The 2015 Geography of Hope Conference was a wonderful experience! Thanks to our co-sponsors, to the presenters, to the field trip leaders, and to everyone who attended.
Since 2008, Point Reyes Books has sponsored one of northern California’s most exceptional literary gatherings. The biennial Geography of Hope Conference brings together leading writers and activists in the coastal village of Point Reyes Station for a three-day feast of readings, discussions, and activities to inspire and deepen an understanding of the relationships between people and place.
Authors Robin Wall Kimmerer and Kathleen Dean Moore co-chaired the 2015 gathering. A fierce compassion for the well-being of the Earth illuminates the writing of both women and helps deepen an understanding of the relationship between people and place. They were joined by a dozen or more of the country’s most admired writers who also use language—whether poetry, fiction, or literary non-fiction—to express a sense of urgency about environmental concerns.
“Facing down the forces that would irredeemably disrupt the life-sustaining systems of the world will take the greatest exercise of the human heart and mind the world has ever seen,” says co-chair Moore. “We will need to listen to all the voices – urban and rural, young and elderly, north and south, and especially to the voices of women, the keepers of the seeds. We will need to mobilize all our human capacities – to celebrate and to grieve, to dread and to take heart, to embrace and to resist, to radically re-imagine who we are and how we live. In the coming time of storms, it may be that this is the new geography of hope.”
The conference takes its name from Wallace Stegner’s famous “Wilderness Letter” to Congress in support of the 1964 Wilderness Act. In it he described wild landscapes as part of our “geography of hope.” Building on that, the 2015 gathering will be a conversation about how to map out a new geography of hope.
The Geography of Hope Conference features panels and conversations held in a hay barn and in the West Marin elementary school gymnasium as well as art exhibits and installations at local galleries. Naturalist-led field trips to Point Reyes National Seashore let participants experience the land firsthand. Additional field trips go to privately owned farms and ranches in West Marin. Meals feature delicious food from Marin’s farms and ranches served family-style.
Geography of Hope Conference Refund Policy: Cancellations made prior to March 1, 2015, will be charged a $50.00 fee. No refunds will be given on cancellations made after March 1, 2015.
For questions regarding the conference, please call (415) 663-1003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Kat Anderson; Camille Dungy; Gretel Ehrlich; Carolyn Finney; Susan Griffin; Robert Hass; Brenda Hillman; Wendy Johnson; Robin Wall Kimmerer; Kathleen Dean Moore; Melissa K. Nelson; Ann Pancake; Claire Peaslee; Rhiannon; Kim Stanley Robinson; Lauret Savoy; Rebecca Solnit, Priscilla Ybarra. Updated information about participating writers and details of programming will be posted as they become available.
Sponsors help make the Geography of Hope Conference possible. A wide variety of sponsorship opportunities are available this year. Contact Steve Costa by email at email@example.com for details about how you can join the Center for Humans and Nature and the US Forest Service and others in supporting the 2015 gathering.
Work exchange and volunteer opportunities are now available. Volunteers will be part of a carefully planned working team. Various levels of work/trade facilitate free admission for conference events: a commitment of three hours earns admission to one panel; five hours earn admission for one day; and fifteen hours earn admission to the full three-day conference. Evening meals are not included. Volunteers who are able to commit to fifteen hours of work-trade will be given priority. Every effort will be made to schedule work times that enable volunteers to attend the events of their choice. Click here for volunteer application forms.
Toby's Feed Barn Gallery showing “Mapping a New Geography of Hope: Women and the Land," our signature art event. Curated by Tracy Taylor Grubbs. A juried selection of artworks from painting to sculpture to fabric arts that meditates on and extends the conference theme and touches on its psychological, political and spiritual implications. Featured artists: Marna G. Clarke; Inez Storer; Tim Burns; Sirima Sataman; Ann Gessert; Eric Oldmixon; Jill Tisdale: Judith Selby Lang; Terra Fuller; Chris Reding; Toni Littlejohn; Christina Desser; Quincy Cardinale.
