The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has acquired the papers of American writer, poet, naturalist, and activist Terry Tempest Williams.
The author of more than a dozen books including The Secret Language of Snow (1984), Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place (1991), Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape (1995), Leap (2000), and Finding Beauty in a Broken World (2008), Williams calls attention to the relationship between our natural environment and social justice. A fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has testified before Congress on women’s health, committed acts of civil disobedience to protest nuclear testing in Nevada, and served on the boards of The Wilderness Society, the Nature Conservancy’s Utah Chapter, the advisory board of the National Parks and Conservation Association, and on the President’s Council for Sustainable Development. She has collaborated with artists and photographers such as Mary Franks, Emmet Gowin, Richard Misrach, Meridel Rubenstein, and Debra Bloomfield. Her essays on ecological and social issues have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion, and The Progressive. In 2006, The Wilderness Society presented William’s with its Robert Marshall Award, the highest honor the society bestows.
Ms. Williams, whose ancestors were among the earliest Mormon pioneers to settle the valley of the Great Salt Lake, grew up in Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah in 1978 with a degree in English and a minor in biology. She taught on the Navajo reservation at Montezuma Creek, a settlement of fewer than 500 in the southeast corner of Utah, and earned a master’s degree in Environmental Education in 1984. From 1986 through 1996 she worked as curator of education and naturalist in residence at the Utah Museum of Natural History. Ms. Williams, who was recently a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, is currently the Annie Clark Tanner Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.
“For more than a quarter of a century,” observes George Miles, William Robertson Coe Curator of the Yale Collection of Western Americana, “Terry Tempest Williams has written lyrically about life and the landscape of her Utah home. She has joined with artists, writers, and scientists to increase our appreciation of the wonder and fragility of the world we inhabit and to make us more aware of how the damage we cause that world rebounds to harm us individually and to diminish our society. Her diaries, journals and drafts reveal the extraordinary originality of her creative process while her correspondence with colleagues from around the county illuminates the concerns and efforts of a generation of American environmental activists.”
Ms. Williams’ papers, which comprise 204 boxes, arrived in New Haven this summer. The library’s archivists are organizing the papers and preparing a guide to them, after which they will be opened for consultation.
Questions about the Williams’ papers may be directed to George Miles, Curator of Western Americana, at George.Miles@yale.edu or to Nancy Kuhl, Curator of American Literature for Poetry, at Nancy.Kuhl@yale.edu.
Photo: Terry Tempest Williams
Publication Studio comes to the Elm City to redefine the social life of the book.
A One-week Residency in the Coop Center for Creativity
November 14 – 19, 2011
Publication Studio, founded in Portland, Oregon in 2009, is an experiment in sustainable publication that has branched into six independent sibling studios around North America. They print and bind on demand, creating original books quickly with writers and artists they admire. They attend to the social life of the book, cultivating a public that cares and
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
196 College Street, New Haven, CT
Hours: 11:00 – 6:00 MTWTF (NOV 14-18); 12-5 SAT (NOV 19)
Demonstrations (open to the public)(refreshments served)
MONDAY, NOV 14 5:00 – 6:00
TUESDAY, NOV 15 5:00 – 6:00
WEDNESDAY, NOV 16 5:00 – 6:00
THURSDAY, NOV 17 1:00 – 2:00
FRIDAY, NOV 18 12:00 – 1:00
SATURDAY, NOV 19 12:00 – 5:00
“Five Buck Book Binding Blow-Out”!
Bring in your old, falling-apart paperbacks
or a book whose cover doesn’t suit you,
and get it rebound into a sturdy manila
bound edition. $5/rebind.
Matthew Stadler, founder of Publication Studio
“The Ends of the Book: Authors, Readers, Public Spaces”
Thursday, November 17, 4:00 – 5:30.
Location: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
121 Wall Street, New Haven, CT
Free and open to the public
Diana Balmori, internationally renowned landscape and
urban designer, speaking at the launch of Publication
Studio’s facsimile edition of her Moleskin Diaries.
Friday, November 18: 6:00 – 7:30
Location: 196 College Street, New Haven, CT
Free and open to the public.
Seating is limited, so please arrive early.
Exile as Destiny: Czeslaw Milosz and America
He had his home, posthumous, in the town of New Haven,
In a white building, behind walls
Of translucent marble like turtle shell
—Czesław Miłosz, from “Beinecke Library.” Provinces. New York: Ecco Press, 1991.
The life of Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004), Polish poet, novelist, diplomat, and Nobel Laureate, spanned a time of political upheavals and social turmoil. He lived in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, in the Paris of exiled literati, and in the United States, perched atop the Berkeley hills with a view of San Francisco Bay. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library celebrates the centennial of Czesław Miłosz, renowned author of Bells in Winter, Captive Mind and Native Realm, with an exhibition drawn from the library’s holdings. The manuscripts, documents, and photographs on display reveal lesser-known aspects of Miłosz’s multifaceted relationship with America, with his adopted home in California, with fellow émigré authors, and with the English language.
Related Conference: Milosz and America