Aldo and Estella Leopold Residency Program

Writer-in-Residence Program at “Mi Casita”

This program’s purpose is to provide an inspiring retreat for distinguished and emerging writers, thinkers, and artists. The mission is to highlight the relevance of Aldo Leopold’s ideas to current and future cultural and environmental issues. The former (and first) home of Aldo and Estella Leopold, "Mi Casita," is surrounded by the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico and serves as a meaningful place to pursue one’s creative efforts in the physical and intellectual context of  land ethics.

Residents are invited for up to a one-month stay at Mi Casita during the months of May to October. Each year the Residency’s steering committee invites at least one writer per year (selected from a pool of applicants). Each resident receives a stipend to help defray travel and living expenses. In exchange, and in addition to whatever other projects the resident pursues, each resident commits to offering a public presentation of their work in nearby Taos sometime during or immediately after their Mi Casita stay.

In 2016, for the first time, each resident who has recently published a book will be offered the opportunity to lecture and sign books at Denver’s famed Tattered Cover Bookstore as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Series of Lectures.

How to Apply: 2017 Residency

Information on the 2017 residency will be posted here when it is available. For questions, please contact Chris Furr of the U.S. Forest service at cfurr@fs.fed.us.

The residency program is sponsored by the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Rocky Mountain Land Library.

 

2016 Residents

PriscillaPriscilla Solis Ybarra (May 30 - July 1)

Priscilla Solis Ybarra is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Texas, specializing in Chicana/o Literature and Theory as well as Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism.  Her book Writing the Goodlife: Mexican American Literature and the Environment was published in March 2016 by the University of Arizona Press. It is the first study to engage a long-range environmental literary history of Chicana/o writing. Dr. Ybarra's essay, "Erasure by U.S. Legislation: Ruiz de Burton's Nineteenth-Century Novels and the Lost Archive of Mexican American Environmental Knowledge," is in the collection Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century. Among other essays, Dr. Ybarra published an article in the June 2009 issue of the journal MELUS titled "Borderlands as Bioregion: Jovita González, Gloria Anzaldúa, and the Twentieth Century Ecological Revolution in the Rio Grande Valley." Dr. Ybarra's most recent invited public appearance took place at Point Reyes Station, California in March 2015. There she joined leading environmental writers for the event "Mapping a New Geography of Hope: Women and the Land." Other invited lectures include visits to Utah Valley University, Stephen F. Austin University and the University of Nevada, Reno. International invited academic engagements include Stockholm, Sweden (September 2015), Bucharest, Romania (May 2012), Japan (Summer 2010), and Edinburgh, UK (November 2009). Dr. Ybarra has also presented talks at various national and international conferences, including the Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Western Literature Association, Congreso Internacional de Literatura Chicana, and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. She has taught courses for the Departments of English at Texas Tech University, Rice University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and for American Studies at Yale University.  She currently teaches courses on Chicana/o Literature and environmental literary studies at the University of North Texas. She also serves on the board of directors for Orion Magazine.

Andrew Gulliford (July 4 - August 5)

Andrew GuillifordAndrew Gulliford is a professor of history and Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He teaches popular courses on wilderness, national parks, Western history, and environmental history. He is the author of America’s Country Schools, Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions, and Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale, which won the Colorado Book Award. He edited Preserving Western History, which was voted one of the best books on the Southwest by the Tucson-Pima County Library. His most recent book Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology won the 2014 Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in the category of nature/environment and Best Book on Arizona. Outdoors in the Southwest also won the Colorado Book Award for best anthology. He writes columns about the west for the Durango Herald, Utah Adventure Journal, New Mexico WILD! and High Country News. Gulliford has had led tours across the West by canoe, raft, horseback, van, cruise ship, private train, and private jet for the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Great Old Broads for Wilderness, History Colorado and the San Juan Mountains Association. Dr. Gulliford has received the National Individual Volunteer Award from the U.S. Forest Service for wilderness education, and a certificate of recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture for “outstanding contributions to America’s natural and cultural resources.” For a decade he held a federal appointment to the Southwest Colorado Resources Advisory Council of the Bureau of Land Management.

