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Wild Nature with Sean Prentiss

Award-winning author Sean Prentiss partners with AWC for not-to-be-missed events exploring ecology, environmental writing, and our intimate relationship with nature.

Friday, March 11th

10:00am    Nature Hike Learn more
10:00am    Writing Workshop Learn more
2:30pm    Reading & Book Signing Learn more

Sunday, March 13th

5:00pm    Happy Hour Learn more
   About Sean Prentiss Learn more

Nature Hike, Saguaro National Park

Friday, March 11th, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Naturalists including Arizona biologist Cesar Fuentes and reptile expert Jim Rorabaugh will join Sean to lead participants in an interpretive hike to explore the natural wonders of the Sonoran Desert.

  • Free
  • Register by Wednesday, March 9th
  • Call (520) 326-4300 or click here to RSVP
  • Meeting details and locations will be provided to registered participants.


Writing Wild: an Environmental Writing Workshop

Friday, March 11th, 10:00am - 2:00pm
How do we write about nature, about wilderness, about craggy bands of rock and weathered saguaro cactuses? How do we write about the places where we live and work whether they are urban streets littered with cars or somewhere closer to those red rock canyons we long to disappear into? How do we write about the places we long to defend, whether they are our backyards or a pristine national park?

Sean will help participants explore how to bring landscapes alive on the page, how to let readers not only see place but understand how place shapes us and our characters. Some of the major topics discussed will be how to transform landscapes from a plywood cutout into what is known as a “place-character,” a landscape that rises off the page and is as important as the characters themselves.

In this workshop, we will also examine how place affects both individuals and groups and how that affects how we write about place. Finally, participants will explore how place affects the very story itself. For this workshop, participants will receive an excerpt from Sean’s new textbook on environmental writing to prepare for the workshop.

  • Workshop participants will join the Nature Hike for approximately the first hour and then remain in Saguaro National Park for the duration of the outdoor writing workshop.
  • $10 for AWC Members; $15 for Nonmembers
  • Register by Tuesday, March 8th
  • Limited to 15 participants, so register early!
  • Call (520) 326-4300 or

Writing Wild Workshop

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Reading & Book Signing

Friday, March 11th, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Sean will read from "Finding Abbey" and autograph books for sale.

Saguaro National Park West (Mountain District) Visitor Center
2700 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona 85743 (map/directions)

Wildly Happy Hour

Sunday, March 13th, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Join Sean and fellow explorers of the mind and land for an informal gathering at a local watering hole. Sean will read excerpts from his book, and all are encouraged to share stories of personal adventure and inspiration in nature.

  • Free and open to the public
  • Ermanos Craft Beer and Wine Bar, featuring an extensive curated selection of craft beer and wine, and menu offerings made 100% from scratch.
    • Join us in the tasting room, and our good friends at Ermanos will donate 10% of the event proceeds to AWC!
    • Located in the heart of trendy 4th avenue at 220 N 4th Avenue in Tucson (map/directions).
  • RSVP recommended, but not required; please call (520) 326-4300 or click here to RSVP.

* * * * *

Sean is an assistant professor of creative writing at Norwich University and author of the National Outdoor Book Award-winning Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave and the forthcoming environmental writing textbook, Nature and Environmental Writing: A Guide and Anthology. He will be appearing at the Tucson Festival of Books March 12 and 13, 2016.

About Finding Abbey
When the great environmental writer Edward Abbey died in 1989, four of his friends buried him secretly in a hidden desert spot that no one would ever find. The final resting place of the Thoreau of the American West remains unknown and has become part of American folklore. In this book a young writer who went looking for Abbey’s grave combines an account of his quest with a creative biography of Abbey. Sean Prentiss takes readers across the country as he gathers clues from his research, travel, and interviews with some of Abbey's closest friends—including Jack Loeffler, Ken “Seldom Seen” Sleight, David Petersen, and Doug Peacock. Along the way, Prentiss examines his own sense of rootlessness as he attempts to unravel Abbey’s complicated legacy, raising larger questions about the meaning of place and home. Learn more about "Finding Abbey".

Cesar was born in Nogales, Arizona and received his master's and doctorate in Biology from Northern Arizona University. He has lectured for the past five years at three different undergraduate institutions. His background and experience as a scholar and researcher have provided him with a scientific perspective to help non-traditional and traditional students with the ability to think strategically based on scientific literature. Cesar’s growing passion for wildlife and land preservation has led to his dedication and participation in efforts aimed at land and habitat preservation. He is intrigued by questions regarding the history and future of the Sonoran desert - how will desert fauna and flora adapt to numerous challenges such as urban sprawl and climate change? What will happen to the Saguaro forests in 25, 50 or 100 years? These questions can be used to generate better discussion among scientific, government and community-focused groups whose main goal is to better protect and manage our last remaining public lands in the Sonoran Desert.

Jim Rorabaugh is a widely acclaimed expert on herptiles — reptiles and amphibians — who retired from a distinguished career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he worked on endangered species issues and fostered conservation training in Mexico. Jim received the Meritorious Service Award from the U.S. F.W.S. in 2010. Read more about Arizona-Sonora cross-border species conservation, with Jim as a co-author.



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