Naomi Kimbell at Garnet Ghost Town

Excerpt from Shedding Walls and Windows

We want to be a part of the land into which our towns disintegrate, to shed our walls and windows and, when we travel to bigger places with buildings made of the same stuff as our mountains, to know our absence has left a scar.  We want the land to miss us when we’re gone but eventually realize that the pain of separation goes unmatched by the places we love. We’re the ones who are lonely.

Listen to the whole essay on Reflections West


Naomi lives and writes in Missoula, MT. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Montana, and her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review, Calyx, The Sonder Reivew, The Iowa Review, and other literary journals and anthologies.

When she’s not writing, she teaches online creative writing classes, works as the assistant creative nonfiction editor for the Atticus Review, wanders in the woods, across hillsides, and through ghost towns taking photographs and shooting video to create impressionistic films with ambient scores using her essays, invented landscapes, and found sounds.

She lives with her husband and her bird at the base of a mountain that, from a certain angle, looks a little like an elephant in repose.