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The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage

Lawrence Lenhart

162 pages, paperback: $16.00.

Outpost19, 2016.

Backvalley Ferrets:

     A Rewilding of the Colorado Plateau

Lawrence Lenhart

University of Georgia Press (Crux), 2023.

Dry Safe & Together:

     Small Island/Big Ocean Contingencies

Lawrence Lenhart

West Virginia University Press (In Place), 2023.

Experimental Writing:

     A Writer's Guide and Anthology

William Cordeiro & Lawrence Lenhart

Bloomsbury Academic, 2023.

cnf 64 ferret.jpg

Backvalley Ferrets

Finalist for the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers

Runner-Up for the Waterston Desert Writing Prize.


Pushcart Nominee

anthologized in Letters to America


Best of the Net Nominee









Winner, "Best Adaptation Essay"

Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2017

Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2020

  • "Backvalley Ferrets" 



  • "Letter to America/Dear Milo" 


  • "How to Talk Dlak-Thooted Therret: Ventriloquism for the Eremocene" 

               Quarterly West

  • "This Taxidermy Will Be Mounted to an Interior Wall" 

               Passages North

  • "If the Ferret Crosses the Road," 

               Creative Nonfiction, Fall 2017

  • "A Ferret by Any Other Name"

               Willow Springs, Fall 2020

  • "My Son Was Born to Rob Me of the    Glory of Saving the Black-Footed Ferret From Plague"

               Orion, Summer 2020

  • "Where's My Little Ferret"

               River Teeth, Spring 2020

  • "From Petri to Prairie"​​

                High Country News, 2022​

Dry Safe & Together

2018 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Research and Development Grant; Bill Desmond Writing Award

  • "Drysafe and Together"

               Indiana Review, Spring 2021

  • "Doudouismé of Kokomo"

               March Badness, March 2020

  • "Late Day in the Country of Eighteen Tides"


  • "Speak, Stalagmite"

               Complete Sentence, Summer 2020


The Well-Stocked
& Gilded Cage

Well-Stocked Cover Amazon.jpg

“At the least unhinged and quite possibly a little insane, Lawrence Lenhart’s essays are perverse in the best way, willing to sacrifice whatever (self-protection, sleep, comfort, love, safety, tradition) in search of the weird heart beating inside the world and the real meaning of things. Lenhart’s a legitimate threat: a yearner and a quester. Ain’t no cage, however gilded, can hold this bird for long.”

               - Ander Monson, author of I Will Take the Answer


"There are books with turtles in them. And books with dogs. And books about bullies. And books about hoarding birds. There are books about Bangladesh and books about the end of the world but I do not think there is another book that pulls back the veil to reveal how woven together dogs, bullies, birds, babies and Bangladesh are. Lenhart does something in The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage that only someone with a special kind of genius can do: train his focus as sharply inward as he does outward. Intense awareness combined with his intense concern make for a big heart and a big brain and a big, as in important, book."

               - Nicole Walker, author of Sustainability: A Love Story

  • "Give Me That For Nothing, Now I Am Going Away"*

               Wag's Revue

  • "Dogsucker: The Written Oral"† 

               Alaska Quarterly Review

  • "The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage:  Psitticulture Nervosa"‡ 

               Prairie Schooner

  • "Kumari Amenorrhea"


  • "Azimuth as a Myth: A Lyric Algorithm For an Off-Brand GPS" 

               Sundog Lit

  • "Too Slow Is How That Tortoise Go: A Carapace in 37 Parts" 

               Fourth Genre

  • "Captioning Novitiate: Figures of   Sramanera" 


  • "Sons of Sound: A Lyric Concatenation

          for an Off-Brand GPS" 


  • "This Taxidermy Will Be Mounted

         to an Interior Wall"

               Passages North

  • "Elegy For a Flushed or

          Buried Pet" 

               Fourteen Hills

  • "Of No Ground: Late Days in the Country of Eighteen Tides"§ 


*Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2014


†Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2015

‡Winner of Virginia Faulkner Award

for Excellence in Writing

§Winner of the Annual Nonfiction Contest

(dis)Placement, selected by Scott Russell Sanders


  • "Poison Shrimp Quay"

                The Rupture

  • "The Fire Caves of Nanumanga"

  • "Keep Your Foot on the Land and You Are Safe"

  • "Owing to a Well-Founded Fear"

  • "John Frum 'E Come" 

               Western Humanities Review*

  • "The Beautiful Rump Nut of Praslin       Island"

               Greensboro Review


  • "Repossession"

               Island Review

  • "La Cueva, El Anexo"

               Chicago Review

  • "Bright Standing Bowl"

               Waxwing Journal

  • "Wheelhouse or a Runaway"


  • "A Schnauzer Seance"

               Pinch Journal

*Runner-Up, Mountain West Writers' Contest, selected by Lucy Corin

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