Three masterful writers—each with different strategies—write about landscape and finite resources.
John D’Agata discusses the ramifications of the proposed nuclear waste repository near Las Vegas in his new book About a Mountain. Michael Govan considers Dan Flavin and his sense of place, and Klinkenborg reads from his meditations on place—Timothy and The Last Fine Time.
John D’Agata is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. Next fall he will begin directing the Center for the Essay, an organization dedicated to celebrating the artful nature of the essay, at Iowa. In 2006 he also founded The Essay Prize, which is an annual literary award given to a favorite essay from the previous year. Nominees for the Prize come from a committee of fifteen writers, editors, producers, filmmakers, and artists. He is the author of Halls of Fame and the editor of The Next American Essay and The Lost Origins of the Essay.
Verlyn Klinkenborg was born in Colorado in 1952 and raised in Iowa and California. He graduated from Pomona College and received a Ph.D. in English Literature from Princeton University. He is the author of Making Hay (1986), The Last Fine Time (1991), The Rural Life (2003), and Timothy: Or, Notes of an Abject Reptile (2006). He is a visiting professor at Bard College and the visiting writer in residence at Pomona College. He is also the recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and has been a member of the editorial board of the New York Times since 1997. Mr. Klinkenborg lives in rural New York state.
Michael Govan joined LACMA as Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director in 2006. In this role, he oversees all activities of the Museum, including Transformation, an ambitious, multi-faceted building program that is expanding, upgrading, and unifying the museum’s six-building, twenty-acre campus. Since Mr. Govan’s arrival at LACMA, he has energetically realized his vision of contemporary artists interacting with the museum’s historic collections, as evidenced by artist John Baldessari’s installation of the exhibition Magritte and Contemporary Art. From 1994 until 2006, Mr. Govan was President and Director of Dia Art Foundation, in New York City, where he spearheaded the creation of the 292,000-square-foot Dia: Beacon, a museum in New York’s Hudson Valley. Highly regarded for his curatorial work, Mr. Govan co-curated the acclaimed touring exhibition Dan Flavin: A Retrospective, organized by Dia in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Brighde Mullins' plays have been produced in New York, London, and San Francisco. Titles include: Monkey in the Middle, Fire Eater, Topographical Eden; Pathological Venus. She has received a Whiting Foundation Award, an NEA Fellowship and others. She has taught at Harvard University and at Brown University, and for fifteen years she curated the Reading Series at Dia Art Foundation in New York. She is currently the Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC.
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