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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Nabhan brings nature storytelling to Poetry Center

    Gary Nabhan is more than just a poet. He is an award winning, Lebanese-American, non-fiction writer, lecturer, food and farming advocate, ecologist, ethno botanist, folklorist, and conservationist.

    Nabhan will read for the UA Prose Series on Thursday, March 5 at 8 p.m. at the Poetry Center,1508 E. Helen Street.

    Nabhan received his masters in plant sciences in 1978 and his doctoral degree in arid lands resource sciences in 1983 from the UA.

    He is most famous for his writings on natural and cultural history in the Southwest United States and the Mexican border.

    “”Gary Nabhan is a very important writer for this region,”” said Alison Deming, a creative writing professor at the UA.

    In fact, Nabhan is involved with the faculty and with graduate students studying creative writing and reconciliation ecology research at the UA. He accepted a tenured professorship as a research social scientist with the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona in 2008.

    Despite being born in Gary, Ind., Nabhan’s writing involves Southwestern plants and native cultures located here. He was the founding director of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University. He was employed as the director of science at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and was also the co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, a nonprofit conservation organization that advocates the preservation of indigenous southwestern plants and agriculture.

    Nabhan has edited and authored 18 books of natural history, travel, and culinary folklore. He has also written one chapter book of poetry.

    In one of his more popular books, “”Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods,”” Nabhan rediscovered what it means to eat locally. He spent a year trying to consume only foods grown, fished or gathered within 200 miles of his home.

    “”Gary is a great story teller,”” said Deming. “”He weaves science and observation out into the world through his work.””

    His awards include the John Burroughs Medal for the book, “”Gathering the Desert,”” a MacArthur Fellowship award, a Lannan Literary award, a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment, a Lifetime Achievement award, a Quivira Coalition award, and the Southwest book award in 1986 and 1999.

    “”The audience will find his reading to be entertaining,”” said Deming. “”They might even see their place in this world in a new way.””

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