Conservation in Verse: Authors, Artists & Activists on Protecting the Landscapes We Love

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Friends and co-host special March forum on art, community action and conservation.

Literature, photography and art have long served as sources of inspiration that have helped fuel community-led conservation efforts to protected treasured landscapes, from the Columbia Gorge to the Grand Canyon. On March 27, Friends of the Columbia Gorge and A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments will co-host a special evening exploring the intersection of artistic inspiration and community-led conservation initiatives with award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield and Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford.
Held at Portland's famed The Old Church concert hall, readings by Hirshfield and Stafford will be followed by a moderated panel and Q&A session exploring the intersection of artistic inspiration and community conservation efforts to protect treasured places. Tickets for the event are $15 for adults, $10 for students. All proceeds from the event will go to further Friends and public education and conservation efforts. 

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Featured Artists

Jane Hirshfield - Poet, Essayist & Translator
Jane Hirshfield, an internationally renowned poet, essayist and translator, has lived in northern California since 1974 and is the author of eight much-honored poetry collections, two now-classic books of essays on poetry’s interior and civic working, and four books presenting world poets from past. Jane’s longstanding interest in the environment and science issues has led to residencies with Oregon’s H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and with a neuroscience research program at University of California, San Francisco. Her reading at the inaugural March for Science in Washington, D.C., in 2017 continues with an ongoing outreach project, Poets for Science. She has been a visiting poet at UC Berkeley, Bennington College, University of Virginia, Stanford, and elsewhere.
Jane’s awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations, and the Academy of American Poets; the Poetry Center Book Award; and the California Book Award. Her most recent collection, The Beauty, was long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award; her 2001 book Given Sugar, Given Salt was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her 2006 book After was shortlisted for England’s premiere poetry honor, the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Poetry, and has been selected for ten editions of Best American Poetry. She was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2012.
Kim Stafford - Oregon Poet Laureate
Kim Stafford was born and grew up in Oregon. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and editor of half a dozen others. His book Having Everything Right: Essays of Place won a citation for excellence from the Western States Book Awards in 1986. Kim has received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Governor’s Arts Award, and the Stewart Holbrook Award from Literary Arts for his contributions to Oregon’s literary culture. His work has been featured on National Public Radio.
Kim holds a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Oregon. He has worked as a printer, photographer, oral historian, editor, and visiting writer at a host of colleges and schools, and has also offered writing workshops in Italy, Scotland, and Bhutan. Kim lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children. He is the second Stafford to serve as Oregon’s Poet Laureate; his father, William Stafford, held the appointment from 1974 to 1989. 

Roundtable Respondents

Kevin Gorman - Executive Director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge
As executive director, Kevin Gorman oversees all the activities of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, as well as its land trust, which currently owns 1,000 acres of land. Kevin joined the organization in 1998 and during his tenure Friends has grown from eight staff and one office to 21 staff and three offices; net assets have grown from $750,000 to $18 million. Kevin helped lead the $4.5 million Cape Horn land acquisition campaign and assisted in creating two nonprofits in the Gorge: the Klickitat Trail Conservancy and the Cape Horn Conservancy. Kevin was previously the associate director of Oregon Natural Resources Council (now Oregon Wild) and has served as board president for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and EarthShare Oregon, a workplace giving organization. Prior to his nonprofit adventures, Kevin was the creative director of an advertising agency in Detroit, MI.

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith – Co-Director, Artist Residency Program, Signal Fire

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith is a contemporary Klamath Modoc visual artist based in Modoc Point, OR. The conceptual framework of her practice focuses on channeling research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic playfulness rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism. Utilizing painting and traditional Indigenous art practices, her work explores space in-between the Indigenous and western paradigms. Ka’ila displays work in the form of paintings, objects, and self-curated installations.

Ka’ila is a Co-director for Signal Fire artist residency program. Her work has been exhibited at Out of Sight, Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Missoula Art Museum, MT and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy; and in Oregon she has work in the permanent collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Portland Art Museum. Ka’ila has recently been selected to attend artist residencies at Caldera, Djerassi, Ucross, Playa, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Crow's Shadow. Ka'ila Farrell-Smith received a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practices Studio from Portland State University.


Marty Hughley, Oregon ArtsWatch

Marty Hughley is a Portland journalist who writes about theater, dance, music and culture. His honors have included a National Arts Journalism Program fellowship at the University of Georgia, a fellowship at the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater at the University of Southern California, and first-place awards for arts reporting in the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Competitions. In 2013 he was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame for his contributions to the industry.

A Portland native, Hughley studied history at Portland State University, worked at the alternative newsweekly Willamette Week in the late 1980s as pop music critic and arts editor, then spent nearly a quarter century at The Oregonian as a reporter, feature writer and critic. His recent freelance work has appeared in Oregon ArtsWatch, Artslandia and the Oregon Humanities magazine.

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More information

All author interview requests should be directed to General media inquiries, press event RSVPs, and collaboration/partnership opportunity questions should be directed to Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
For Friends - Burt Edwards, Communications Director | Cell: 703-861-8237 |
For - Simmons Buntin, Editor-in-Chief | Cell: 520-241-7390|