Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Fall 2013 Event: Barry Lopez Reading

by Prairie Schooner intern Grace Mortensen

On Monday, September 30th, Prairie Schooner hosted an event featuring acclaimed environmental writer Barry Lopez and clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Pipher. The event was held in the ballroom of the City Campus Union to an audience of more than 500 people.

Lopez began the evening by reading three essays, “The Trail,” “On the Border,” and “Six Thousand Lessons.” “Six Thousand Lessons” is featured in the Fall 2013 issue of Prairie Schooner. Each essay focused on the importance of the environment as well as a look at the individual’s role with and in nature. Writing about the environment and human impact, as Lopez does, is a topic that “makes humans more resilient” because it allows people to face the truth and to “deal with it emotionally” Prairie Schooner Editor-in-Chief, Kwame Dawes noted.

Following the readings, Lopez and Pipher engaged in a Q&A session focusing on the relationship between the individual and nature. Pipher is from Lincoln and an author of The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture, and she shares Lopez’s passion for preserving the environment. Pipher led the conversation and expanded on the connection of the person and time or place. Lopez stated that people are “grounded in place” and that everyone “has a place in the world.” These sentiments are reflective of “Six Thousand Lessons” which focuses on the true uniqueness of every place and the lessons every traveler learns.  

Lopez stressed the symbiotic relationship between the individual and his or her environment. His message is that true love of place results in the preservation of the environment. Pipher brought up the role of community in the advancement of the environmental movement, asking about the responsibilities required. Lopez ended the evening by encouraging everyone to “have nothing but compassion and support…to make relationships beautiful…to make a beautiful story.”

The Fall 2013 issue of Prairie Schooner is now available for purchase here.