West African Road Culture Subject of Award-Wining Book

PULLMAN, Wash. — Peter Chilson, assistant professor of English at Washington State
University, has received the Associated Writing Programs’ book award for nonfiction. The award
recognizes Chilson’s new book, “Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa,” which
explores West African road culture through his experiences living with bush taxi drivers in Niger.
Chilson spent nearly five years in West Africa, originally as a Peace Corps volunteer and
later as a journalist. Prior to coming to WSU, he was associate editor of “High Country News”
magazine. He holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and international relations from Syracuse
University and a master’s in fine arts in creative writing from Pennsylvania State University.
He is working on a collection of essays about Africa and the American West. “I’ve learned
that the social, political and environmental conflicts we are witnessing here in the West are
startlingly similar to what I saw in Africa,” Chilson said.
Chilson will read from his book at several bookstores regionally during the next month: the
University of Washington’s Kane Hall in Seattle, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.; Aunties Bookstore in
Spokane, May 1, at 7:30 p.m.; the Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle, May 7, at 7:30 p.m.; and at the
Lewis-Clark Center for Arts and History in Lewiston, May 20, at 7:30 p.m.