Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce that Hermitage fellow and prize-winning writer Alison Hawthorne Deming will hold a FREE public program at Bookstore1, 1359 Main Street, Sarasota, on Sunday, November 23rd at 2:00 pm

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Alison_Hawthorne_Deming_03_edited (2)November 12, 2014

Contact Lisa Rubinstein, LDR Creative Inc., 941-373-3803 or [email protected]

ALISON DEMING TO READ AT BOOKSTORE1

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce that Hermitage fellow and prize-winning writer Alison Hawthorne Deming will hold a FREE public program at Bookstore1, 1359 Main Street, Sarasota, on Sunday, November 23rd at 2:00 pm. Deming will read from her most recent book of linked essays, Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit, recently released by Milkweed Editions. In this thoughtful collection, Deming moves from mammoth hunts to dying house cats, as she explores profound questions about what it means to be animal, be it the four-legged variety or as two-legged humans. An opportunity to purchase signed copies of this and other Deming books will follow the reading.

“Alison Deming is a very special and highly regarded writer,” remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage. “She is an renowned poet, as well as an astute essayist and nonfiction writer. She is fascinated by science and the environment and her writings give us much to think about. We look forward to what she will enlighten us with on November 23.”

Alison Hawthorne Deming was born and grew up in Connecticut. She received an MFA from Vermont College, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Tucson/Pima Arts Council, and a National Writer’s Voice Residency Award.  Her work has been awarded the Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod, a Pushcart Prize, the Gertrude B. Claytor Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Best Essay Gold Award from the GAMMA Southeastern Magazine Association, and the Bayer Award in Science Writing from Creative Nonfiction for the essay Poetry and Science: A View From the Divide.

Working with the Language of Conservation Project sponsored by Poets House, Deming curated the poetry installation at the Jacksonville (FL) Zoo and Gardens. Her writing has been widely published and anthologized. Currently she is the Agnese Nelms Haury Professor of Environment and Social Justice in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona, where she is affiliated with the Institute of the Environment; Senior Fellow at the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University; and a member of the Board of Directors of Orion magazine and terrain.org.

There is so much to say about Alison Hawthorne Deming,” continued Rodgers. “On November 23rd, Bookstore1 will provide the perfect intimate setting for interesting discussion led by an amazing writer. Take a break from the Thanksgiving preparations and join us, as we give thanks for what promises to be a very interesting and thoughtful afternoon.”

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among three disciplines: visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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Zoologies_150MILKWEED EDITIONS | MEDIA RELEASE

ZOOLOGIES

On Animals And The Human Spirit

by Alison Hawthorne Deming

A heart this wise gives me hope for my own species.”

Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us

Since the dawn of civilization, other animals have served as our adversaries and our companions, our helpers and our gods. Today, the inexorable rise of our own species has been accompanied by the large-scale extinction of others. And yet while much attention has been given to this alarming phenomenon, little attention has been given to a fascinating question: What does the disappearance of animals mean for the human imagination?

Ranging from the Serengeti to Madrid to her own backyard, Alison Hawthorne Deming helps us see the creatures around us with fresh eyes. Along her journey, Deming uncovers what hyenas can tell us about human bloodlust, how the art of leaf-cutter ants complicates our own artistic endeavors, what elephants can teach us about the deep reverberations of war and peace in our communities, and more. Moving beyond the grief and anxiety that so often surrounds any consideration of species extinction, these artful and incisive essays illuminate the mystery and wonder of our shared earthly experience.

As our traveling companions on the evolutionary path dwindle and disappear, human survival is imperiled. We know this much from science. To grasp the cost of this unraveling to our hearts and minds, we need art. That is what Deming provides in abundance here—artful essays evoking the presence of animals in the world and the human imagination. Poet, naturalist, great spirit, by turns elegist and celebrant, she is a brilliant guide in a dark time.”

Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works

Alison Deming reminds us that animals are exceptionally good to dream of, to eat, fear, and love. But more than that, she powerfully addresses what is at stake if our own lives become increasingly remote from theirs. At the same time, one of America’s most original poets establishes herself among the finest literary stylists of the short essay; these animal fables are delicious to read and to deeply ponder.”

 

Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Where Our Food Comes From


Alison Hawthorne Deming is the author of seven books of poetry and essays. She splits her time between Tucson, AZ and Grand Manan, New Brunswick.

Publication Date: October 2014 • Essays / Nature

$18 • Trade Paper Original • 978-1-57131-348-5

Milkweed Editions • www.milkweed.org

Distributed by Publishers Group West

Milkweed Editions | 1011 Washington Ave S Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Advance Praise for

ZOOLOGIES

On Animals and the Human Spirit

By Alison Hawthorne Deming

However much or little you think of animals, you’ll never feel the same after visiting this literary menagerie: each essay leaves you mulling the meaning of biological life—including ours—long afterwards. The beauty and ease of Alison Hawthorne Deming’s prose would do her namesake forebear Nathaniel proud; a heart this wise gives me hope for my own species.”

 

Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Countdown

 As our traveling companions on the evolutionary path dwindle and disappear, human survival is imperiled. We know this much from science. To grasp the cost of this unraveling to our hearts and minds, we need art. That is what Deming provides in abundance here—artful essays evoking the presence of animals in the world and the human imagination. Poet, naturalist, great spirit, by turns elegist and celebrant, she is a brilliant guide in a dark time.”

Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works

 What are animals to us? And what are we to them? Alison Hawthorne Deming sinks her teeth into these mysteries and more in her sparkling new Zoologies, and seems to illuminate everything in the nexus between the animal and human. This is the best bestiary I’ve seen in ages. Reading it I felt a little more alive.”

Ander Monson, author of Vanishing Point

 

Alison Deming reminds us that animals are exceptionally good to dream of, to eat, fear, and love. But more than that, she powerfully addresses what is at stake if our own lives become increasingly remote from theirs. At the same time, one of America’s most original poets establishes herself among the finest literary stylists of the short essay; these animal fables are delicious to read and to deeply ponder.”

 

Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Where Our Food Comes From

 Alison Deming is one of the wisest and most humble—of all the animals.  She speaks for the whole kingdom while they patiently listen. She is our femme sage.”

Gerald Stern, author of This Time  

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