Reading and discussion with author Barry Lopez |

Reading and discussion with author Barry Lopez

The Center for the Arts Literary Committee is presents a reading, book signing and commentary, “The Writer and Social Responsibility,” with award-winning author and photographer Barry Lopez on Friday, Oct. 8.

Lopez will give a writing workshop at a private residence on the Yuba River on Saturday.

Nevada County poet Molly Fisk will introduce Lopez.

In a special pre-event at 7 p.m. the Yuba Watershed Institute will share regional wild food and art including appetizers, drinks and desserts made from wild native plants.

Lopez is an essayist, author and short-story writer, and has traveled extensively. He 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.

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, 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 was most recently given the honor of being Bill Moyers’ final interview on his last episode of “Bill Moyers Journal” on PBS.

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.

Lopez, who was active as a landscape photographer prior to 1981, maintains close ties with a diverse community of artists. He has collaborated with composer John Luther Adams on several theater and concert productions, has spoken at exhibitions of the work of sculptor Michael Singer and photographer Robert Adams, and has written about painter Alan Magee, artists Lillian Pitt and Rick Bartow, and potter Richard Rowland.

He has collaborated with playwright Jim Leonard Jr. on a production of his illustrated fable Crow and Weasel, which opened at The Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, and worked on a production of Coyote at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. The play is based on his book Giving Birth to Thunder.

Lopez is a recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the John Hay Medal, Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundation fellowships, Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction and other honors. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of The Explorers Club.

Lopez grew up in Southern California and New York City and attended college in the Midwest before moving to Oregon, where he has lived since 1968.

This event is supported by Poets & Writers Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation.

Inner Workings: Making Small, Effective Changes in Your Prose.

When the structure of an essay or short story seems solid enough, when ideas, images, and scenes are building well toward a conclusion, the piece can be made more vivid and memorable by employing some of the techniques poets rely on.

Join the Yuba Watershed Institute in a special pre-event, 7-8 p.m. in the lobby, to recognize the wild food and art of this area and welcome Barry Lopez to the community. Taste complimentary appetizers, drinks and desserts made from wild native plants, including Oak Nut gingerbread, Manzanita crackers, Oak Nut Bliss Bars, Winter Squash Pie with Oak Nut Crust and Toyon Cider.

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