What: Celebration of Seeds Literary Reading
When: Monday May 4th, 7:00—8:30 p.m.
Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level 1 Meeting Room, 101 North Stone Ave.
As part of the International Seed Library Forum being held in Tucson this coming week, author of ten poetry and non-fiction books and University of Arizona professor Alison Deming will moderate a reading in celebration of the power of seeds.
Why include literature when thinking about seeds? Professor Deming explains: “Seeds carry our history, our desires and our hopes.” She agrees with the characterization of seeds as telling stories, citing Ander Monson’s short essay on the seed library (appearing in his collection Letter to a Future Lover) as one of her favorite examples of seeds appearing in literature.
When asked if she has a favorite seed or gardening poem or prose passage, Deming points to the works of Michael Pollan and Gary Paul Nabhan, the latter of whom will be reading at Monday evening’s event. She also recalls the national folk epic of Finland, the Kalevala, compiled in the 19th century after passing down through oral tradition. Deming explains that seeds are an integral part of the origin stories of that region, as exemplified in the song, “The Sower’s Charm.”
Rise, land, from slumbering, Creator’s grass, from sleeping!
Let stems grow stems, and stalks grow stalks.
Send up shoots by the thousand, spread sprouts by the hundred
as a result of my plowing, my sowing, especially of my toil.
The Celebration of Seeds literary reading will feature Scott Chaskey (farmer-poet, author of Seedtime) and Gary Paul Nabhan (orchard keeper-writer, author of Enduring Seeds and Sown By Hand, and Senior Contributing Editor for Edible Baja Arizona). Literature will be available for purchase from Native Seeds/SEARCH. The reading is free and open to the public.
Learn more about the first International Seed Library Forum and events open to the public here.
Header image by André Karwath, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license.