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SAL/on air

SAL/on air is a literary podcast featuring the best author talks from over thirty-five years of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ programming.

Barry Lopez

When Barry Lopez died at the age of 75 this past December, we knew we had lost one of the greats. His writings have frequently been compared to those of Henry David Thoreau, as he brought a depth of erudition to the text by immersing himself in his surroundings, deftly integrating his environmental and humanitarian concerns. In his nonfiction, he examined the relationship between human culture and physical landscape. In his fiction, he addressed issues of intimacy, ethics, and identity.

This new episode of SAL/on air was recorded in April of 2010. In it, Barry Lopez speaks about the anthology Home Ground, which Lopez edited along with his wife, Debra Gwartney. The anthology brought together 45 poets and writers to create more than 850 original definitions for words that describe our lands and waters.

Eleven years later, those lands and waters are still under attack, in increasing need of our attention. “Our issue with the land around us,” he says, “is how to rekindle an informing conversation back and forth. And if we hope to develop policies that ensure our children will have a chance at a full life, alive, shaped as much by imagination as by need, we need to listen to what the land around us says.”

A full transcript is available here.

Season Three
Air Date: February 18, 2021
Audio from lecture: Barry Lopez
Recorded April 7, 2010
at Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall