Chris Dombrowski discusses his acclaimed new book, The River You Touch (Milkweed Editions), with Amy Leach.
“You won’t soon read a more beautiful book, nor one so earthy, wise, delicious, and alive. This is not a book about fish or rivers or Montana or parenting. This is a book, to paraphrase another poet, plain and simple, to break open the frozen sea within.” —Rick Bass
This virtual event will be streamed on our Crowdcast channel.
About The River You Touch
"We are matter and long to be received by an Earth that conceived us, which accepts and reconstitutes us, its children, each of us, without exception, every one. The journey is long, and then we start homeward, fathomless as to what home might make of us."
When Chris Dombrowski burst onto the literary scene with Body of Water, the book was acclaimed as "a classic" (Jim Harrison) and its author compared with John McPhee. Dombrowski begins the highly anticipated The River You Touch with a question as timely as it is profound: "What does a meaningful, mindful, sustainable inhabitance on this small planet look like in the anthropocene?"He answers this fundamental question of our time initially by listening lovingly to rivers and the land they pulse through in his adopted home of Montana. Transplants from the post-industrial Midwest, he and his partner, Mary, assemble a life based precariously on her income as a schoolteacher, his as a poet and fly-fishing guide. Before long, their first child arrives, followed soon after by two more, all "free beings in whom flourishes an essential kind of knowing ...], whose capacity for wonder may be the beacon by which we see ourselves through this dark epoch." And around the young family circles a community of friends--river-rafting guides and conservationists, climbers and wildlife biologists--who seek to cultivate a way of living in place that moves beyond the mythologized West of appropriation and extraction.Moving seamlessly from the quotidian--diapers, the mortgage, a threadbare bank account--to the metaphysical--time, memory, how to live a life of integrity--Dombrowski illuminates the experience of fatherhood with intimacy and grace. Spending time in wild places with their children, he learns that their youthful sense of wonder at the beauty and connectivity of the more-than-human world is not naivete to be shed, but rather wisdom most of us lose along the way--wisdom that is essential for the possibility of transformation.
About the participants
Chris Dombrowski is the author of The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water. He is also the author of Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World’s Most Elusive Fish, and of three acclaimed collections of poems. Currently the Assistant Director of the Creative Writing program at the University of Montana, he lives with his family in Missoula.
Amy Leach grew up in Texas and earned her MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and numerous other publications, including Granta, A Public Space, Orion, Tin House, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, and a Pushcart Prize. Her first book was Things That Are. Leach lives in Montana.