Middlebury

Author Barry Lopez to speak on "The Wild Road to the Far North" April 12

March 29, 2007

**Please note**
THE Lecture is happening as scheduled,
despite inclement weather

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Thursday, April 12, author Barry Lopez will deliver the 2007 Scott A. Margolin '99 Lecture in Environmental Affairs at Middlebury College. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125).
 
Lopez has frequently been compared to Henry David Thoreau for his philosophical depth, lyrical prose and concern for the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture. A reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle has described him as "the nation's premier nature writer." He is best-known for his nonfiction book "Arctic Dreams," for which he won the National Book Award in 1986. Other nonfiction works include "About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory" (1998), "Of Wolves and Men" (1978) and a collection of essays titled "Crossing Open Ground" (1989).
 
His works of fiction include "Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren" (1994) and "Crow and Weasel" (1990), the re-telling of a Native American folktale. He has received the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the John Burroughs Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and National Science Foundation and Lannan Foundation fellowships. In 2006, he co-edited with Debra Gwartney "Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape," in which 45 poets and writers from across the country offer their stylistic, personal and regional perspectives on the language of nature writing.

As a prelude to his Middlebury lecture topic, "The Wild Road to the Far North," Lopez said, "A wild road forges a path into new territory - intellectual, emotional, even spiritual territory. The Far North is the abode of eternal truth, of elementary experience and transcendent wisdom. It is also the abode of the polar bear, a creature apparently bound for extinction in our lifetime. If we navigate the road well, improving it, redirecting it where it is errant, perhaps this won't be the bear's fate." 

In 1998, the Middlebury College Lecture in Environmental Affairs was renamed in memory of Scott A. Margolin, a member of the class of 1999. This year's lecture is part of the spring programming series, "Reflections on a House of One Room," presented in conjunction with the Middlebury College Museum of Art exhibition "Robert Adams: Turning Back, A Photographic Journal of Re-exploration," which is on view through Sunday, June 3. The exhibition, a major gift to the college, is one of only three complete 164-photograph suites of Adams' powerful visual essay, in which he retraces the path of Lewis and Clark back across Oregon from the Pacific and captures on film the impact of clear-cutting on a once-pristine landscape.

Several Middlebury College organizations are co-sponsoring the lecture, including the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Environmental Studies Program, the Office of Environmental Affairs and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

For more information, contact Janet Wiseman in the Middlebury College Environmental Studies Program office at 802-443-5710 or jwiseman@middlebury.edu.