Welcome to Arizona's real Katie Lee Web Site

Reviews for:

Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle -
A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story & Verse

Glen Canyon Betrayed: A Sensuous Elegy

Sandstone Seduction: Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends

The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing

The Ballad of Gutless Ditch

Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle - A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story & Verse (third edition, University of New Mexico Press, 1985

"A joyous book about cowboy songs and their singers. Katie Lee sets the record straight. Written in a breezy, conversational style with refreshingly unlaundered vocabulary." - Arizona Highways Magazine.

"A beautiful job, exact, comprehensive and witty. Should remain a basic history of the subject for many year to come." - Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, The Monkey Wrench Gang, etc.

"A book that blends verse, prose and music for the most enjoyable volume on the cattle industry since Frank Dobie died." - El Paso Times

"A joyful, spirited and valuable contribution to the literature and music of the West." - Sing Out!

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Glen Canyon Betrayed: A Sensuous Elegy - foreword by Terry Tempest Williams (Fretwater Press 2006) (Former title: Glen Canyon Betrayed)

"There was once a canyon called Glen...buried under that cesspool called Lake Powell... Now we stand our watch. If we continue to let places like Glen go to wrack and ruin, it is on our own heads. Because Katie Lee has shown us how to do better. And the lesson is simple. Fight." - Chuck Bowden, author of Down By The River and Inferno

"Her book captures the essence of a river...While experts toss out statistics about evaporation loss, species decline, and the greatest good for the greatest number, Katie speaks from the heart. 'There never was a place as beautiful as Glen Canyon and we wrecked it. It's time to fix it.' If Katie Lee comes within a thousand miles of where you live, go see her." - Ken Ransford, American Whitewater

"Outrageous, mischievous, and never shy about calling a shithead a shithead, Lee is a woman so far ahead of her time, we are still catching up. She writes with fists and flesh to the wall, rendering an acid hatred for the canyon's destroyers and a near perfect sense of the deep pleasure that comes when a few companions float downriver and share beauty by instinct rather than conversation. The women who live on the red-desert rivers of the Colorado Plateau are helplessly, hopelessly bound to them. Glen Canyon (for her) was intoxication, refuge, and, in it's loss, despair...With Lee's book in hand, Glen Canyon returns to eyes and skin. Such fierce attachments resurrect the river itself." - Ellen Meloy, author of Raven's Exile, writing in Northern Lights magazine.

"In so many ways, this is a woman who embodies the power and tenacious beauty of the Colorado Plateau. Her spitfire intelligence and redrock resolve provides us with an individual conscience that we would do well to adopt. Katie Lee is a joyful raconteur, a woman with grit, grace and humor. She is not afraid to laugh and tease, cajole and flirt, cuss, rant, howl, sing and cry. Katie Lee is the desert's lover. Her voice is a torch in the wilderness." - Terry Tempest Williams, writing for Wild Earth magazine.

"In her performance...singer, famous river runner and writer Katie Lee described a secret nook she discovered as the "first holy place" she'd ever been. As she read from her book, All My Rivers are Gone, you could feel the heartfelt anguish in her words as she described this sacred place. She related scenes of unbearable beauty, where she and her companions wept at the splendor surrounding them." - Steve Skinner, The Aspen Times

"Edward Abbey's spirit lives on in Katie Lee...With grit and humor that combine the late Abbey's mischievous passion with the determination of 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown,' Lee has entertained audiences nationwide with her stories and original folksongs." - Carrie Click, Roaring Fork

"Katie Lee is much like the river she loves--at times raucous, uncompromising stubborn. But underneath the tough exterior emerges the essence of the Colorado and Glen Canyon. . . All My Rivers Are Gone will remind you of the intricate, inexplicable, reverential, sacred, and emotional bond that develops between humans and the remote, the wild, the solitary, the rock, and the sand." - Steve Mann, Online Review

"Lee would like to see Lake Powell drained and Glen Canyon restored. She writes poetically and soulfully of her years as a river runner in the 1950's and of the beauty, solitude, and excitement of a wild place visited by very few. It now seems surprising that there is support, in the form of the Sierra Club and Glen Canyon Institute, for the dismantling of some dams and water projects ...Recommended for all libraries in the Southwest and those with Southwest collections." - Thomas K. Fry, University of Denver

"Katie takes us through the initial flush of first love, to an infatuation overwhelming her mind and body, and on to the inevitable heartbreak as Glen Canyon is snuffed out before her eyes by Glen Canyon Dam. Now Katie, a devout Pagan, and her audience await, like Christians awaiting their entombed Christ, for the rolling back of the stone, the voiding of Glen Canyon Dam." - Brad Dimmock, author, Sunk Without a Sound

