Conservation ornithologist J. Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, will give a reading at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, at Elk River Books.
Lanham’s book is a memoir of his relationship to his family’s homestead in South Carolina, where he fell in love with the natural world. The Home Place explores what it means to find joy and freedom in the same land his ancestors were tied to by forced labor, and the challenges of being a black man in a profoundly white field.
“The Home Place is a groundbreaking work about race and the American landscape, and a deep meditation on nature, selfhood and the nature of home,” writes Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk.
Lanham holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor at Clemson University. His essays on the intersections of culture and conservation, ethnicity and place, are widely anthologized and have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, Slate and National Geographic Online.
Lanham’s presentations, “Connecting the Conservation Dots” and “Coloring the Conservation Conversation,” have been delivered internationally as calls for increased focus on inclusion, diversity and passion in the environmental movement.
During Lanham’s visit — which was made possible by a grant from Humanities Montana — he also will meet with students at Park High School. The free, public event will take place upstairs at 5:30 p.m., at Elk River Books, 120 N Main St., in Livingston.
Elk River Arts & Lectures is a non-profit organization that seeks to bring writers to Livingston for free public readings, and to provide opportunities for those writers to interact with local public school students. For more information, call 333-2330 or visit elkriverarts.org.