Hours: Opening reception March 7, 2 to 4 p.m.; open during Toby’s Feed Barn normal business hours and during Geography of Hope evening events on March 13 and 14. Closes March 31.
Location: Toby's Feed Barn Gallery, 11250 State Highway One, Point Reyes Station
Contact: Tracy Grubbs, www.tracygrubbs.com
Art by the Bay Weekend Gallery presents "Earth Connections," bringing together a group of women expressive abstract painters hailing from different parts of the world. The images manifest the artists’ feelings about hope and the earth. Featured artists: Susan Brayton, Wem-Hui Shen, Pam Fabry, and Ayumi Weissbuch.
Hours: Opening reception Sunday, March 8, 3 to 5 p.m.; weekends, noon to 5 p.m. through April 12 and by appointment.
Location: 18856 State Highway One, Marshall (across from Tony’s Seafood)
Contact: Lorraine Almeida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernesto Sanchez Studio A solo exhibit by local artist Ernesto Sanchez, "Sacred Feminine, Women and Earth." Using sculpture, masks and altars, Sanchez’s art installation highlights the sacred feminine and celebrates the shared role of women and the earth as givers and supporters of life.
Hours: Open to the public noon to 5 p.m., March 13–15.
Location: 11101 State Highway One, Point Reyes Station (next to the Café Reyes outdoor patio)
Contact: Ernesto Sanchez, email@example.com
Gallery Route One presents “Unearthing: 2 WEAD Artists, George-Ann Bowers and Reenie Charriere” in the Project Space.
Hours: February 6 to March 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays); Artist salon and conversation with the artists on Sunday, March 15 from 4 to 5 p.m.
Location: 11101 State Highway One, Point Reyes Station
Contact: Vickisa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Yellow House showing “Ranch Women.” Photographs by Art Rogers from more than 40 years of the photographer's archives of ranch women, young and old, with commentaries by Elizabeth Whitney.
Hours: March 13 through March 15; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: At the corner of Main & 4th Streets, Point Reyes Station
Contact: Art Rogers, email@example.com
Red Barn Art Gallery showing “Connections.” Art Contemporary Marin presents an exhibition featuring women environmental artists with paintings, photographs, mixed media, and artists’ books honoring area birds, animals, plants, insects, and sea life. Jacqueline Mallegni’s outdoor sculpture will be visible from the road. Featured artists: Pamela Blotner; Hagit Cohen; Mary Mountcastle Eubank; Deborah Kennedy; Marie-Luise Klotz; Jacqueline Mallegni; Renee Owen; Virginia Stearns; Judith Selby; Patti Trimble; Zea Morvitz, and more.
Hours: Opening reception Friday, March 13, noon to 4 p.m. Also open Sunday, March 15, noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed holidays and as otherwise noted. For appointments, phone 415-464-5125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: Bear Valley Road at the entrance to Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters, Olema
Contact: Claudia Chapline, 415-868-2308, email@example.com
West Marin School Gymnasium is the setting for a specially curated version of The Lexicon of Sustainability, a project created by Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton to illuminate the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture. The Lexicon of Sustainability™ educates, engages, and activates people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. This special exhibit is open to attendees of the Geography of Hope Conference only. Not open to the public.
Hours: Saturday, March 14
Contact: Laura Howard-Gayeton, Laura@lexiconofsustainability.com
About the Geography of Hope
Since 2008, the coastal village of Point Reyes Station, California, has been home to one of northern California’s most exceptional literary festivals. Founded and presented by Point Reyes Books, Geography of Hope takes its name from Wallace Stegner’s famous description of wild landscapes as part of our “geography of hope.” The 2015 gathering will feature a dozen or more of the country’s most admired writers who use poetry, fiction, or literary non-fiction to express a sense of urgency about environmental concerns and a fierce compassion for the well-being of the Earth.
