by Kim Upchurch
Photography by Amanda Calkins
Kim Upchurch is an emerging poet and writer from Austin, Texas.A former educator, she also serves as the primary caregiver for one of her daughters who has cerebral palsy, a role which has given a deeper understanding of diversity, adversity, and our shared humanity.
Amanda Calkins, also known as The Texas Tumbleweed, is a documentary photographer focusing on telling stories of the lives and legacies of fellow Texans. At a crossroads in her life, she felt called to take a solo trip out West, seeking solitude and clarity. The area had fewer travelers back then and phone reception was almost non-existent. The untamed and vast landscape, left her feeling vulnerable yet at peace, bringing about a profound and unexpected spiritual awakening. Grounded in wilderness, inspired by the textures of the terrain, enchanted by the colorful sunsets over the Chisos, and drawn to the lifestyles and stories of the locals - the area instantly pulled her in. The Big Bend region remains the place where she feels deeply rooted. You can follow her visual storytelling via Instagram @BigBendForever or website www.thetexastumbleweed.photography Amanda is Big Bend Literary Magazine's Photography Editor.