Severson Dells holds lecture & workshop series

Severson Dells holds lecture & workshop series


Severson Dells will present a program on “A Sense of Place, Belonging & Community”, an author lecture and workshop series featuring visiting author Janisse Ray. “An Evening with Janisse Ray” will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15, at Severson Dells Environment Education Center. Join Ms. Ray as she shares through lecture, readings and discussion her thoughts on the connection of land and place. She grew up in a junkyard along U.S. Highway 1, hidden from Florida-bound travelers by the hedge at the edge of the road by the hulks of old cars, stacks of blown-out tires and primeval jumbles of rusted metal. In her latest book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, she tells how a childhood spent in rural isolation grew into a passion to save the almost-vanished longleaf pine ecosystem that once covered the South.

Naming the Unseen, her chapter book of poetry about biology and place, won the 1996 Merriam-Frontier Award from the University of Montana, where Ray earned an MFA in creative writing in 1997. A naturalist and environmental activist, Ray has published essays and poems in such newspapers and magazines as Audubon, Wild Earth, Hope, Orion, Florida Wildlife and Georgia Wildlife.

The program is co-sponsored by Severson Dells Education Foundation and Northern Public Radio WNIU 90.5 and 105.7 FM. The program is funded by the Smith Charitable Foundation.

Writer Workshop at

Sugar River Forest Preserve

A Writer Workshop will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. the same day at Riverview Shelterhouse at Sugar River Forest Preserve. Limit is 20 people maximum. Join Janisse Ray during this workshop and examine the relationships that connect the land and people. Ms. Ray will assist participants in developing writing and observation skills to help us better inform others about the land/people relationship. Through readings, discussion and writing activities, she will assist us in nurturing an understanding of the language of the land and a sense of place.

Fees for members of “Friends of SDEF” are $10 each Writer Workshop; free each reading/lecture if pre-registered; $5 at door Reading/Lecture.

Fees for non-members: $20 each Writer/Workshop; $5 each Reading/Lecture; $10 at door Reading/Lecture.

Call (815) 335-2915 for registration form and more information.

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