MayaMaya Kapoor (Winter 2017)

Maya L. Kapoor graduated in 2015 with an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona. While enrolled at the UA, Maya became founding president of Many Voices, a student club dedicated to supporting the social and professional needs of creative writing students of color. Maya worked in field biology and environmental education for more than a decade and holds a master's in biology from Arizona State University. These days, Maya lives in Tucson where she works in science communications and in fostering intersections between the arts and environmental research. Maya's writing is published or forthcoming in An Essay Daily Reader (Coffee House Press); The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press); ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment; Edible Baja Arizona; and Terrain.org. As writer-in-residence, Maya will work on a collection of essays about nature in the urbanizing West, focusing on the uncharismatic or under-appreciated species existing in the marginal spaces where city and desert blur together.

2015 Residents

Gavin Van Horn (July-August)

Gavin Van Horn is the Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature (www.humansandnature.org), an organization dedicated to exploring and promoting moral and civic responsibilities to human communities and the natural world. Gavin received his doctorate from the University of Florida, with a specialization in Religion and Nature. He is the co-editor of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Relative Wild: Common Grounds for Conservation (University of Chicago Press, in progress). As a writer-in-residence, Gavin will be working on a new book of creative nonfiction, The Channel Coyotes, which highlights various urban animals and the ways in which they can be portals to understanding and caring for place.

 

 

 

Tovar Cerulli (October-November)

A vegan-turned-hunter, Tovar believes deeply in the importance of respecting ecological systems and our fellow creatures. As a consultant and educator, he is devoted to fostering insight and building conservation alliances in which diverse views are valued. Tovar is author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance. His writing has been published in High Country News, Outdoor America, Utne Reader,and Northern Woodlands, among others. A doctoral candidate in communication at UMass-Amherst, he is currently researching Ojibwe and Euro-American hunters’ ways of talking about wolves in the western Great Lakes region.

 

 

2014 Residents

Bonnie L. Harper-Lore

Bonnie’s interest in protecting native plants started with her first wildflower garden at age 12. Following her graduate work in restoration and management at the University of Wisconsin, she taught ecological principles at the University of Minnesota and established the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (DOT) native wildflower program. That program led her to the Federal Highway Administration as a program manager in 1993. For 17 years she taught all 50 state DOTs how to use native plants and control invasive plants through practical and affordable applied science methods. She reached across rights-of-way fences to collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, states, tribes and counties to slow the spread of invasive plants across the United States. Her interest in teaching continues with a Continuing Education course for the use of native plants by homeowners. Bonnie now has a chance to connect the public to Leopold’s land ethic at a personal level.

 

Leeanna T. Torres

Leeanna is a native daughter of the Land of Enchantment, NM.  While currently residing in Texas, she remains a meztiza (of mixed Spanish and Indian blood), working and laboring as an environmental professional but always remaining a student of both water and land, agua y tierra.  Her essays have been published in regional magazines such as La Herencia and the University of New Mexico’s Conceptions Southwest and Scribendi.  Through her writing she hopes to speak with and from that sacred sense of place that is inherent in the great Southwest, that intrinsic relationship between people and place - el sagrado, the sacred.  Ms. Torres greatest hope is to speak for the un-represented minority voice, as well as to follow in the footsteps of other naturalists who, masked with the element and discipline we call “science”, not only awaken us to the Mystery in nature, but also to that Mystery beyond nature.

 

2013 Residents

Dr. Paul Bogard
Paul Bogard is author of The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light (Little, Brown, 2013) and editor of Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark (U of Nevada Press, 2008).  A native Minnesotan, Paul has lived and taught in Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Reno, northern Wisconsin, and Winston-Salem.  He is now an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he teaches creative writing and environmental literature. Paul's interest in Aldo Leopold goes way back to his days at Carleton College, and continues into his current work on the value of darkness for life on earth.  Please contact Paul at bogardpw@jmu.edu.  

 

 Dr. John Hausdoerffer

John Hausdoerffer is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies & Philosophy at Western State Colorado University, where he also directs the Master in Environmental Management Program and the Headwaters Project. His research focuses on the intersection of environmental ethics and social justice. John's first book Catlin's Lament: Indians, Manifest Destiny, and the Ethics of Nature was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2009. His new research project investigates the relevance of Aldo Leopold's land ethic for 21st century global justice movements.

2012 Resident

Courtney White

Courtney White was the inaugural year’s program resident. A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, Courtney voluntarily dropped out of the `conflict industry in 1997 to co-found The Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists and others. His writing has been published in numerous magazines as well as having his The Carbon Pilgrim blog. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

Please enjoy reading a couple of Courtney’s refections about his Mi Casita experience:

  1.  Mi Casita
  2.  Leopold in the Anthropocene