Kimmerer, R.W. 2003. Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. Oregon State University Press. Winner of the 2005 John Burroughs Medal
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.
In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.
Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. - (from OSU Press)
(photo from Studio Petrichor)
Robin Wall Kimmerer serves as Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director, Center for Native Peoples at the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry. She emphasizes her identities as a mother, plant ecologist, professor, and writer. Of great importance to her and a driving force behind her work is her identity as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, which inspires her work not only toward restoration of ecological communities, but also toward restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.
Kimmerer,R.W. 2013. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions October 2013.
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return. - (from Milkweed Editions)
Inquiries regarding speaking engagements with Robin Wall Kimmerer, please contact Christie Hinrichs at Authors Unbound email@example.comWhat Does the Earth Ask of Us? Center for Humans and Nature Questions for a Resilient Future - Robin Wall Kimmerer on YouTube - https://youtu.be/y4nUobJEEWQ
Richard Powers is an international man of mystery. From his preteen days living in Thailand while his father ran a school there to his love of European and ex-pat modern and postmodern literature and those authors’ influence on his own writing, dynamics and movement have been an integral part of his life. His face and physique, the soulful depth of his eyes, can remind one of Stephen King, which hopefully would please both authors, especially since they each write complex characters into stories that invite readers to be a part of all that’s going on. With a certain melancholia to his own personal life, somewhat remediated by his sudden moves from country to country or by the vomitous production of a new novel, Powers lives through his characters, living into the persona he has researched, dreamed, experienced. Sometimes, the feminine voice and experience flows more naturally and powerfully than the male from Powers’s pen, and that is a great beauty. (photo from babelio.com)
Powers, Richard. The Overstory. W. W. Norton & Company, 2018.
Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post, Time, Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and Amazon Best Book of the Year
The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From
the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the
Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe. (from richardpowers.net
Theodor Seuss Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss—is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. From The Cat in the Hat to Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, his iconic characters, stories, and art style have been a lasting influence on generations of children and adults. The books he wrote and illustrated under the name Dr. Seuss (and others that he wrote but did not illustrate, including some under the pseudonyms Theo. LeSieg and Rosetta Stone) have been translated into 30 languages. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. Dr. Seuss’s long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck; the Pulitzer Prize; and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys, and a Peabody. - (from Penguin Random House) (image from Legal Bytes)
Dr. Seuss. Lorax, The. Random House, 1971.
Celebrate nature with Dr. Seuss and the Lorax in this classic picture book about protecting the environment!
I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
“Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” –President Barack Obama (from Scholastic)
Formally trained artist with a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philly and an MA from Yale, Lynne Cherry has written and illustrated many children’s books and educational films. Her books and illustrations take on a creative approach to sharing a message of hope and activism with our youngest community members. Cherry has created curriculum models and travels to schools and teacher conferences demonstrating how her books can be used as lessons for young children (and adults) in environmental awareness, conservation, renewal, and love. (photo from Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital)
Cherry, Lynne. The Great Kapok Tree. Voyager Books, 2000.
Author and illustrator Lynne Cherry’s book The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest (Gulliver Green, 1990) focuses on South America’s Amazon rainforest. Cherry visited the rainforest to create sketches and to develop her story. The inside covers of the book include a world map depicting the current and original extent of the rainforest regions. The first page explains the complex layers of the rainforest and how the kapok tree stands among the “community of animals.” The book is dedicated to Chico Mendes, the murdered Brazilian union and environmental activist “who gave his life in order to preserve a part of the rainforest.” My students were always captivated with the story, about a man who is ordered to chop down a kapok tree but dozes off while resting from the hard labor. Each creature, from a tiny insect to a mighty jaguar, explains the importance of the tree, including holding the soil in place during heavy rains, providing food and shelter, and producing oxygen.
Cherry includes the theme of the book toward the end when the anteater whispers to the man, “What happens tomorrow depends upon what you do today.” The causes of deforestation are not provided, but students could research this as well as learn about the products in their own lives that originated in tropical rainforests. Students can write letters of support and raise funds for organizations working to prevent deforestation. (from White, Jeanne. "Continent Ecology - Rethinking Schools". Rethinking Schools, 2020, https://rethinkingschools.org/articles/continent-ecology/. Accessed 17 Sept 2020.)
Stephen A. Jurovics holds BS and MS degrees from Columbia University and a PhD in Engineering from the University of Southern California. He has had about 20 technical papers published over the years and given numerous presentations at professional conferences. Aspects of climate change mitigation have been the focus of his engineering work for more than two decades. (Church Publishing, Inc.) (photo from hospitableplanet.com)
Jurvics, Stephen A. Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, And Climate Change. Morehouse, 2016.
Filling the Religious and Secular Gap in Climate Change
Most books about climate change that include a religious argument do not address what individuals can do to help our society transform from fossil fuel use, other than changing personal behavior—and readers suspect that will likely not suffice. Thus, some readers are left feeling disheartened. In contrast, books that primarily address the environmental issues have limited appeal to people motivated more by faith than science, thereby leaving out many who could bring us to that tipping point. Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change seeks to fill the gap in religious and secular texts by providing both a compelling biblical case for action on climate change and by identifying substantive measures to mitigate climate change and how to achieve their implementation. (from hospitableplanet.com )
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)
A singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, award-winning children’s writer, and actor, Shel Silverstein grew up in Chicago. He started out as a cartoonist, publishing work in Playboy and the military publication Stars & Stripes, before turning to children’s books. Silverstein is the author and illustrator of numerous books, including The Giving Tree (1964), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981), and Falling Up (1996). His books have been commended for their appeal to both adults and children. (from poetryfoundation.org ) (photo from wideopencountry.com )
Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. Harper Collins, 1964.
Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.
So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.
Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.
(from shelsilverstein.com )