Nationally known environmental activist and award-winning writer Scott Russell Sanders will speak on “Near and Distant Bears” during The Georgia Review’s fifth annual Earth Day program, to be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 22, in the Day Chapel at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. A reception will follow, with musical accompaniment by the eclectic Athens duo Hawk Proof Rooster. Supporting sponsors for the event are the University of Georgia’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the UGA Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, and the Friends of the State Botanical Garden. Sanders’ talk is open to the public free of charge, but seating in the chapel is limited and people should plan to arrive early; Sanders’ books and copies of The Georgia Review will be available for purchase both before and after he speaks.
Scott Russell Sanders, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, has published more than thirty works of nonfiction and fiction over the past forty years, including a number of books for children. Among his titles are Earth Works: Selected Essays (2012), A Conservationist Manifesto (2009), A Private History of Awe (2006), The Country of Language (1999), Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World (1993), The Paradise of Bombs (1987), and Wilderness Plots: Tales about the Settlement of the American Land (1983). His enduring concerns include the place of human beings in nature, the pursuit of social justice, the relationships between culture and geography, and the search for a spiritual path.
Sanders’ many honors include the Mark Twain Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Lannan Literary Award, the Indiana Humanities Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Indiana Arts Commission.
Since the early 1980s Sanders has published periodically in The Georgia Review, UGA’s internationally regarded quarterly journal of arts and letters that has a growing reputation for its presentation of writings on key environmental matters. Sanders’ essay “Simplicity and Sanity” provided the focal point for a special feature in the Spring 2009 issue of the Review, “Culture and the Environment—A Conversation in Five Essays”; his “The Way of Imagination” appeared in Summer 2012; and a version of “Near and Distant Bears” is forthcoming in Summer 2013.
Readers at past Georgia Review Earth Day programs at the State Botanical Garden have included National Book Award–winner Barry Lopez, Coleman Barks, Natasha Tretheway, and Judith Ortiz Cofer.
Reception and book-signing to follow reading at the Day Chapel.
Sanders will also speak at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at the Bowers House Writers’ Retreat and Literary Center, located at 100 Depot Street in Canon, Georgia, north of Athens near Royston. This event is also open to the public free of charge; this presentation, “Literature and Legacy,” will be based on Sanders’ Georgia Review essay “The Way of Imagination,” which explores the importance of “leaving a legacy of healthy land.” The Georgia Review maintains a writer-in-residence program at the Bowers House and has hosted readings there by such noted writers as poet Alice Friman and novelist Terry Kay.