University of Pittsburgh
January 20, 2003

Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Hosts Essayist Terry Tempest Williams Feb. 3

Contact:  412-624-4147

January 21, 2003

PITTSBURGH—Essayist and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams will speak as part of the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series (PCWS) at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Schenley Drive, in Oakland. Williams is the fifth speaker in this free lecture series.

The 2001 William Block Sr. Writer, Williams has connected landscape, culture, and gender in writing such books as "Pieces of White Shell: A Journey to Navajoland" (University of New Mexico Press, 1984),"Coyote's Canyon" (Gibbs-Smith, 1989), and "Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape" (Pantheon, 1995).

Williams was widely praised for her sixth book, "Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place" (Pantheon, 1991). Regarded by American Nature Writing as "a classic," "Refuge" reconstructs the rise of the Great Salt Lake and subsequent flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in 1983. The story is told against the backdrop of her mother's affliction with ovarian cancer, believed to be caused by down winds from a Nevada nuclear testing site.

In addition to her books and essays, Williams has been widely anthologized, having also been published in "The New Yorker," "The Nation," "Outside," "Audubon," "Orion," "The Iowa Review," and "The New England Review."

A recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's National Conservationist's Award for Special Achievement, Williams was recently inducted into the Rachel Carson Honor Roll, named for the Ecology Hall of Fame scientist who exposed the dark side of science in alliance with the expansion of industrial society in 1962.

Raised within sight of the Great Salt Lake, Williams was a fellow for the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and a naturalist-in-residence at the Utah Museum of Natural History before moving to Castle Valley, Utah, where she now resides.

Pitt's Asian Studies Program, the Book Center, and the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place cosponsor the "Contemporary Writers Series."