David Rains Wallace, the revered chronicler of the majesty and mystery of North Coast wildlands, appears Thursday, Sep. 10 at the Arcata Playhouse for a reading and interview with North Coast writer and activist Greg King. Doors open at 6:30, and the event begins at 7:30. Cost is $10, students $8. Tickets are available at Wildberries and at the door.
If New England had Emerson and Thoreau, and the Sierra had John Muir, then the fabled Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains have David Rains Wallace. The celebrated author, who turned 70 this year, is best known for his seminal 1983 book, The Klamath Knot, which received the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing and the Commonwealth Club of California Silver Medal for Literature.
The San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune included The Klamath Knot in their lists of the best books of 1983. The Chronicle wrote, “Not since Lewis Thomas wrote The Lives of a Cell has there been a union of science, beauty, imagination and fine writing like the one David Wallace has provided in The Klamath Knot.” The eminent botanist, G. Ledyard Stebbins, called The Klamath Knot “a classic of natural history which will take its place alongside Walden and A Sand County Almanac.”
Wallace’s first published writing on natural history and conservation appeared in Clear Creek Magazine in 1970. Since then he has published twenty books, and his work has appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The Norton Anthology of Nature Writing, Zyzzyva, Harpers, Mother Jones, Greenpeace, Sierra, Wilderness, Country Journal, Backpacker, and Bay Nature.
Wallace’s most recent book, Articulate Earth: Adventures in Ecocriticism (published in Humboldt County by Backcountry Press), contains several essays about the mountains of the North Coast. This fall Counterpoint Press will publish Wallace’s twenty-first book, Mountains and Marshes: Exploring the Bay Area’s Natural History.
The Wallace reading is a benefit for Siskiyou Land Conservancy, an Arcata-based non-profit land trust that protects precious habitat on the North Coast of California. Event moderator Greg King is executive director of Siskiyou Land Conservancy, and also a published writer. King’s latest work is Rumours of Glory, the memoir of Canadian rock star Bruce Cockburn, which King co-wrote with Cockburn (Harper 2014).