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March 2, 2004

Contact Grant Smith at 796-3485 or


LA CROSSE, Wis -- Naturalist Terry Tempest Williams, the critically acclaimed author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, will speak at the Franciscan Spirituality Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 31 and at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1.

Both events are free and open to the public, but guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for Place of Grace, a Catholic worker house in La Crosse.

“In many ways, Terry Tempest Williams is a perfect fit for the Viterbo University community,” said Grant Smith, Viterbo professor of English. “She is a leading environmental activist who shares Aldo Leopold’s understanding of redefining the land ethic. She is an advocate of women’s spirituality and she links this spiritual strength to the land. Williams lives Franciscan values, and she encourages all of us to protect the wild that exists in our land and in our souls.”
Williams’ other books include Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert, The Garden of Delights, and Leap, essay collections An Unspoken Hunger, Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape, Coyote’s Canyon, and Pieces of White Shell: A Journey to Navajoland, and the children’s books The Secret Language of Snow and Between Cattails.
Williams has earned several prestigious honors including receiving the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Award for Special Achievement, being named to the Rachel Carson Honor Roll, receiving literary fellowships from the Guggenheim and Lannan Foundations, and being named by Newsweek magazine as one of the major new players in the American West.

Her talk at Viterbo is sponsored by the Paul E. Stry Foundation, the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics and Leadership, Viterbo University, and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

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