"All My Rivers Are Gone is a delightful combination of autobiography and folklore, an important contribution to Glen Canyon history...Her book brings Glen Canyon alive again. And although it seems almost incomplete without her CD or audio tape of Colorado River songs, songs she wrote and sang on her canyon trips, her voice rings true and clear in her writing." - Verne Huser, Albuquerque Journal

"Katie Lee's book should be read by all wilderness lovers. It beautifully invokes what it is like to have the freedom to explore one's deepest values within the intimacy of nature's rapture...Lee's works are paeans to the 'wild secret heart' of a paradise lost...Oh, to have heard Katie sing in Music Temple, the first "real" church she ever sang in." - Richard Martin, The Waiting List

"The symbolism of the Cattails Canyon photo [in Katie Lee's book] is that like those (bare) rocks, nature by itself is far bigger than we are and doesn't want puny humans fooling with it; that when we strip ourselves of our pretensions (which, after all, pieces of clothing are), we are closer to nature; that there's something unnatural about clothes and dams. How can anyone dislike a woman of 80 who recalls a thunderstorm decades ago in Glen Canyon as an erotic delight: 'the passionate power of Thor's wild sex with the Glen." - Martin Naparsteck, Salt Lake Tribune

"She's content to be what she has always been, a cranky outsider who never once thought leaving Hollywood was a mistake. 'I've always accomplished what I set out to do', says Lee. 'But think of what I would've missed if I'd never seen the Glen. All that incredible beauty, feeling the sun on my back, listening to the river, slipping into a cold pool. I never stepped in front of a spotlight and got that feeling." - Leo Banks, Boston Globe & Tucson Weekly

"Katie Lee is sharing her memories of Glen Canyon in a witty, angry scrapbook of journal entries, songs and stories...It's clear that her passion for the Colorado isn't just nostalgia for what used to be...and you get the feeling that she never puts aside her hard shell unless she REALLY has something to say. In AMRAG, she most definitely does." - Michelle Nijhuis, High Country News

"But most of all (Katie's book) is about the Canyon itself--the steep walls, natural bridges, sandbars and hidden passages and offshoots--and the author's to-the-bones aching for it. And in Lee's tough-edged language, Glen Canyon is an object of beauty and affection, a natural wonder that offers a visceral thrill on a par with the best sex." - Stewart Oksenhorn, The Aspen Times

"Earthy, grounded as solidly as the river was in its stone-worn path, honest to the point of bluntness, creative and colorful, Katie is a gifted storyteller who writes from the passion of her soul's experience. The hauntingly beautiful music she sings and plays, stays in the listener's head long after her hands have stilled" - Sandy Moss, Daily Courier

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Sandstone Seduction: Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends - foreword by Ellen Meloy (Johnson Books, 2004)

"Katie Lee gets my vote as the all-time foxiest girl in the West. And she's got more chutzpah than a bag full of bobcats. She can sing like a nightingale and write like Scott Fitzgerald would've written if he'd ever had the guts to run the Colorado River down through Glen Canyon and beyond. Sandstone Seduction is so full of gusto, high times, good people, and outright beauty, that it makes you want to laugh, cry, and head for the wilderness right now. Katie's life is a rich, joyful, funny, touching, wonderful and inspiring journey. We should all be so lucky. Move over, Ed Abbey. There's a new sheriff in your town!" - John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War and Mountains Die.

"Katie Lee takes us on a journey of the senses into the most voluptuous landscape on the continent, back to the days before the rising waters of Lake Foul flooded the loveliest of canyon cathedrals. Here was the last vast unexplored region in America, only known by a lucky few. No one else has such tales. Katie Lee's plaintive stories, like her songs, are a voice crying out for lost wilderness." - Doug Peacock, author of Grizzly Years

"Some people appreciate things, others love them. I always go with the lovers. Katie Lee has lived life at a shout and yet made it all into a song. I once heard her bring a crowded Phoenix bar to its knees singing river songs a cappella. Hell, I damn near spilled my drink. She shows us who we were, who we are and what we must become if we are ever to deserve this place. Don't read her and weep. Read her and join the fight, the only one that will really matter when all that dust settles." - Charles Bowden, author of Down by the River and Blood Orchid.

"First favorite line: 'They're still "out there," not at all ready for this brain-battering rivet machine we live in and must deal with.' Second favorite line: 'Then I met Glen Canyon.' Katie is a ferocious woman. She is a writer with an I.V. straight to her heart from the past. She serves her love and her muse as a warrior must." - Mary Sojourner, author of Solace, Delicate and Bonelight.

