Book Signing and Photography Sale with J.J. Anselmi and Jordan Utley

Why simply read about history when you can also see it? Saturday, October 15th at 1:00 pm, J.J. Anselmi will present his book Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown at Weller Book Works while projecting the stunning photography of Jordan Utley. Framed prints of Utley's photographs will be for sale in addition to Anselmi's book.

About the Book

Out Here on Our Own tells the story of Rock Springs, Wyoming, a mining boomtown with a history of brutal racial violence, widespread addiction, prostitution, and a staggeringly high per-capita suicide rate--yet a place that has proved remarkably resilient. Anselmi stitches together an array of original interviews with people who've seen those things firsthand, tracing the boom-bust trajectory of a town known for its corruption, vice, and violence. Amid such horrors as the massacre of Chinese miners in 1885 and the ongoing methamphetamine and opioid epidemics, the town has fought hard to keep its identity of rugged individualism intact.

In 2022 Rock Springs is slipping into yet another bust. Anselmi's narrative offers searing personal accounts of a community in crisis, whose problems are fanned by severely limited mental health resources, dying industries, and Wyoming's still-pervasive idea that people should deal with their troubles alone. In a community's own words, Out Here on Our Own depicts a place that's as tough and weathered as the sagebrush and sandstone surrounding it.

Check out a trailer for Out Here on Our Own here.

About the Author

J.J. Anselmi grew up in a Wyoming mining town. He’s the author of Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown (October 2022); Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-metal; and Heavy: A Memoir of Wyoming, BMX, Drugs, and Heavy Fucking Music. He wrote the liner notes for the 2017 reissue of Sepultura’s classic thrash record, Chaos A.D., and his writing has been featured in VICE, The New Republic, The A.V. Club, Revolver, and JSTOR Daily. An active musician, he lives with his family in Southern California.

About the Photographer

Jordan Utley has been using a camera for the majority of his life. The majority of previous work has focused on the moving image. Originally he started within the BMX industry making award winning videos know the world over, culminating with the 2012 Nora Cup. Since than he focused on music videos, short films and commercial video creation. His work has been featured on wide variety of websites and publications. His primary focus is now on Photography, more so, Photojournalism. That switch came about after a plethora of life changes, seeking a more meaningful life.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Event address: 
607 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown By J. J. Anselmi Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781496232328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now

Published: Bison Books - October 1st, 2022

J.J. Anselmi’s Out Here on Our Own tells the story of Rock Springs, Wyoming, a mining boomtown with a history of brutal racial violence, widespread addiction, prostitution, and a staggeringly high per-capita suicide rate—yet a place that has proved remarkably resilient.


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