UCSB Arts and Lectures hosts Terry Tempest Williams, an acclaimed author, naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech who constantly speaks on an ethical stance toward life, environmental issues and matters of justice. In 2014 Williams received the John Muir Award for distinguished leadership in American conservation. Recently her book The Hour of Land: A Personal Topograghy of America’s National Parks was published in honor of the centennial of the National Park Service.
Williams is known for her impassioned, lyrical prose which dictates much of The Hour of Land, which considers the meaning and role of the national parks. Part memoir, part natural history and part social critique, her personal writings are illustrated by photographs taken by Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon and others. Williams is the author of many other environmental literary works and she is also a columnist for The Progressive magazine.
Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women’s health issues, been a guest at the White House, camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska and worked as “a barefoot artist” in Rwanda. A chronicler of the American West, Williams was raised in Utah and is a longtime resident of the state. She recently purchased energy leases for more than 1,000 acres of wilderness near her home in Castle Valley. After being asked by an official whether the motivation in buying the leases was in fact for energy exploration, she is famously reported to have answered, “Yes. You can’t define what energy is for us. Our energy development is fueling a movement. Keep it in the ground.”
In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She has received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and The Center for the American West’s Wallace Stegner Award. 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.
UCSB Arts and Lectures presents Terry Tempest Williams on April 12 at Campbell Hall (Building 538, Mesa Rd.). She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online, and further questions can be directed to 805/893-3535.