Terry Tempest Williams (born September 8, 1955), is an American author, conservationist and activist. Williams’ writing is rooted in the American West and has been significantly influenced by the arid landscape of her native Utah in which she was raised. Her work ranges from issues of ecology and wilderness preservation, to women's health, to exploring our relationship to culture and nature.
She has testified before Congress on women’s health, committed acts of civil disobedience in the years 1987 - 1992 in protest against nuclear testing in the Nevada Desert, and again, in March, 2003 in Washington, D.C., with Code Pink, against the Iraq War. She has been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of the Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda.
Williams is the author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Desert Quartet; Leap; Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert; and The Open Space of Democracy. Her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World was published in 2008 by Pantheon Books.
In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. Williams was featured in Ken Burns' PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea (2009). In 2011, she received the 18th International Peace Award given by the Community of Christ Church.
Williams is currently the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah and a columnist for the magazine The Progressive. She has been a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College where she continues to teach. She divides her time between Wilson, Wyoming and Castle Valley, Utah, where her husband Brooke is field coordinator for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.