Week 7

Tuesday, Feb 28
Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Begin with the Preface and read up to page 61

Short Paper #12

If you've never heard Robin Kimmerer talk, you could watch this:
Reclaiming the Honorable Harvest

Thursday, March 2
Gathering Moss, pages 62-110

And be prepared to tell us your spirit autotroph.

Short Paper #13

[And look! Someone took a photo of us the other day and put it on twitter.]

Week 6

Tuesday Feb 21
The Word for World is Forest by Ursula Le Guin -- finish the book!
And if you have time, read Robin Kimmerer's piece from last November:
The White Horse and the Humvees: Standing Rock is Offering us a Choice
Bring art supplies to class if you have them.
Short paper #10

Thursday Feb 23 
Anthology: Making Music with Birds and Whales. David Rothenberg, p. 54
Serenading Belugas in the White Sea by David Rothenberg (Be sure to check out the link at the side -- you can hear the audio)
Dylan Winter and the Starling Murmurations 
Anthology: Apologia. Barry Lopez. p. 72.
Short paper #11

Unrelated to the readings, but I thought some of you might find this interesting:
Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds by Elizabeth Kolbert

Weeks 4 & 5

Tuesday February 7 
Anthology: What Holds the Water, What Holds the Light. Linda Hogan, page 143.
Patience by David Gessner.
The Wireless Woods by David Gessner.
Short paper #6

Thursday February 9 NO CLASS THIS DAY
Find a place outside to sit quietly and observe for an hour. Then come inside and write about the experience. Bring that piece of writing to class on Tuesday.
Short paper #7 Nature Writing by you

Tuesday February 14
Optional (for Valentine's Day): Bring a poem you love to class
The Word for World is Forest, Ursula Le Guin, pp 1-62
Short paper #8

Thursday February 16 
The Word for World is Forest, Ursula Le Guin, pp 63-128.
You might want to check out this poem by Ursula Le Guin in Orion.
And I think this Letter to America by Sharman Apt Russell fits into a discussion we were having a week or so ago.

Short paper #9

Week Three

Tuesday, Jan 31 
The readings this week are in the anthology Literature and the Environment. If you don't have your books yet, I put a copy on reserve in Moon Library.

Living Like Weasels, Annie Dillard, p 5.
Irregular Flight, Kent Nelson, p 8.

I know some of you are reading a lot about current events. If you've found an article online that you'd really like to write about (and it fits our conversation about nature literature/environmental issues), put the link on UBlend and then write your short paper about it.

Short paper #4

Thursday, Feb 2 

Snow Day, Lisa Couturier, p 15.
Marking my Territory, David Gessner, p 17. 
Knot, Pattiann Rogers, p 45.
David Gessner’s “Transformation video”

Short paper #5

Week Two

Tuesday, January 24

In your folder, read:
Wolf Warrior, Joy Harjo
Wellfleet Whale, Stanley Kunitz
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, Wendell Berry
Fireflies, Naomi Shihab Nye
The Vacation, Wendell Berry
The Reason Why I am Afraid, Ray A. Young Bear
The River, Raymond Carver

I realize that these are all poems. That's because poems are easy to xerox. (And your teacher loves poetry.) If you want to read something in addition to poems, you could check out the "Dear America" series that the online environmental magazine Terrain.org has been running since election day. Here is one by Scott Russell Sanders, who is a very well-known nature writer: Dear America

Short paper #2 

Oh, and be sure to add yourself on UBlend -- our secret code is 3fp2x7

Thursday, January 26

In your folder, read:
Wild, Mary Donahoe
Womanwork, Paula Gunn Allen
9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher, Drew Lanhan
Fire, Joy Harjo
I am a Dangerous Woman, Joy Harjo
(eh, at this point, you can write about anything in the folder)

But also check out this editorial in the NY Times: If You See Something, Say Something
And: John Oliver's take on climate change. (Both are about a couple years old.)

And if you have time, read Bill McKibben's piece in the New Yorker:
A Bad Day for the Environment, with Many More to Come.
Bill McKibben is one of the most well-known environmental writers in the country.

Short paper #3

Week One

Welcome! This is the course blog, where I'll post assignments and announcements. (Check out the Assignment Schedule in the Sidebar if you want to see the whole semester at a glance.)

The first thing you need to do for this course is make sure you have the books. Since it will take a couple of days for the books to arrive, you will want to order them as soon as possible. I am hoping you will be able to find inexpensive copies online.

Literature and the Environment
edited by Lorraine Anderson, Scott Slovic, and John P. O’Grady.

Make sure you get the SECOND EDITION. It should look like this:

Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer
The Word For World is Forest by Ursula LeGuin
The Bee-Loud Glade by Steve Himmer

For Thursday, January 19 

Read these selections from your folder:
Drowning in Apathy, Roxana Robinson
Cattail Wind, Joseph Bruchac
Beyond Hope, Derrick Jensen
For the Children, Gary Snyder

Plus, check this out: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Turned into Haiku

And if you have time, read the two pieces we didn't get to on Tuesday:
The Greatest Nature Essay Ever, Brian Doyle
Nature Writing by the Numbers, David Gessner

Short Paper #1 due. Think of a short paper as a way to add to the conversation in the classroom. We will be sharing them with each other.

EWP 490 Contemporary Nature Literature

In this course, we'll be reading contemporary nature literature, focusing primarily on authors and movements after Rachel Carson. We’ll relate that literature to current events, to history, to western culture, to religion and politics, to pop culture, to the environmental movement, to media representations of nature, to other texts, and to our own life experiences.

We will be especially looking at emerging voices – ecofeminists, native writers, science writers, animal rights activists, deep ecologists, and other perspectives that differ from the mainstream. We will be applying ecocriticism, a type of literary criticism that approaches literature from an ecological perspective.