National Book Award winner Lopez to give reading

Barry Lopez

National Book Award winner and bestselling author Barry Lopez will be the featured guest at an event hosted by Prairie Schooner, UNL's international literary journal.

The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in the City Campus Union ballroom and is free and open to the public. Lopez will read from his creative work, followed by an on-stage interview with Nebraska author Mary Pipher. Six of Lopez’s books will be available for purchase and signing, along with copies of Prairie Schooner’s Fall 2013 issue featuring his creative essay “Six Thousand Pieces,” and Pipher’s latest book, The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture.

“I have found in Lopez that most reassuring combination of scholar, social commentator, and generous human being,” said Kwame Dawes, Prairie Schooner editor-in-chief. “He has been willing enough to contain these qualities within a profoundly empathic quality of affirmation for the human condition—one that is refreshingly and self-reflexively critical and yet one that has the capacity to be celebratory and hopeful. It is a tremendous honor that he has agreed to come to Lincoln.”

In addition, Lopez will be giving a second interview for an upcoming edition of Air Schooner, Prairie Schooner’s podcast series, and leading a private Q & A session with UNL students about his essay “An Intimate Geography,” originally published in Portland magazine.

Lopez is one of the foremost American voices in contemporary environmental literature and activism. His nonfiction book Arctic Dreams won a National Book Award, and he holds a Guggenheim Fellowship and five National Science Foundation Fellowships, in addition to numerous Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction.

Mary Pipher is the author of nine books, including Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, which held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list for 26 weeks. She is the recipient of two American Psychological Association Presidential Awards and has taught in the English and psychology departments at UNL.

The event is been made possible by the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Natural Resources, the School of Biological Sciences, the Institute for Ethnic Studies, the Center for Great Plains Studies, the Environmental Studies Program and the English, geography, and philosophy departments.

Tom Lynch, associate professor of English, was influential in initiating the effort to host Lopez's reading.

“I consider Barry Lopez to be the most important environmental writer of his generation, a generation in which the genre has thrived in no small part due to his influence," Lynch said. "Lopez makes us think more deeply about our moral obligations to the natural world and to the beings we share it with."

Lopez’s major works include the nonfiction Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist, and the story collection Resistance, winner of the 2004 Oregon Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, National Geographic, and The Paris Review, among other publications.

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