warren's 1997 book Desert Dwellers: Native People of the American Southwest is "a good read for anyone interested in modern Indians." Writing in Booklist, Susan DeRonne commented that Warren "is careful to note how the tribes have integrated ancient traditions with twentieth-century life."
In 1997 Warren chanced to read a newspaper article about some Navajo students from Utah who were going on a six-week exchange visit to northwest Siberia, in northern Russia. Warren signed on to accompany the students as an adult supervisor. Upon his return home, he sold some of his photographs and an article he wrote about the experience to the Salt Lake Tribune. Warren was so intrigued by what he had seen in Siberia that he went back there seven more times on his own to take photos and gather information for articles and a book he was planning. He spent a total of twelve months in the Russian north, with financial support from an organization called the Blue Earth Alliance and a thirty-five-thousand-dollar Alicia Patterson fellowship. Photo District News reviewer Jane Gottlieb wrote that "In six visits to the Russian territory, Warren has documented what happens to a people isolated from the rest of the world."
Warren plans to spend more time in Siberia and to document how oil exploration in the region is about to forever change the sensitive environment and the lives and culture of the people who live there. Warren told Jane Gottlieb that he thinks about going back to Siberia. "I think about it all the time. I have as many friends there as anywhere else at this point."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American West, April, 1989, review of Enemy Ancestors, p. S7.
Bloomsbury Review, July-August, 2002, Amanda Bailey, review of Exploring Colorado's Wild Areas, p. 14.
Booklist, October 1, 1992, Deborah Abbot, review of Cities in the Sand, p. 325; September 1, 1997, Susan DeRonne, review of Desert Dwellers: Native People of the American Southwest, p. 121.
Horn Book Guide, July-December, 1997, review of Desert Dwellers: Native People of the American Southwest, p. 190.
Library Journal, April 15, 1994, Thomas K. Fry, review of One Hundred Hikes in Arizona, p. 100.
Photo District News, November 2001, Jane Gottlieb, "Land of the Lost," pp. 131-132.
School Arts, January 1994, Kent Anderson and David Baker, review of Cities in the Sand, p. 40.
School Library Journal, August 1992, David N. Pauli, review of Cities in the Sand, p. 176; October 1997, Lisa Wu Stowe, review of Desert Dwellers: Native Peoples of the American Southwest, p. 158.
Sierra, July, 1994, review of Exploring Colorado's Wild Areas, p. 83.
Skipping Stones, spring-summer 1994, review of Cities in the Sand: The Ancient Civilizations of the Southwest, p. 32.