About Black Mountain Circle
Black Mountain Circle is a California nonprofit organization created by Point Reyes Books to explore the relationships between the arts, spirit, story, and place. The Circle serves as the fiscal sponsor of the bi-annual Geography of Hope Conference, the literary journal the West Marin Review, and an expanded set of programs hosted at the Point Reyes Presbyterian Church and elsewhere, including author events, retreats, films, book groups, and writing workshops for youths and adults.
For questions regarding the conference, please call (415) 663-1003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 13, 2015 Past Event
|(Morning)||Attendees pick up Conference packets at Dance Palace|
|10 am–noon||Location: Dance Palace Community Center, 503 B Street, Point Reyes Station|
|11 am–4 pm||
Guided field trips: All trips meet at Dance Palace at staggered starting times, depending on location; each field trip is about 4 hours long. All field trips are led by women naturalists, ranchers, and farmers who will be accompanied by GOH authors.
Field trips will take place rain or shine. Weather is changeable in West Marin. All field trip participants are advised to dress in layers and bring rain gear, water, and snacks. Binoculars optional. Parking at field trip sites is limited, and carpooling from the Dance Palace is required.
Field trips are limited to 15 participants each. Those with too few participants may be cancelled. If that happens to your selected field trip/s, you will be notified so you can make another choice.
|(Evening)||Location: Toby’s Feed Barn, 11250 Highway One, Point Reyes Station|
|5 pm||Opening reception: local wines, cheese, music, visit GOH art exhibit in Toby’s Feed Barn Gallery|
|6 pm||Casual Mexican supper featuring foods from Marin’s farms|
Invocation: Joanne Campbell, Coast Miwok Elder
Welcome: Kate Levinson and Steve Costa, co-owners Point Reyes BooksKeynote: Mapping a New Geography of Hope, Kathleen Dean Moore, co-chair GOH
Vocal Artist Rhiannon sends us off into the night
Saturday, March 14 Past Event
|(Morning)||Location: West Marin School, 11550 Highway One, Point Reyes Station|
|8:30||Doors open for coffee/mingling/registration|
|9–9:20||Welcome & Opening Talk: Robin Wall Kimmerer|
|9:30–4:30||Panels feature our wonderful presenters in conversation with each other and the audience discussing the conference theme from many perspectives.|
|9:30||Panel Options 1 / 2|
|Panel Option #1||What is the Work of a Writer in a Wounded World?
Moderating: Ann Pancake
Conversing: Gretel Ehrlich; Brenda Hillman; Kim Stanley Robinson
|Panel Option #2||What Are Women’s Gifts & Responsibilities in the Work against Carbon Catastrophe?
Moderating: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Conversing: Susan Griffin; Lauret Savoy; Rebecca Solnit
|11:00||Panel Options 3 / 4|
|Panel Option #3||What Does it Mean to Love a Place? What Does that Love Require of Us?
Moderating: Kathleen Dean Moore
Conversing: Robert Hass; Ann Pancake; Priscilla Ybarra
|Panel Option #4||What Are the Metaphors We Need for a New World?
Moderating: Melissa Nelson
Conversing: Kat Anderson; Carolyn Finney; Robin Wall Kimmerer
|(Afternoon)||Location: West Marin School, 11550 Highway One, Point Reyes Station|
|12:15–2pm||Lunch break; pick up bag lunches outside gymnasium; gather with your selected lunch group and proceed to designated lunch site. Two conference presenters will be paired at each group, leading a conversation in which all are invited to participate.
|12:30||Lunch Conversation: What do we love too much to lose? What will we do to protect it?
