Literature and the Environment Conference Held at University of Maine at Farmington

FARMINGTON, MAINE (May 25, 2006)–The University of Maine at Farmington has
been selected as the ideal location for The Association for the Study of
Literature and the Environment’s conference called “Maine’s Place in the
Environmental Imagination.” The ASLE event, sponsored in-part by UMF and a
grant from the Maine Humanities Council will take place on the Farmington
campus on Friday, June 2, through Sunday, June 4.

Friday’s 7 p.m. keynote address will be given by Kent Ryden, director of
American and New England studies at the University of Southern Maine. Ryden
is the author of Mapping the Invisible Landscape: Folklore, Writing, and
the Sense of Place. On Saturday at 4 p.m. the conference also welcomes
notable Maine authors Wes McNair, Robert Kimber, and Patricia O’Donnell,
who will each discuss ways in which Maine’s “place” has often been the
subject of their own work.

McNair, author of My Brother Running, The Town of No, and The Faces of
Americans, was recently appointed as writer-in-residence following his
retirement from UMF in 2004. Kimber is the author of Living Wild and
Domestic: The Education of a Hunter-Gardner and A Place on Water: Essays,
and O’Donnell, UMF professor of creative writing, has published short
stories in the New Yorker, North American Review, Agni Review, Short Story,
Prairie Schooner, and other national publications as well as The Eloquent
Edge, The Quotable Moose and other anthologies.

Other conference activities include presentations/workshops on the ways in
which Maine has figured into the environmental imagination of North
America. Topics include: Thoreau and Maine; Maine and the Gothic; Maine as
Myth, Symbol, Idea; The Two Maines: Coast vs. Mountains; Maine Logging; and
Maine Poverty and Wilderness. On Sunday, conference attendees can
participate in recreational excursions to nearby Mt. Blue State Park where
they can choose to hike up the Tumbledown Mountain trail or canoe/kayak on
Webb Lake.

The keynote speech and panel presentation by McNair, Kimber, and O’Donnell
are free and open to the public, and will be held in UMF Roberts Learning
Center, C-23. However, the cost to attend the full weekend conference is
$100 which includes lunch and dinner on Saturday. To register, please
contact UMF Associate Professor of English Michael Burke, at 207-778-7205,
or mdburke@maine.edu.