Mapping Literary Utah; Writer
Scott Carrier is a writer, photographer, award-winning independent radio producer, and creator of a listener-supported podcast called Home of the Brave. His voice is hypnotic, often haunting, perplexed and discomfiting, as he challenges himself and his readers to ask the questions they fear the most.
He was born in Lawrence, Kansas, when Wilt Chamberlain was a Jayhawk; his dad and his doctor had to duck out early to catch a game. His parents moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, when he was about six years old, and he has lived there ever since, an outsider to Utah’s predominantly Mormon culture, often finding refuge in the mountains. In high school, he found his way by playing football. He was too small, but he made the team by lowering his head and attacking without regard for his own safety or the size of his opponent. That ethos has shaped his writing career.
He was educated at the University of Colorado (BA, Anthropology), the University of Utah (MS, Communications) and, briefly, at the Anthropological Film School, an independent program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, specialized in cinema verite – which he left once he realized that while film was too costly to finance himself, he could apply the same principles to radio, which he could learn to do on his own. The next year, 1983, he hitchhiked across the United States, recording interviews with people he met along the way, and showed up unexpected at the door of National Public Radio’s studio in Washington, DC. Within days, a backpack full of raw tape had become his first national radio show. He has since contributed to programs like This American Life, Day to Day, The Story, and All Things Considered. In 2006, he won a Peabody Award for story titled “Crossing Borders,” which aired on Hearing Voices. In 2009, he won a Fellow Award from United States Artists.
He is the author of two books: Prisoner of Zion (Counterpoint, 2013) and Running After Antelope (Counterpoint, 2002). He has contributing writing and photographs to Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone and Mother Jones, among others. His work has been included in various anthologies, including his story “Over There” (Harper’s) in The Best American Travel Writing 2003 (Mariner Books); “Rock the Junta” (Mother Jones) in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007 (Houghton Mifflin); and “The Greatest Fish Story Ever Told,” in Fishing’s Greatest Misadventures (Casagrande Press, 2008).
In 2015, he started producing Home of the Brave, an ongoing independent podcast with about 100,000 subscribers. He has criss-crossed North America, from Tijuana to Yellowstone to the Gulf Coast and traveled as far as Nepal, Honduras, and Dubai, in search of answers about the subjects that disturb him the most, like war and migration, partisanship and self-righteousness, and the state of the planet.
From 2007-13, he taught journalism at Utah Valley University. His numerous speaking engagements include appearances since 2015 at the HearSay International Audio Arts Festival in Kilfinane, Ireland; the Oorzaken Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Symposium at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Los Angeles, CA; Radio Days at the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) Annual Conference in Oslo, Norway; the Department of Communication at the University of Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, B.C.; Dokupodd in Stockholm, Sweden; A Festival Called Panama in Golconda, Tasmania; CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark; Tape Fest II in Brooklyn NY; Union Docs in Brooklyn, NY; and F5 Festival in New York City, NY.
When he’s not writing or producing or teaching or wrestling a deadline, Scott can often be found outside, skiing, camping or hiking with his trusted sidekick, Augie, the cutest puppy ever.