Exploration of fracking includes music, readings

On at 7 p.m. April 12 in the ATC auditorium, GRCC’s School of Arts and Sciences and English Department will host an evening of music and readings from Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America (IceCube Press, 2016).

Fracture features well-known environmental writers – Rick Bass, Alison Hawthorn Deming, Linda Hogan, Derrick Jensen, Richard Manning, Bill McKibben, Stephanie Mills, Kathleen Dean Moore, Carolyn Raffensperger – and GRCC’s Maryann Lesert, responding to fracking, expanding pipelines, and threats to water, community, and place. The book also examines our relationship with Earth and the place of art in changing culture.

The April 12 evening will include readings from Fracture by authors Maryann Lesert, GRCC Associate Professor of English, Fracture co-editor Stefanie Brook Trout, and Michigan author Stephanie Mills. (Author bios appear below.)

Sarah Barker (Sairuhnade), a GRCC student and former recipient of GRCC’s Sigal Peace and Justice Scholarship, will perform songs from For the Water, an album written in response to oil and gas development (fracking) in Michigan’s state forests.

A book signing will follow the reading. Fracture and For the Water will be available for purchase at the event.

Fracture has been selected as a Midwest Connections book pick by the Independent Booksellers Association. IceCube Press’s release on Fracture (PDF) and book trailer appear at this link.

Author/Musician Bios:

Sarah Barker (with Max Lockwood) will perform songs from her 2014 album For the Water. The album was produced with support from GRCC’s Sigal Peace and Justice Scholarship and Barker donates profits to Michigan Land Air Water Defense, a local organization formed to protect public land from oil and gas drilling. Barker graduated from GRCC in 2014 and is now working toward a degree in Geochemistry.

Stefanie Brook Trout’s nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama explore the dynamic interactions between people and their surroundings, including social and built environments as well as the ecosphere. Her work has appeared in The Writing Disorder, Cardinal Sins, Festival Writer, ELM, and other environmental and place-based publications. In addition to co-editing Fracture with Taylor Brorby, Trout edited Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland (2014).

Maryann Lesert is a playwright, novelist, and journalist who teaches creative writing and writing based on the environment at Grand Rapids Community College. Her first novel, Base Ten, was published by the Feminist Press in 2009. Threshold, her current novel in progress, grew from two years of boots-on-well-sites research on fracking in Michigan’s state forests. Lesert is grateful to GRCC for the Sabbatical (2014) that supported the completion of Threshold.

Stephanie Mills is the author of Epicurean Simplicity, In Service of the Wild, and four other books. Over the past 40 years, her writing has appeared in Orion, Resurgence, CoEvolution Quarterly, and American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008). Mills also appears in PBS’s American Experience: Earth Days (2010) documentary which chronicles the American environmental movement. A longtime devotee of bioregionalism and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Mills has lived in northwest lower Michigan since 1984.

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