GATHER: ROBIN WALL KIMMERER

Photo: Matt Roth
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Join mother, scientist, decorated professor, and author, Robin Wall Kimmerer for a conversation on her collection of essays, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants.

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plans and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings -asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass – offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.

Braiding Sweetgrass was named a New York Times Best Seller, a Washington Post Best Seller, a Los Angeles Times Best Seller, a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub, A Book Riot “Favorite Summer Read of 2020,” and a Food Tank Fall 2020 Reading Recommendation.

Copies of Braiding Sweetgrass can be purchased in advance with tickets or on the day of the program, while supplies last.

  • Robin Wall Kimmerer

    Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in OrionWhole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. In 2022, Braiding Sweetgrass was adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith. This new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us.

    Robin tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. In 2022 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

    As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

    https://www.robinwallkimmerer.com

    Photo: Dale Kakkak

     

Sponsors

This program is presented as part of GATHER: Conversations Led by Black & Indigenous Changemakers, co-produced by Guild Hall and Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio. Revenue from the program will equally support Learning programs at both Guild Hall and Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio.

Guild Hall’s Learning + New Works programs are made possible through The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, Vital Projects Fund, the Glickberg/Abrahams S. Kutler Foundation, Stephanie Joyce and Jim Vos, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment. 

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