Nature of Writing Speaker Series ⎸ Spring 2023

Presented by Village Books and North Cascades Institute

Find your next book for the Spring months ahead in this series of presentations by authors, poets and naturalists sharing their new works. Most events are free and in-person at Village Books; The Power of Trees: An Evening with Peter Wohlleben and Thor Hanson on May 6 at Bellingham High School is a ticketed event; purchase your copy of the book and ticket here. We hope to see you at one of these readings!

Special Event at Bellingham High School

May 6, 7pm
The Power of Trees
An Evening with Peter Wohlleben and Thor Hanson at Bellingham High School

The Power of Trees: How Ancient Forests Can Save Us If We Let Them is forester Peter Wohlleben’s follow-up to The Hidden Life of Trees, a New York Times bestseller that sold millions of copies worldwide. This latest work is as fascinating and eye-opening as it is trenchant in its critique: on the one hand, Peter describes astonishing discoveries about how trees pass knowledge down to succeeding generations, which scientists think is enabling them to adapt to climate change; on the other, he is unsparing in his criticism of those who wield economic and political power—who plant trees exclusively for the sake of logging and virtue signaling—even as they ruthlessly exploit nature. 
The Power of Trees is a love letter to the forest and a passionate argument for protecting nature’s boundless diversity, not only for the trees, but also for ourselves.

Tickets are $32 for one person which includes a hardcover copy of The Power of Trees or $37 for two people and one copy of The Power of Trees. Click here to purchase tickets.

Events in Village Books Reading Gallery

March 19, 4pm
Tenacious Beasts
Christopher Preston

The news about wildlife is dire—more than 900 species have been wiped off the planet since industrialization. Against this bleak backdrop, however, there are also glimmers of hope and crucial lessons to be learned from animals that have defied global trends toward extinction: bears in Italy, bison in North America, whales in the Atlantic. These populations are back from the brink, some of them in numbers unimaginable in a century. How has this happened? What shifts in thinking did it demand? In crisp, transporting prose, Christopher Preston reveals the mysteries and challenges at the heart of these resurgences.

 Drawing on compelling personal stories from the researchers, Indigenous people, and activists who know the creatures best, Preston weaves together a gripping narrative of how some species are taking back vital, ecological roles. Each section of the book—farms, prairies, rivers, forests, oceans—offers a philosophical shift in how humans ought to think about animals, passionately advocating for the changes in attitude necessary for wildlife recovery.

April 7, 7pm
Walk Deep: Poems
Abigail Morgan Prout

Walk Deep is a collection of poems written as an offering to the forest path I have walked every day since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Inspired as much by the poetry of Mary Oliver, Ada Limon, Padraig O Tuama, and David Whyte, as by the songs of the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest, my words arise from a deep love of the natural world. Walk Deep calls attention to the power that a familiar outer landscape has as companion, mirror, compass, and divination tool for our inner landscape. Walk Deep is for fellow travelers who wish to harvest the hard-won gold from their own unique journeys.

April 8, 7pm
Essential Skills of Wilderness Survival
Jason Knight

Wondering how to stay alive and safe in the outdoors? The Essential Skills of Wilderness Survival is a systematic approach to wilderness survival designed to increase your confidence in the outdoors and teach you exactly what to do, and in what order, if you find yourself in a survival situation.

You will learn how to:

  • build shelter from natural materials that keep you warm and protected from the elements
  • find water and purify it with or without equipment
  • start campfires, even in the pouring rain, without matches or lighters
  • recognize staple wild foods navigate with and without the aid of a map and compass
  • create the right type of survival kit to be prepared for almost any emergency

The techniques presented in The Essential Skills of Wilderness Survival will help you see the wilderness as a community of allies ready to supply you with survival needs-from wood for a fire-starting kit to wild edible plants to sustain you. You’ll enjoy the freedom of exploring remote areas, and become a valuable resource for others.

April 15, 4pm
Grizzly Bears
Frances Backhouse

Grizzlies are one of North America’s most iconic wildlife species. They once roamed across half the continent, but today the grizzly population has declined at an alarming rate and it is incredibly difficult to rebuild those numbers, especially in places with a lot of people. Yet grizzlies are key members of their ecological communities and a powerful symbol of wilderness. Filled with facts and richly illustrated with photos, Grizzly Bears: Guardians of the Wilderness explores the biology of grizzlies and the vital ecological role these bears play, and it asks readers to consider what it takes to share the land with them. Learn from conservationists, scientists, Indigenous Peoples and young people who are working to ensure that grizzlies will be with us forever.

April 28, 7pm
Jesintel: Living Wisdom from Coast Salish Elders
Children of the Setting Sun Productions

Dynamic and diverse, Coast Salish culture is bound together by shared values and relations that generate a resilient worldview. Jesintel —”to learn and grow together”— characterizes the spirit of this book, which brings the cultural teachings of nineteen elders to new generations.

Featuring interviews that share powerful experiences and stories, Jesintel illuminates the importance of ethical reciprocal relationships and the interconnectedness of places, land, water, and the spirit within all things. Elders offer their perspectives on language revitalization, Coast Salish family values and naming practices, salmon, sovereignty, canoe racing, and storytelling. They also share traumatic memories, including of their boarding school experiences and the epidemics that ravished their communities. Jesintel highlights the importance of maintaining relations and traditions in the face of ongoing struggles. Collaboration is at the heart of this work and informs how the editors and community came together to honor the boundless relations of Coast Salish people and their territories.

April 29, 4pm
Nobody Likes Frogs
Barbara Davis-Pyles

Why would you pick up a book about frogs? Nobody likes them!  At least according to Persnickety Q. Turtle. In this humorous narrative nonfiction picture book the text cleverly puts the reader in the role of the “expert” to educate a persnickety turtle about the amazing amphibian known as the frog. With the reader’s help, Persnickety Q. Turtle learns intriguing frog facts, such as they can breathe through their skin while underwater and their eyes help them swallow.

May 13, 4pm
OMFG, BEES! Bees Are So Amazing and You’re About to Find Out Why
Matt Kracht

Guess what: Bees are incredible. If you don’t think so, you’re wrong; but you’re also in luck! Extreme bee enthusiast and bestselling author Matt Kracht is here to set the record straight with this helpful guidebook to all things bees.

Are you ready for the ultimate bee book? With lighthearted watercolor and ink drawings, humorous quips, lists, and musings, OMFG, BEES! will show you just how important these esteemed bee-list celebrities really are. (Hint: We can’t live without them.) Delving into various bee topics, from distinguishing between bees and not bees (very crucial), to exploring the absolute wonder that is bee behavior (they do a coded dance directing their bee friends to food, for crying out loud!), to divulging the mind-blowing bee-magic behind honey making (within some extremely intricate and precisely constructed hexagonal honeycomb, no big deal), and more, Kracht’s ode to bees paints a charming and enthusiastic picture of our favorite pollinators.

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