In the legendary tradition of the medieval bestiary, A Desert Pilgrim’s Bestiary is a compendium of animals that slither, fly, run, and dwell in the Southwest desert. Within these pages, you will discover strange and elusive beasts in the mountains, rivers, and deserts of the Southwest. Join us in the dwelling place of secretive and fantastic Gila monsters that can deliver devastatingly venomous bites, where sluggish desert tortoises munch on needle-barbed prickly pears. If you love the feel of a desert breeze in the shade, or the sublime quiet of a hillside of saguaro, and the animals with whom we share the land, you’ll love A Desert Pilgrim's Bestiary.


This book was a collaboration between Anthony Walent of Communicating Vessels and Eberhardt Press. Those who know Anthony's work will find this to be a very special book, the culmination of years of writing and many long walks in the desert.


From among the book’s twenty-two animal essays:


“The yipping howls grow louder and closer to camp as the pack groups together in its hunt for food. It cannot be denied—I feel attracted and eerily repulsed by these unusual yet familiar hymns sung by this elusive and secretive beast.” —from “Coyote”


“Predatory mammals have times of rest and hibernation. Not so for the hummingbird. It has trouble slowing itself down, always being on the move. The life of a hummingbird is hidden; it is a universe with disguises. How the hummingbird fools us! Once we penetrate through the surface, a place of startling violence and spasmodic bursts of energy is revealed.” —from “Hummingbird”

A Desert Pilgrim's Bestiary by Anthony Walent

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  • Eberhardt Press 2020

    Illustrated throughout with line drawings by Maurice Spira

    New paperback

    152 pages