Location: various sites around Point Reyes Station; walking required to off-campus locations; maps provided.
|1:45||Return to gymnasium|
|2 pm||Vocal Artist Rhiannon|
|2:15||Panel Options 5 / 6|
|Panel Option #5||The Great Turning / Women as Cranks
Moderating: Brenda Hillman
Conversing: Camille Dungy; Susan Griffin; Wendy Johnson
|Panel Option #6||The Dance of Love & Fear: Stories of Resistance & Resilience
Moderating: Lauret Savoy
Conversing: Gretel Ehrlich; Carolyn Finney; Priscilla Ybarra
|3:10||Stretch break and re-convening of entire group in gymnasium|
|When Rivers Change Direction: Eddies, Upwellings, and Avulsions
Moderating: Bob Hass
Conversing: Kathleen Dean Moore; Melissa Nelson; Kim Stanley Robinson; Rebecca Solnit
|(Evening)||Location: Toby’s Feed Barn, 11250 Highway One, Point Reyes Station|
|6 pm||Delicious, locally sourced supper in the barn|
Program of readings, stories, and song with Brenda Hillman, Camille Dungy, Ann Pancake, and Rebecca Solnit
Vocal Artist Rhiannon sends us off into the night
Sunday, March 15 Past Event
|(Morning)||Location: Toby’s Feed Barn, 11250 Highway One, Point Reyes Station|
|9 am||Doors open for coffee/mingling|
|In Conversation: West Marin Women and the Land
Moderating: Wendy Johnson
Conversing: Joanne Campbell; Liz Cunninghame; Laura Howard-Gayeton; Agustina Martinez; Claire Peaslee
|11||Closing Circle and Call to Action: The Declaration of the New Geography of Hope|
|noon||2015 GOH Conference ends|
For questions regarding the conference, please call (415) 663-1003 or email email@example.com
The Working Landscape
1. Corn, Beans, Squash & the Environment
Tour this innovative 6-acre farm and teaching program, and participate in an interactive program on the relationship between organic farming and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. The focus is our shared work of growing the sacred crop trio of corn, beans and squash and on the role of native foodways in revitalizing indigenous health while preserving environmental integrity and biological diversity.
Wendy Johnson has practiced Zen meditation and led meditation retreats nationwide for three decades. She was a founder of the Organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin, which inspired her book Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate. She has taught gardening and environmental education since the early 1980s.
Melissa Nelson is a cultural ecologist, writer, media-maker, public speaker, indigenous scholar-activist, and associate professor of American Indian Studies at SF State University. She is Anishinaabe/Métis/Norwegian, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and president of the Cultural Conservancy, a Native-led indigenous rights organization. She edited Original Instructions—Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future.
2. The Whole Humming World of Backyard Restoration Gardening
Join proprietor and author Judith Lowry at the Larner Seeds Demonstration Garden, Nursery, and Shop, where Lowry has worked for 35 years to restore and enhance habitat. Ongoing projects such as “The Bare Dirt Meadow” and “The Bolinas Hedge,” as well as a wild food component offer solutions to garden conundrums, while providing a lively textbook in garden design and in the ecology of California. Native foods will be sampled.
Judith Larner Lowry has owned Larner Seeds for 35 years, working with and designing landscapes for those who want to experience the joys of California flora in their own backyards. She has written three books: Gardening with a Wild Heart, The Landscaping Ideas of Jays, and California Foraging.
3. A Tale of Two Farms: History, Innovation & Sustainability
Toluma Farms/Tomales Farmstead Cheese is a 160-acre organic farm and farmstead creamery surrounded by coastal farmlands. Learn about its evolution from defunct cow dairy to modern goat and sheep dairy, taste award-winning cheeses, and play with newborn kids and lambs. On the 1000-acre Thornton Ranch, fifth-generation rancher Marissa Thornton continues the agricultural legacy of her Irish immigrant ancestors who established a dairy in 1852. She has revitalized it with 120 East Friesian sheep and 20 Jersey cows and sells the milk to Bleating Heart Cheese Company. Learn the history of the ranch and Marissa’s plans for a rich future in sustainable agriculture.
