The University Record, April 1, 1998

Environmental Theme Semester leads Orion Society writers to the U-M

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Writers William Kittredge and Annick Smith look at photos of the move Burnham house made while others hear how it will be used. Photo by Rebecca A. Doyle

The Forgotten Language Tour isn't one led in Latin or Greek, or even an obscure Midwestern dialect. It is instead an attempt to help communities recognize "that the health of the human community is inextricably bound with that of our natural world," says The Orion Society. The language is the communion with and recognition of the importance that nature and ecology play in the human community.

Six writers with that objective attended a tour of Nichols Arboretum and preserved natural areas in the Ann Arbor area last week. Led by Bob Grese, professor of natural resources, and John Knott, professor of English, as part of the University's Environmental Theme Semester, writers Alison Hawthorne Deming, William Kittredge, Stephanie Mills, Pattiann Rogers, Scott Russell Sanders and Annick Smith put on hiking boots and strolled through the Arb.

Interwoven with readings from their own works, their two-day stay gave students, faculty and staff a taste of the importance of nature in their own community, while fueling the visiting writers with material for more works. As part of the event, they also met with classes and representatives of local community organizations.