"How many 80-year-old women out there begin an essay with the line, 'It was hotter'n a fresh-fucked fox in a forest fire?' I know one. Her name is Katie Lee. Her latest book, Sandstone Seduction: Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends, offers more of the same spunky, impassioned writing that has made her the foremost figure in the effort to restore Glen Canyon to its pre-Lake Powell condition. . . In Seduction, Lee does more than give a good show. She gives us a great book". - Jarret Keene, Tucson Weekly, August 5, 2004.

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The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing - (Dream Garden Press, 2014)

"At 95 years old, Lee has produced a very personal book that brings to life the historic damming of the Colorado, an event that rewarded Lee's short-lived ecstasy with life-long tragedy. There are several books that reveal Glen Canyon's magic, but Lee's Ghosts fills the literary gap that has existed between the dam's construction and the modern era. She offers a first-hand look at the agonizing creep of the reservoir as it gradually drowns one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Her unique perspective offers us an indispensable reminder both of what was, and what eventually must return." - Elias Butler, Flag Live, June 2014. Read the complete article PDF

"She knows the good country from the ground up. In a lifetime of song and acting and writing, Katie Lee has fought to preserve the ground we live on and hardly seem to know. Now she goes into the heart of the matter where good feelings rise like the river itself and roar us back to better days." - Charles Bowden, Killing the Hidden Waters, Blue Desert, and Black Orchid (from the inside cover).

"If you want to know what Glen Canyon was before it was flooded, if you want to know the people who settled the last part of the West, and if you want your heart to be touched, then Katie's words will do just that. Your books are like a fine wine, they just keep getting better." - Richard J. Ingebretsen, founder of Glen Canyon Institute Orchid (from the inside cover).

"Katie's writing clearly reveals her relentless passion for Glen Canyon, both past and present, and reflects the crystal clear perspective of this great heroine of the modern environmental movement." - Jack Loeffler, Adventures with Ed [Abbey], and Headed Upstream, Orchid (from the inside cover).

"To read Katie Lee is to read great and true history not besotted with the bullshit of academic historians. There ought be a statue of her in front of the Cowboy Hall of Fame. And, hell, the Smithsonian." - Tom Russell, Western songwriter, 120 Songs of Tom Russell (from the inside cover).

"Ghosts of Dandy Crossing showcases Katie's talents as a gifted raconteur, a grand mimicker of dialogue, and shrewd observer of the hearts of her characters. This book is particularly wondrous because of her artful and dramatic crescendos to many sad disruptions wrought by the rising of Reservoir Powell and the surprise of a lovely redemptive ending. It is a fitting wrap-up for Katie's other books about a lost Eden - Glen Canyon Betrayed and Sandstone Seduction." Diane Rapaport (Glen Canyon Institute)

"When I told you I was about to [read this book] you said something like, good I'd like to get a male's point of view. I don't see a difference. In your writing and in life you have a very keen insight into people and situations. It's unique and reaches and touches us all in a very profound way...DAMN did the ending get to me. The relationship with Buck is unique, interesting and emotional. I'm thankful for Ken and Dream Garden Press for publishing such a REAL STORY about REAL PEOPLE in such a SPECIAL place. Captured so vividly with so much emotion and inspiration." - George Gage, Gage & Gage Productions, film documentaries such as American Outrage, Bidder 70, etc.

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The Ballad of Gutless Ditch - (Katydid Books and Music, 2010)

"Katie Lee continues to retain her long reign as the Grand Dame of American Folklore and Music with this lyrical symphony of tragic lovers. Her gripping tale and skillful use of free verse. . .kept me turning pages so fast I got to the end and like a driver speeding on a lonely mountain road I missed the curve and took to the air." - Marshall Trimble, Official Arizona State historian

"In this limited edition, the Ballad finally gets the elegant multi-dimensional treatment it has deserved... it contains gold of the old West, a gripping romance, an almost miraculous conception, villains and saints and heroes, cataclysmic events, and a brush with the metaphysical. . a remarkable work. . .for my part I will match Katie Lee's tapestry of talents against those of any old muse." - Warren Miller, educator and folklorist

"A fast-paced, passion-fueled love story" - Sarah Giaanelli, The Noise, February 2012.

"Turns and twists like pinon smoke on a still June evening." - Peter Bowen, author Gabriel de Pre mysteries.

"The Ballad is great. You are the premier balladeer-ess, hands down." - Don Fowler, The Glen Canyon Country.

"Certain to become a Western classic. Rollicking story of forbidden love, mistaken identities, and good hearted fun set in a southwestern mining town." - Bruce Dinges, editor, Arizona Historical Quarterly.

"This lyrical tale begs to be read aloud. . . When the first space ship embarks on the decades long journey to Alpha Centauri, I would not be surprised to find a copy on the captain's desk. Kudos to the Queen of Cleopatra Hill." - Tony Norris, musician, storyteller and folklorist.

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This page was last updated on
Friday, April 6, 2018
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