Tamara Hicks and David Jablons (with their daughters, Josy and Emmy) purchased their 160-acre property in 2003. They focused first on land restoration, then transitioned to an Animal Welfare-Approved goat and sheep dairy. Their Tomales Farmstead Creamery has been making award-winning goat and sheep cheeses since 2013.
Marissa Thornton has plans for a rich future in sustainable agriculture. Her ancestors immigrated from Ireland more than 150 years ago, founded the town of Marshall, and settled in Tomales. Now Marissa is revitalizing the former dairy with her own Jersey cows and as host of the Bleating Heart Cheese business.
4. Maximizing Edibility, Enriching Lives, Protecting Salmon and the Soil
Gospel Flat Farm, a beautiful and diverse farm on the Bolinas Lagoon, grows vegetables for sale at a self-tending honor stand that’s also a cultural hub for art shows and musical performances. Paradise Valley Produce was one of the first certified organic farms in California and the first farm to be certified Salmon Safe. Even Wendell Berry and Prince Charles have visited to learn how Sandy and Dennis Dierks improve the soil with compost and microbes.
Sandy Dierks moved to Marin in the mid-70's, after growing up in LA and designing clothes for the Hollywood crowd. “I wanted a simpler life to grow a healthy family. We had no running water or electricity, used a woodburning stove, a composting toilet, started an organic farm, and had home births, while building a house from recycled wood with little money. The land gave us everything.”
Bronwyn Halsey Murch helps her husband, Mickey run Gospel Flat Farm, his family’s 30-year-old farm—from driving the tractor during planting season, to organizing events including baby music classes, gourmet dinners, progressive art exhibits, and musical happenings—all while chasing after their three adorable kids.
5. Growing Organically on a Historic Dairy
The L Ranch is one of the oldest intact dairy ranches in Point Reyes National Seashore, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it’s operated by Jolynn McClelland, a fourth-generation Point Reyes rancher who transitioned it to organic. Learn how she runs the dairy, handles the animals, and what her hopes are for the future.
Jolynn Mendoza McClelland is a life-long resident of the Point Reyes peninsula and the granddaughter of the late Joe Mendoza, Sr. She and her brother Jarrod converted the Mendoza Dairy (including the historic B and L Ranches in Point Reyes National Seashore) to organic in 2008. She lives with her husband Robert and their two young sons. Jolynn will be joined by cousin Betty Nunes who operates the historic A and E ranches which are among the oldest dairy ranches in Point Reyes National Seashore. A third-generation rancher who grew up in Chileno Valley, Betty came to Point Reyes in 1958 when she married George Nunes. Since George's death, Betty has operated the organic dairy with the help of her family.
6. Climate Change & Carbon Farming: Marin Carbon Project
Visit Nicasio Native Grass Ranch where Marin Carbon Project works to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, farmland, and forest soils. Its vision is for agricultural landowners and land managers to serve as stewards of soil health and undertake carbon farming to improve productivity and viability, enhance ecosystem functions, and stop and reverse climate change. Calla Rose Ostrander is developing the Phoenix Project concept for San Francisco to create a demonstration of potential for the urban/agriculture relationship.
Calla Rose Ostrander is currently developing the Phoenix Project concept for the city of San Francisco, and is pulling together every aspect of the work that I have been involved with for the last seven years to create a demonstration of the urban/ agriculture relationship which includes the Fibershed Project.
John Wick co-founded the Marin Carbon Project in 2007 on his Marin County ranch. John continues to work on stopping and reversing the climate crisis by developing scientifically established restorative agricultural practices to be promoted and distributed through existing local, regional, and national organizations, agencies, and institutions.
The Natural Landscape
7. Biological Diversity on the Point Reyes Headlands
Join marine ecologist Sarah Allen to observe the exceptional marine biological diversity of the California Ocean Current that occurs off Point Reyes Headlands. Migrating California Gray Whales, Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, California Sea Lions, and thousands of seabirds can be seen. Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots and Common Murres will be starting to nest on the rocky cliffs, and hundreds of newly weaned Elephant Seal pups will be visible in nearby coves.
