Author Barry Lopez to Pledge Allegiance to the Planet

Barry Lopez, March 24, 2003, McKenzie River, Oregon

Barry Lopez, March 24, 2003, McKenzie River, Oregon

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – National Book Award-winning author Barry Lopez, the author of Arctic Dreams and twelve other works of fiction and nonfiction, will speak on “A Different Kind of Citizenship: Maintaining Good Relations with the Earth,” at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center tonight (Thursday, September 22, 2011) at 8, in a program sponsored by Project Native. The talk will be preceded by a gathering at Castle Street Cafe celebrating Project Native’s 10th anniversary, honoring local environmentalist George Wislocki and featuring Lopez.

For many people, the idea of serving a nation state has lost much of its meaning. Another sort of allegiance is emerging to replace it. It’s visible as a local but also as a transcending citizenship, ecologically aware and ethically informed. This new citizen’s primary allegiance is to humanity and the Earth. The work of Project Native and similar organizations is part of this different kind of citizenship — acting on a local level to enhance the integrity of the larger whole, the world of people living and working beyond our local borders.

Lopez is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award, Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals, and eight works of fiction, including Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes, and Resistance. His essays are collected in two books, Crossing Open Ground and About This Life. He contributes regularly to Granta, The Georgia Review, Orion, Outside, The Paris Review, Manoa and other publications in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, including Best American Essays, Best Spiritual Writing, and the “best” collections from National Geographic, Outside, The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, and other periodicals.

His most recent book is Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, a reader’s dictionary of regional landscape terms, which he edited with Debra Gwartney.

In his nonfiction,. Lopez writes often about the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture. In his fiction, he frequently addresses issues of intimacy, ethics, and identity. His first stories were published in 1966. He has been a full-time writer since leaving graduate school in 1970 but occasionally accepts invitations to teach and lecture. He has been the Welch Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Glenn Distinguished Professor at Washington & Lee, has taught fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and travels regularly to Texas Tech University where he is the university’s Visiting Distinguished Scholar.

Lopez is a recipient of awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and many other institutions and foundations. He was recently named the 2011 Honorary Geographer of the Year by the Association of American Geographers. He lives with his wife, Debra Gwartney, in Oregon.

FOR TICKETS: Purchase online at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center or at Project Native’s Nursery & Garden Shop

$20 General Admission / $10 Students and Youth Under 18




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