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‘Church of the Graveyard Saints’ Reflects on Southwest Colorado’s Nuances

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Daniel Rayzel/KSJD
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Saddlehorn Pueblo, located along the Sand Canyon trail in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

The Four Corners is home to an intersection of varied perspectives on public lands and resource extraction. Homesteaders, environmentalists, and oil and gas proponents often collide at different angles on these issues — and it’s all at the heart of a new fiction book from a southwest Colorado author.

C. Joseph Greaves (You may recognize him by another name, Chuck Greaves, used for his mystery writing) writes “Church of the Graveyard Saints” from four perspectives. Each one encompasses a different view of the book’s dialogue around resource extraction in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Greaves, who lives along the monument’s southern border, believes this develops nuance for a complicated topic.

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Credit Courtesy of Torrey House Press
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“I don’t think this a book I could’ve written if I hadn’t lived in this community for as long as I have,” Greaves says. “I think you develop a sense of the nuance that’s there.”

“Church of the Graveyard Saints” is also the inaugural read for “Four Corners/One Book,” a community-wide reading program organized between six regional cities. Greaves will be at the program’s kickoff event at the Cortez Public Library on Friday, Sept. 27.

The author joined KSJD’s Daniel Rayzel to talk about writing fiction inspired by where he lives and the character he identifies with among the book’s rotating perspectives. 

Church of the Graveyard Saints” is out now on Torrey House Press.