Sarah Allen has studied marine birds and mammals in California for more than 30 years and studied penguins for two winters in Antarctica. She received advanced degrees from the UC Berkeley. Recent publications include the UC Press field guide Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast and a Bay Nature article on Orcas.
8. Listening To Gaia
A visit to Limantour Beach can nourish human beings with an ever-new geography of hope—with ways to hold and view questions such as those at the heart of our conference. Encounter the beauty and life at this edge of Point Reyes Peninsula—tides, wave trains, and weather rolling onshore; kelp, sand crabs, and shorebirds; the unanticipated. Gather insight there, and also inspiration.
Claire Peaslee Point Reyes is the field for Claire's life inquiries—the home place that led her to immerse in the living world. Along with serving on the staff of Point Blue Conservation Science, Claire celebrates the Earth, has a life practice in improvisation, and continually explores Point Reyes.
9. It Takes an Otter to Raise a Salmon to Raise a Redwood…
From the headwaters to the ocean, salmon, river otters, and redwoods each play a part in the flow of energy and nutrients through the Lagunitas watershed. Join naturalist Megan Isadore, Executive Director of the River Otter Ecology Project and long-time salmon-stalker, on a walk along Lagunitas Creek and a discussion of the complicated, elusive, and breathtakingly beautiful webs of relationships so vital to our watersheds and our lives.
Megan Isadore is co-founder and Executive Director of the River Otter Ecology Project. A watershed naturalist, wildlife rehabilitator, and writer, she believes that to live in community with the land and all its creatures, we humans must look with sustained and gentle attention to the places we inhabit.
10. Nurturing the Wild Plantswoman or Plantsman Within
Respectful gathering, stewardship, processing, and use of plants invite great intimacy with place. Take an ethnobotanical walk with M. Kat Anderson and Bert Johnson as they point out wild plants of wide geographic distribution. Examine universal tending techniques such as seed dispersal, tillage, knocking, pruning, and burning. Try out gathering tools. Look outward to our relationship with wild plants, but also look inward with activities that help get us in touch with our indigenous roots.
M. Kat Anderson has worked with Native Americans for 30 years, learning how indigenous people gather and steward plants in the wild. Her interests are, in collaboration with tribes, to re-discover cross-cultural connections through wild plant gathering, tending, and ritual, and contribute towards the recovery of our ancient gathering heritage. She wrote Tending the Wild.
Bert Johnson recently retired after 30 years as the Gardener at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley which grows, displays and teaches the preservation of native plants and their natural environments.
11. A Wetlands Restored
From tidal wetland, to cattle pasture, and back again—the Giacomini Wetlands is in its 6th year since restoration. Learn about the site history, wildlife and ecosystem benefits, and how Point Reyes National Seashore uses the Giacomini Wetland as an outdoor learning laboratory.
Leslie Adler Ivanbrook was a biology tech and outreach coordinator for the Point Reyes National Seashore Giacomini Wetlands restoration. Now she designs and leads school field trips for PRNSA, using the wetlands as an outdoor study site. Leslie holds a B.A. from Clark University and an M.S. in Marine Science from SUNY at Stony Brook.
Lorraine Parsons took over management of the Point Reyes National Seashore Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project in 2001 and became the park’s Vegetation Ecologist in 2009. Since then, she has also worked on some of the park's larger dune restoration projects.
12. A Walk on the Art Side
Meet at the Dance Palace (Point Reyes Station): Move beyond text and return to the world of images by visiting local art venues. Take time to examine the work and discuss the questions raised by West Marin artists in response to the Conference theme. Curator Tracy Taylor Grubbs, herself an established artist, leads the tour, which includes our juried exhibit at Toby’s Feed Barn Gallery, as well as visits and discussions at Gallery Route One, The Little Yellow House, Ernesto Sanchez Studio, Art by the Bay Gallery, and the Red Barn Gallery at Point Reyes National Seashore. Detailed descriptions of the exhibits can be found at http://ptreyesbooks.com/goh.
