Barry Lopez — a guest post by Bill Gholson

“If I have a subject it is justice and the rediscovery that our lives are shaped through reverence.”—Barry Lopez on Bill Moyers’ Journal

Barry Lopez, Oregon resident, and “arguably the nation’s premier nature writer” will be giving a reading in Ashland Friday, April 20th at 7:30 pm at the AHS Mountain Avenue Theatre as part of the Ashland Chautauqua Poets & Writers series.

Lopez’s work stretches over 40 years and includes numerous magazine articles, collaborations with others, and both fiction and nonfiction books. Among his many works, his fiction includes Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven (1976), Crow and Weasel (1990), and Resistance (2004), an Oregon Book Award Winner. In nonfiction, his works include Of Wolves and Men (1978), a National Book Award Finalist, Artic Dreams (1986), a National Book Award Winner and Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape with Debra Gwartney (2010).

In addition to his National Book Award honors, Lopez has also won numerous other awards such as the Lannon Literary Award, The John Burroughs Medal, two Pushcart awards, five National Science Foundation Antarctica Fellowships and a John Hay Medal.
Lopez is primarily concerned with human cultures and their relationships to the physical landscape. He studies and writes about culture and landscape in most of his work and believes the capacity for vulnerability in people must be nurtured to confront “a world beyond human knowing, an essential mystery.”

He writes about the importance of human relations and community in facing our vulnerability. In community with other humans and with the larger world, he believes humans can achieve a state of grace that “we can do better than what we have.”
In his Bill Moyers’ interview, when asked what enabled him to become the writer he is, Lopez answered by saying, “I had really good teachers who woke up the capacity for metaphor and writing as one way of knowing the world.”

In addition to his Friday reading, Lopez will be working with high school and college students in a writing workshop.

Bill Gholson is a Professor of English and writing at Southern Oregon University, where he teaches memoir, creative non-fiction and environmental writing, among other things.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology was released by Oxford University Press in June of 2014.
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