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The Way We Stay Rooted

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FREE
Online
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Wordfest’s Spring storytelling event The Way We Stay Rooted presents three writers whose books take us to the heart of the forest: Lyndsie Bourgon, Cal Flynn, and David George Haskell. Each will perform an open-mic style monologue followed by a Q & A  with series host, Pam Rocker. The hour-long Imagine On Air event starts at 7:00 p.m. MT (The pre-show starts at 6:50 p.m. MT.) The live-stream event is free – and if you RSVP, we'll send you a reminder on the day of the show, as well as our unique Digital Doggie Bag with a watch-on-demand link and bonus extras sparked by the conversations.

We are grateful to Greystone Books and Penguin Random House Canada for helping us connect you with these deeply original voices. 

Three Thieves Book

About Lyndsie Bourgon

Lyndsie Bourgon is a writer, oral historian, and National Geographic Explorer. Her work has appeared in The AtlanticNational GeographicThe GuardianSmithsonian, and Oxford AmericanTree Thieves is her first book. Visit her website at lyndsiebourgon.com and follow her on twitter @lBourgon.

About Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods

Deep in the thickets of North America’s most ancient woodland, timber poachers are felling some of the last remaining old-growth on our continent. Redwoods, cedar, and Douglas fir trees are all victims of poaching. Sold on the black market, they end up in our homes as furniture, souvenirs, and firewood. Stealing timber is a lucrative crime: the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service values stolen timber at $1 billion annually. A community forest in Western Canada experienced so much poaching in 2020 it was declared an “epidemic.”

Islands of Abandonment Book

About Cal Flyn

Cal Flyn is an author, an investigative journalist, and a MacDowell fellow from the Highlands of Scotland. She has worked as a reporter for The Sunday Times and The Telegraph and has contributed to publications including Granta, The Guardian, The Times, The Observer, and others. Her first book, Thicker Than Water, was one of The Times's best books of 2016. Visit her website at calfyn.com.

About Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape

Some of the only truly feral cattle in the world wander a long-abandoned island off the northernmost tip of Scotland. A variety of wildlife not seen in many lifetimes has rebounded on the irradiated grounds of Chernobyl. A lush forest supports thousands of species that are extinct or endangered everywhere else on earth in the Korean peninsula's narrow DMZ.

Cal Flyn, an investigative journalist, exceptional nature writer, and promising new literary voice visits the eeriest and most desolate places on Earth that due to war, disaster, disease, or economic decay, have been abandoned by humans. What she finds every time is an "island" of teeming new life: nature has rushed in to fill the void faster and more thoroughly than even the most hopeful projections of scientists.
 

Islands of Abandonment is a tour through these new ecosystems, in all their glory, as sites of unexpected environmental significance, where the natural world has reasserted its wild power and promise. And while it doesn't let us off the hook for addressing environmental degradation and climate change, it is a case that hope is far from lost, and it is ultimately a story of redemption: the most polluted spots on Earth can be rehabilitated through ecological processes and, in fact, they already are.

Sounds Wild and Broken Book

About David George Haskell

David Haskell’s work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of the natural world. He is a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South and a Guggenheim Fellow. His 2017 book The Songs of Trees won the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing. His 2012 book The Forest Unseen was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and won the 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies, the National Outdoor Book Award, and the Reed Environmental Writing Award. To listen to a collection of sounds from the trees in this book, visit dghaskell.com.

About Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction

A lyrical exploration of the diverse sounds of our planet, the creative processes that produced these marvels, and the perils that sonic diversity now faces.

We live on a planet alive with song, music, and speech. David Haskell explores how these wonders came to be. In rain forests shimmering with insect sound and swamps pulsing with frog calls we learn about evolution’s creative powers. From birds in the Rocky Mountains and on the streets of Paris, we discover how animals learn their songs and adapt to new environments. Below the waves, we hear our kinship to beings as different as snapping shrimp, toadfish, and whales. In the startlingly divergent sonic vibes of the animals of different continents, we experience the legacies of plate tectonics, the deep history of animal groups and their movements around the world, and the quirks of aesthetic evolution.

Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, Haskell illuminates and celebrates the emergence of the varied sounds of our world. In mammoth ivory flutes from Paleolithic caves, violins in modern concert halls, and electronic music in earbuds, we learn that human music and language belong within this story of ecology and evolution. Yet we are also destroyers, now silencing or smothering many of the sounds of the living Earth. Haskell takes us to threatened forests, noise-filled oceans, and loud city streets, and shows that sonic crises are not mere losses of sensory ornament. Sound is a generative force, and so the erasure of sonic diversity makes the world less creative, just, and beautiful. The appreciation of the beauty and brokenness of sound is therefore an important guide in today’s convulsions and crises of change and inequity.

Sounds Wild and Broken is an invitation to listen, wonder, belong, and act.

About Host Pam Rocker

Pam Rocker is a native Texan turned Albertan, atypical activist, award winning writer, speaker, and musician. Rocker has worked for over a decade for the full inclusion of LGBTQ2S+ people in faith communities and beyond. She was chosen as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Calgary, and as one of the top 30 activists in Canada. She was a frequent panelist on CBC Radio's Unconventional Panel, is the Chair of Broadview Magazine, and an Instructor with YouthWrite Alberta and YOUth Riot. Rocker is currently the Director of Affirming Connections, performs queer feminist ukulele comedy music, and speaks and plays across in the US and Canada.

Visit her at www.pamrocker.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @realpamrocker.

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