Tracy Taylor Grubbs lives and works in San Francisco and has maintained a part-time residence in Pt. Reyes Station since 2000. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and she has been awarded numerous residencies. In 2013 she was selected for the prestigious John H. Hauberg Fellowship at the Pilchuck School of Glass.
13. Mapping a New Geography of Hope through the Camera Lens
A screening of environmental films by women filmmakers, including:
"Land in Motion—Point Reyes Wilderness": A film by Sarah Gulick
"Silent Spring & Rachel Carson": short film on her legacy to the environmental movement
"Arise," Global women working to save the environment: Selections from the film by Lori Joyce and Candice Orlando
"Peace Process": Linda Pastan poem with music by Joyce Kouffman
"Dryden—The Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game"
"Terra Firma": A film about women, war, and healing on the farm by Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson
Kat Anderson has a passion for nature and ethnobotany. She has worked with Native Americans for 30 years, learning how indigenous people judiciously gather and steward plants in the wild. Her interests are, in collaboration with tribes, to re-discover cross-cultural connections through wild plant gathering, tending, and ritual, and to contribute towards the recovery of our ancient gathering heritage. She is the author of Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources.
Joanne Campbell is descended from Sonoma County families of the Pomo and Coast Miwok tribes and serves on the Graton Rancheria Tribal Council. She works with the Tribe to revitalize the Coast Miwok language and perpetuate the fine art of basketry. She also worked as a public health nurse in San Francisco for more than 30 years before retiring in 1992.
Claire Cummings is an award-winning author, broadcast journalist, and lawyer. She practiced environmental and native land rights law before turning to writing as a vehicle for social change. She is currently working on a book about her work with traditional native people and their sacred lands. She joins Gretel Ehrlich for the lunch pairing and conversation.
Camille T. Dungy is the author of Smith Blue, Suck on the Marrow, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology. Her honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, a California Book Award silver medal, and a fellowship from the NEA. Dungy is currently a Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.
Gretel Ehrlich wrote, edited, and directed films until 1978, then ranched in Wyoming until 1991 when she was struck by lightning. She gives talks and writes about the global emergency of climate change, and is working on a dance-theatre piece on that subject for director Martha Clarke. She has written 14 books, including Facing the Wave, A Journey in the Wake of a Tsunami which was long-listed for the National Book Awards and chosen as one of the best 10 books in 2013 by Kirkus Review.
Carolyn Finney is a writer, performer, and cultural geographer. The author of Black Faces, White Spaces teaches Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley where she explores how issues of difference impact participation in environmental decision-making processes. Carolyn pursued an acting career for 11 years. Motivated by a backpacking trip around the world and living in Nepal, she returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.
Susan Griffin’s ground-breaking work, Woman and Nature, inspired the eco-feminist movement, one of the first to connect environmentalism with social justice. A Chorus of Stones, the Private Life of War, was a NY Times Notable Book, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Award. Her play, Voices, won an Emmy. Utne Reader named her one of 100 visionaries for the new millennium. She teaches philosophy and creative writing at the University of California, CIIS, Stanford, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and privately.
Robert Hass is a poet, essayist, and translator. His books include Time and Materials (National Book Award in poetry and the Pulitzer Prize), and The Apple Trees at Olema. Essay collections include What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World. Twice a winner of National Book Critics Circle Award, he served as US Poet Laureate from 1995–1997. An active environmentalist, he serves on the board of directors of International Rivers and River of Words. He is married to the poet Brenda Hillman. With her he divides his time between the Point Reyes peninsula and Berkeley where he is professor of English at the University of California.
