Telluride’s Library: Thrills and spills at back to back writing events

Telluride’s Library: Thrills and spills at back to back writing events

[click “Play” to hear Jon Turk’s conversation with Susan]

Jon Turk On Wednesday, March 3, starting at 6 p.m., Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library hosts two back to back writing events chock-a-block with thrills and spills. Promise.

Program One, a joint venture between the Library and Between the Covers bookstore, features author/scientist/adventurer Jon Turk, who plans to read from his latest book, “The Raven’s Gift.”

Jon is not your average Joe. For starters, he holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he lived before moving to Telluride in the mid-1970s, which makes him a prodigal son. He is also a gonzo adventurer: Jon has kayaked around Cape Horn, mountain-biked, unsupported, across the Gobi desert, made first climbing ascents of big walls on Baffin Island, and first ski descents in the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzia, but claims he experienced his greatest adventure in Siberian tundra, the setting for “The Raven’s Gift.”

Raven's Gift cover-small A review in The Albuquerque Journal raved:

“It may be early in the year but I think “The Raven’s Gift” will be in the running for Best High Adventure/Outdoor book of 2010, if there is such a prize. But Jon Turk’s book is so much more. It relates the history of Siberia, of the generosity and the ancient wisdom of the indigenous people there, of its forbidden tundra. It’s a winner.”

“The Raven” was also endorsed by Henry Pollack, a world-renowned geoscientist and co-winner with Al Gore of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

“The tension between his own logical scientific background and the mysterious shamanistic wisdom of his healer is at the heart of this wonderfully told story of Koyrak life, and of his own personal transformation.”

Jon turns out to be a poster child for the time-tested truism: “The more we know, the less we know.” And he is in good company. Later in life, scientists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking hit the end of their intellectual rope and developed an attitude of cosmic awe some choose to call religion. Why? Because they found it impossible to imagine they were the first to connect all delicate threads that make up our perceptions, nor could they believe those perceptions were the whole enchilada. Jon, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, cried “Uncle!” after meeting Moolynaut, a 100-year-old Siberian shaman who effected the healing of his broken and damaged pelvis by appealing in an ancient tongue to Kutcha, The Raven, as he stood naked, balancing on one leg.

Science and humanism coalesce, tying the delicate threads of Jon’s life together, in “The Raven’s Gift,” a story which articulates the journey that led to a life-altering vision about the ties between the natural and spiritual realms.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Jon Turk’s podcast.

Program Two at the Library is part of an ongoing series: Publishing 101: Part 3, “Making Smart Business Decisions For Your Book,” with author Bob Rubadeau. For more on that, click on Telluwriter on Telluride Inside… and Out.

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