I wouldn’t be honest if I said this road trip had not begun with any structural or thematic perimeters. Punctuated by sustainability residences at both Goddard College in the northeast and Prescott College in the southwest, it should be a dead giveaway, we are writers with activism living in our hearts. Yet even with the obvious focus of the largest periods of rest during this trip, we hadn’t fully embraced the sustainability aspect until we attended the Association in Literature and the Environment (ASLE) conference just a few weeks prior to leaving.http://www.aslebiennialconference.com/
I was presenting my ideas on gender and we both got an earful of wonderful plenary speakers and workshops (including one our favorite indigenous writers, Linda Hogan! http://www.lindahoganwriter.com/) If you have an opportunity to attend an ASLE conference, please do. It only happens every two years, but we learned so much about seeing our work through an environmentalist lens and how we might be able to garner resources among those of like mind whether they are creative writers or not. Did you know there is a category of fiction called CLI-FI as in climate fiction? Just check out some titles at http://eco-fiction.com/ While writer’s are constantly trying to defy categorization, sometimes finding you fit a category you never knew existed is a bit like returning home to lost family and finding a whole culture of support. I’m learning to be careful with my metaphors. I wanted to say it was a goldmine, but then given the recent horrific goldmine spill in the Animas River in Southern Colorado made me rethink the metaphor. For me, that’s the intersectionality writers need to be exploring. In what ways do we support the status quo?
Which brings me back to the other bookend for our trip that I want to bring to your attention before we get into some road stories blogging, in case you might like to plan ahead a little bit and show up. If you are in the area or nearby, please come! Ron and I are honored to play a small role in the upcoming bay area Soil Not Oil Conference featuring Vandana Shiva as a keynote. Although we will be discussing with writers how to change the paradigm in our workshop and would love to see you, the coolest part of conference will be the workshops and presentations by so many great people working for a more resilient future. And so please consider this a public service announcement of our context. We exist, because there is soil. Ironically when we move beyond the catastrophic doomsday scenario that our relationship with oil has claimed for us, we discover we do have alternatives and its roots lie in the soil. Regenerative agriculture is rich with new metaphors for writers, new metaphors for all of us. Come and find out! http://soilnotoilcoalition.org/