When a massive wildfire blazed across California in June 2008, five monks risked their lives to save Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Pyne-- wildfire expert and the country’s pre-eminent fire historian-- and Busch-- author and longtime Zen student-- discuss the ways of wildfires in the West and what it means to meet a crisis with full presence of mind.
Program one of four, co-presented with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
Colleen Morton Busch’s nonfiction, poetry, and fiction have appeared in a wide range of publications, from literary magazines to the San Francisco Chronicle and Yoga Journal, where she was a senior editor. Busch has been a Zen student since 2000. She is the author of Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara.
Stephen Pyne is a professor at Arizona State University and the author of over 20 books mostly dealing with the history, ecology, and management of fire and include big-screen histories for America, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Earth overall. Others deal with the history of exploration, notably How the Canyon Became Grand, The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica, and most recently Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery. Both interests, fire and exploration, grew out of 15 seasons he worked the North Rim Longshots, a fire crew at Grand Canyon National Park. He is currently researching a fire history of the U.S. over the past 50 years. He teaches a graduate course on nonfiction writing, which became the basis for his book Voice and Vision.
William Deverell is a professor of history at USC, where he specializes in the history of California and the American West and directs a scholarly institute that collaborates with the Huntington Library in San Marino. He is the author of Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past and Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850-1910. With Greg Hise, he is co-author of Eden by Design: The 1930 Olmsted-Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region. He is past chair of the California Council for the Humanities and a recent Fellow of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation of Los Angeles. He is also a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC.
Unless otherwise indicated, ALOUD programs take place at the Los Angeles Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071.