May 7: Author Terry Tempest Williams

Event Details

Date: May 6, 2014

Times: 7 p.m.

Location: Kresge Recital Hall

Ticket Info: Free for Augustana students with a valid ID, $10 for Augustana faculty and staff, $20 for the general public |

Award-winning author Terry Tempest Williams will speak at Augustana at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, in Kresge Recital Hall. The event is sponsored by the Union Board of Governors' Culture and Fine Arts Committee.

Williams will read and discuss themes from her book, "Finding Beauty in a Broken World." The event will also feature an audience Q&A.

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Tickets are free for Augustana students and faculty/staff with a valid ID, $20 for the general public, and are available at

Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.

“So here is my question,” she asks, “what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be re-distributed equitably even beyond our own species?”

Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women’s health issues, been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as “a barefoot artist” in Rwanda. Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Williams is the author of the environmental literature classics, "Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place;" "An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field;" "Desert Quartet;" "Leap";" Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert;" and "The Open Space of Democracy." Her book, "Finding Beauty in a Broken World," was published in 2008 by Pantheon Books.

In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction.

In 2009, she was featured in Ken Burns’ PBS series on the national parks.

Williams is currently the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change. She is a columnist for the magazine The Progressive. She and her husband, Brooke Williams, divide their time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Jackson Hole, Wyo. Her most recent book, "When Women Were Birds," was published in Spring 2012.