Brenda Hillman has authored nine poetry collections: White Dress; Fortress; Death Tractates; Bright Existence; Loose Sugar; Cascadia; Pieces of Air in the Epic; Practical Water (LA Times Book Award for Poetry); and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2014 Griffin Poetry Prize and Northern California Book Award for Poetry). Other awards include: Academy of American Poets Fellowship (2012); William Carlos Williams Prize for poetry (2005); and National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships.
Wendy Johnson has practiced Zen meditation for 35 years and has led meditation retreats nationwide since 1992 as an ordained lay dharma teacher in the traditions of Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and the San Francisco Zen Center. She was a founder of the organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, which inspired her book Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate. She has taught gardening and environmental education since the early 1980s.
Robin Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her first book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. She lives in Fabius, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.
Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher, nature writer, public speaker, and defender of all that is wet and wild. Her work brings together the art of the essay, the wisdom of the natural world, and the moral clarity of philosophy to explore our place on the planet and our responsibilities for its thriving. Her newest book, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, gathers testimony from a hundred of the world’s moral leaders, who call us to honor our obligations to future generations.
Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D. is a cultural ecologist, writer, media-maker, public speaker, and indigenous scholar-activist. She is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and president of the Cultural Conservancy, a Native-led indigenous rights organization, which she has directed since 1993. Her widely recognized anthology is Original Instructions—Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future (2008). Melissa is Anishinaabe/Métis/Norwegian, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
Ann Pancake, a native of West Virginia, is a fiction writer and essayist whose work explores the relationships between people, place, class, and environmental and social justice. Her novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been, features a West Virginia family devastated by mountaintop removal mining and was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Prize, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award. A collection of short stories, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, was just published.
Point Reyes is the field for Claire Peaslee's life inquiries. After guiding her to settle out like a barnacle larva, and stick, it led her to immerse in the living world—learning, writing, teaching. Claire is an editor on the staff of Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory). She practices physical theater improvisation, celebrates the Earth, and leads excursions to the edges of Point Reyes.
Rhiannon is a vocal artist with a vision of music as a vehicle for innovation, healing, transformation, and social change. A vibrant and gifted singer, performer, composer, and master teacher, Rhiannon lives and works on her farm on the Big Island of Hawai’I, “Ha Lau Leo Nani, The Gathering Place,” honoring culture and community. Her book about her life and teaching methods, Vocal River, The Skill and Spirit of Improvisation, was published in 2013.
Stan Robinson is a science fiction writer living in Davis, California, with his wife and two boys. His books have been translated into 24 languages, and he was sent to the Antarctic by the National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.
A professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, and a woman of mixed heritage, Lauret Savoy explores the braiding of natural and cultural histories. She writes about the stories we tell of the origins of the American land, and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. Her books include Trace (forthcoming in 2015, Counterpoint Press); The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World; Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology; and Living with the Changing California Coast.
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of 17 books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and feminism, including Men Explain Things to Me; The Faraway Nearby; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (winner of a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). She is a contributing editor to Harper's and frequent contributor to Tomdispatch.com.
Priscilla Solis Ybarra, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Texas, is currently writing The Goodlife: Mexican American Writing and the Environment, 1848-2010. Professor Ybarra's most recent article was published in the essay collection Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century. Her recent speaking engagements include a plenary address at the University of Bucharest, Romania on the topic "Ecocriticism: Nature Writing Foundations, Social Justice Transformations, Decolonial Futures."
GOH 2015 - Mapping a New Geography of Hope
Featuring Kathleen Dean Moore, co-chair - keynote speech, Mapping a New Geography of Hope, on March 13, 2015, and in conversation with Gretel Ehrlich, Bob Haas, and Priscilla Ybarra.
Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher, nature writer, public speaker, and defender of all that is wet and wild.
GOH 2015 - What are women's gifts and responsibilities in the work against carbon catastrophe?
Featuring Robin Wall Kimmerer, co-chair - Welcoming speech on March 14, 2015. Panel with Susan Griffin, Lauret Savoy, and Rebecca Solnit.
Robin Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her first book, ...