Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

FacilitatorKim Ridley
Date & TimeWednesdays, November 2, 9 (POSTPONED), 16 , 30, December 7
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
LocationOnline - via ZOOM

Is it possible to find a place between denial and despair as we witness the climate crisis, the disappearance of species, and relentless environmental disasters? How do we not shut down or give up? A new canon of nature writers is beginning to map this difficult terrain. They bring together scientific rigor, lyrical writing, and wild compassion to tell new stories of the places and times in which we live.

In this colloquy, we will read the work of four diverse nature writers to explore our human relationship with the rest of nature in the Anthropocene, a proposed new geological age in which human activity has become the dominant force influencing Earth’s environment and climate.

Through reading and discussions, participants will come away with new perspectives and a deeper appreciation of the wild lives around us and our place among them. Participants are encouraged to spend time outside in nature every week and briefly share their experiences as part of our conversations.

Kimberly Ridley is a science writer, essayist, and author most recently of Wild Design: Nature’s Architects, as well as award-winning nature books for children, including The Secret Pool. She is a contributing editor to Down East Magazine and teaches nature writing workshops for all ages.

  ▼ Syllabus/Reading



Week 1 – November 2
Nature as Mandela, Observation and Contemplation – The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell

Suggested Chapters and Questions – Week 1

Week 2 – November 16
Reciprocity with nature and toward a grammar of animacy – Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Suggested Chapters and Questions – Week 2

How Braiding Sweetgrass became a surpri…ng — bestseller – The Washington Post

 Essay By Robin Wall Kimmerer – The Serviceberry – Emergence magazine

OnBeing – Krista Tibbet Interview with Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer — The Intelligence of Plants


Week 3 – November 30
Nature and Race: Who gets to enjoy the outdoors? – The Home Place by Drew Lanham

Suggested Chapters – Week 3

Orion magazine- 9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher – Drew Lanham

Orion Magazine- Forever Gone – Drew Lanham

Krista Tibbetts OnBeing Interview with Drew Lanham

Week 4 – December 7
Is wonder relevant in the Anthropocene? – World of Wonders by Aimee Nezuhukumatathil

The facilitator also will provide an optional reading list of additional essays by leading contemporary nature writers such as Helen MacDonald, Robert MacFarlane, Kathleen Dean Moore, Terry Tempest Williams, and Scott Russell Sanders.

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  ▼ Registration


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