Wilderness Plots began in 1983 as a book of 50 short tales by award winning Midwestern author Scott Russell Sanders. These stories trace the settlement of the Ohio Valley between the American Revolution and the Civil War, while meditating on the cost of that transformation to native people, enslaved people, wildlife, and forests. The book was out of print when singer/songwriter Tim Grimm found a copy in a used bookstore. He read a few tales and began hearing songs. Inspired, he shared the book with fellow members of a songwriter's group who took up the challenge to write new songs based on Sanders's tales. The members of the group—Krista Detor, Tim Grimm, Carrie Newcomer, Tom Roznowski, and Michael White— each found fertile ground in Wilderness Plots for several songs of remarkable variety. The result was a record album released in spring 2007—Wilderness Plots.
Since that time these gifted writers and performers have worked with director Jan Lucas to stage a live version of Wilderness Plots that, in addition to over 20 songs, includes Scott Russell Sanders reading from his own work. This version of Wilderness Plots was shot on the campus of Indiana University in June 2011.