Dedicated to outdoor experiences of discovery, learning, and wonder, Kirkmont Center is proud to welcome nationally acclaimed writer Barry Lopez, and wife and Home Ground Managing Editor Debra Gwartney, for a weekend of conversation and community September 12 and 13. Each day features a presentation by Lopez. These presentations are free and open to the public with a reservation; meals and additional activities, as well as more informal time with Lopez, are available at a day or weekend rate. Click here for registration information.
The weekend will feature a presentation on Saturday on the book Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape. Home Ground is an anthology of terms about the land. Many writers came together to contribute to this book in which terms like fen, a series of mucky lowlands and home to water loving plants that decay to form peat, and race, a current of water flowing quickly through a narrow or restricted channel, are fully defined, and some terms illustrated. Lopez began Home Ground seeking to help himself and readers “gain – or regain – a sense of allegiance with our chosen places, and along with that a sense of affirmation with our neighbors that the place we’ve chosen is beautiful, subtle, profound, and worthy of our lives.” Much of our language about land today is “collapsing toward an attenuated list of almost non-descript words – valley, lake, mountain.” By revisiting the words we use and using words that are more descriptive and specific to the land and water features around us, we might better connect with the places and spaces that we enjoy and which we need to survive.
Sunday’s session features a second work, The Writer and Social Responsibility. We all write. “Writing is a form of remembering who we are, were or want to be – a process of integration to fight every day’s tendency toward disintegration.” (Lopez on writing.) It is a way that we can communicate, create meaning, and tell stories. Lopez’s purpose in writing is to come along readers, and together examine how we might be more kind to one another and to the world in which we live. Lopez will share some of his insights as a writer, and provide participants with ideas to use our words – – from notes in a child’s lunch box to a speech given to a packed room – – to make a positive difference in our world.