Annual Orion Scholarship Benefit, 10/3

Annual Orion Scholarship Benefit, 10/3

Because writing about connections between nature and culture has never been more urgent, join Orion Magazine and the Southern New Hampshire University Mountainview MFA Program in Creative Writing and teachers Craig Childs and Amy Irvine for an evening to benefit The Orion Scholarship for Students Writing about Social & Ecological Justice Issues. The event, hosted by Holly Sloan & Colby Smith, takes place at Auberge Resort’s Element 52, 398 S Davis St, in Telluride.

For further details, read Craig and Amy’s appeal and description.

RSVP to Amy here because space is limited: and if you can’t attend, but want to support the cause, please contact Lisa Janicki at

We would also like to invite you to set aside the evening of October 3rd to join us for readings and conversation about the natural world and the social influences that either jeopardize or respect its ecological processes.

Craig and I both teach nonfiction writing and, as former recipients of the Orion Book Award, we have this mounting sense of concern over the state of the world and the veracity/quality/distribution of stories that accurately reflect that state.

Two years ago, we approached the award-winning Orion Magazine to see how we might better cultivate the next generation of writers to speak to these concerns. The result is The Orion Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance to students who address social and ecological issues in their work.

Last August, Telluride residents Holly Sloan and Colby Smith kindly hosted the 1st Annual Orion Scholarship Benefit at Element 52. Thus far, two well-deserving students who are driven and talented enough to be published in prestigious publications such as Orion have received significant tuition assistance for a total of three semesters.

Our featured guest for the 2nd Annual Orion Scholarship Benefit is John Hausdoerffer, a fellow for the Center for Humans and Nature, as well as  executive director of the Center for Environment & Sustainability at Western State Colorado University, where he is professor of environmental sustainability and philosophy and directs the Master in Environmental Management Program.

John is the author of “Catlin’s Lament: Indians, Manifest Destiny, and the Ethics of Nature” and editor of Aaron Abeyta’s “Letters from the Headwaters.” He’ll read from the newly published and well-received “Wildness: Relations of People & Place” for which he was an editor and contributing author.

About “Wildness,” J. Drew Lanham, author of “The Home Place: Memoir’s of a Colored Man’s Affair With Nature,” writes:

“Comprehensive, inclusive, and evocative, comfortable enough to be considered literature but groundbreaking enough to enter into discussions of policy and planning for the future, ‘ ildness’ is storytelling and word-singing at its best. It is also a book I simply (and badly) want on my bookshelf to pull down and read words that flow like water, but have the lasting impact of fire.”

Also speaking will be Telluride’s beloved Jack Watson, who served as Director of the Transition Team during the transition of government from President Ford to President Carter.

In the Carter administration from 1977 to 1981, Watson served as Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs, Secretary to the Cabinet, and White House Chief of Staff.

After those two fine men speak, Craig and I, along with the director of our MFA program, Benjamin Nugent, will join them in a conversation and Q & A session.

Admission is free. Donations and bidding on silent auction items will be wildly, gratefully welcomed.

Your generosity ensures authors and activists such as Craig and myself can continue to teach/mentor/promote emerging voices speaking on behalf of the wild world and the various human communities who are connected to it– whether they are aware of it or not. That is our job here, and what we need your help with.

Light food and libations will be catered, thanks again to Holly Sloan and Colby Smith. Books will be sold by Between the Covers and signed by the authors.

Please RSVP to me, at this email address, and I’ll put you on the list, as space is limited.



Amy Irvine & Craig Childs

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