By MICHELLE SCHMIDTReading may be the last thing you would associate with celebrating the wilderness. But with myriad events this year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, it should be obvious there are more ways to enjoy the wilderness than by stepping foot in it.
In partnership with the Idaho Humanities Council, the Lewiston City Library and Moscow Public Library are putting on a five-meeting reading and discussion series led by regional scholars. The series began in Lewiston Wednesday night and runs through Oct. 27; the same series begins in Moscow next Thursday and runs through Nov. 13.
The series is designed to spark conversation about the experience and meaning of wilderness, says Erin Wallace, adult services librarian at the Lewiston City Library. Each talk has a different focus and will include discussion based on a corresponding reading list, she explains, including two books: “American Wilderness: A New History,” by Michael Lewis, and “Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter Alone in the Wilderness,” by Pete Fromm. The books and additional readings are available on loan from both libraries.
A full syllabus for the series, which includes topics and reading selections, is at the library websites: www.lewistonlibrary.org and www.latahlibrary.org. Participants are encouraged by the libraries to read the selections prior to the discussion, but it is not required.
Wilderness Considered: A Reading and Conversation Series
The Lewiston series takes place at 6 p.m. at the Lewiston City Library at 411 D St.; the Moscow series takes place at 6 p.m. at the Moscow City Hall Council Chambers, 206 E. Third St. The series is offered at no charge. Advanced registration for the Moscow series is requested; to register, call Kaylene Nielsen at Moscow Public Library, (208) 882-3925.
Wilderness Imagined: next Thursday in Moscow
Alan Marshal, Lewis-Clark State College anthropology professor emeritus, takes a look at how wilderness has been imagined throughout American history and how it informs our sense of national and individual identity.
Wilderness Pursued: Monday in Lewiston, Oct. 30 in Moscow
Jennifer Ladino, with the University of Idaho English Department, explores how we, as humans, engage with the wilderness through observing, hunting, fishing and other activities.
Wilderness Framed: Wednesday in Lewiston, Nov. 6 in Moscow
Adam Sowards, with the UI History Department, focuses on how wilderness has been defined legally over time and how its management has been affected by legislation and public policy.
Wilderness Guarded: Oct. 27 in Lewiston, Nov. 13 in Moscow
Bill Johnson, LCSC English professor emeritus, explores what it means, on a personal level, to go into the wilderness and how scientific goals or ideas play out in the wilderness.
Wilderness Brought Home: Oct. 29 in Lewiston, Nov. 20 in Moscow
Scott Slovic, with the UI English Department, discusses how wilderness is mapped today.
Celebrating Wilderness in Words
“We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”
– Wallace Stegner,
“Wilderness Letter” (1960)
Additional Wilderness Celebration Events in Moscow
Art Celebrates Wilderness — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Thursday through Nov. 20
Third Street Gallery at Moscow City Hall, 206 E. Third St.
Women in Wilderness: Jane Holman, Debbie Lee, Sarah Swett and Sarah Walker will share their diverse experiences living and working in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and discuss how the wilderness shaped these experiences. A reception begins at 5 p.m., followed by a panel discussion at 6 p.m. Oct. 24.
Wilderness Author Hosts Reading
Pete Fromm, whose memoir, “Indian Creek Chronicles,” is featured in the Wilderness Considered series, will be doing a reading from his recent novel, “If Not For This,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at BookPeople in Moscow.
The novel is about two river guides who work on the Snake River near Jackson, Wyo., and fall in love. Carol Spurling, co-owner of BookPeople, describes it as a love story, but one that is also about life, including the difficult turns it can take. Fromm has a degree in wildlife biology and worked as a river ranger in the 1980s.
“He has a lot of experience in the wilderness and outdoors,” Spurling says, “so he includes that in a lot of his books.”
Additional information on the book and author is available at, www.bookpeopleofmoscow.com/events.