wisdom in the wilderness: terry tempest williams @ wes

Award-winning writer-conservationist-activist Terry Tempest Williams cast a quiet spell on members of the Wesleyan and greater Middletown communities during a reading and book-signing reception at Memorial Chapel on March 1, at the invitation of Wesleyan’s College of the Environment. (Photos below by Laurie Kenney.)

Photo gallery below. Read all about the event in the Wesleyan Argus.

Award-winning author-conservationist-activist Terry Tempest Williams at Memorial Chapel.
Wesleyan’s Memorial Chapel was the perfect venue for an evening with award-winning author-conservationist-activist Terry Tempest Williams at on March 1.
Terry Tempest Williams at Wesleyan University
Williams is the author of the environmental literature classic “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place,” as well as “When Women Were Birds,” “Finding Beauty in a Broken World,” “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks,” and other critically acclaimed works.

Terry Tempest Williams at Wesleyan University.
A noted conservationist and activist, Williams is the recipient of the Wilderness Society’s Robert Marshall Award, the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award and the 2017 Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing, among other awards. She is currently the writer-in-residence at the Harvard Divinity School, where she explores the spiritual implications of climate change.
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Drawing on the current theme of the COE Think Tank, Williams focused her readings and remarks on how humans relate to and value the non-human part of the world.
Barry Chernoff, director of the COE and the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, welcomed the audience of Wesleyan and greater Middletown community members to Memorial Chapel for the event.
Barry Chernoff, director of the COE and the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, welcomed the audience of Wesleyan and greater Middletown community members to the March 1 event.
Fiona McLeod introduces Terry Tempest Williams, her idol.
Fiona McLeod ’19, a COE fellow and American Studies major from Berkeley, California, introduced the author.
Fiona McLeod and Terry Tempest Williams
“Thank you, Terry, for always reminding us how land, family, beauty, and hope are tied to one another. You are an inspiration to me, and to so many others,” shared McLeod.
COE fellow Isaac Klimasmith '20 was invited by Tempest Williams to read a poem by Mary Oliver.
Isaac Klimasmith ’20 read “Wild Geese,” by Mary Oliver, at the invitation of Williams, after the two discovered their shared love of the poem. Klimasmith is a COE fellow and biology major pursuing certificates in both environmental studies and informatics and modeling.
Isaac Klimasmith
“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place in the family of things,” read Klimasmith.
Terry Tempest Williams embraces xxxx Antonio Machado-Allison.
The author embraces Antonio Machado-Allison, the Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the College of the Environment. Machado is the Emeritus Full Professor of the Central University of Venezuela.
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After the reading, Williams signed copies of her books for an appreciative crowd, including COE faculty member Marcela Oteiza, associate professor of theater.
Middletown community member Nur Fitzpatrick holds a signed copy of “Finding Beauty in a Broken World,” by Terry Tempest Williams.
Wes students had the opportunity to engage with the author and her husband, Brooke Williams, over lunch at the College of the Environment at Wesleyan. Left to right: Isaac Klimasmith ’20, Nick Yeager ’19, Belen Rodriguez, ’19, Brooke Williams, Terry Tempest Williams, Fiona McLeod ’19, and Maggie O’Donnell ’19.