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Saturday Seminars: Abbey Lives! Celebrating the Green Imagination

Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 9:30am to 12:00pm

Baker Downtown Center
975 High Street, Eugene, OR 97401

Can words move mountains? (Or keep them intact?) Can they move us to tears? Can they move us to action? We will get our mental hands in the muck of miracle as we marvel at inspired and inspiring, heart-breaking and eye-opening writing over time that has changed the earth--and how we see and think. We will ponder writing that has resulted in ways to respect, revere, protect, and legislate our earth. In famous and iconic poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including Supreme Court decisions, we will wonder at text: what is so powerful about these words that describe clouds and daffodils, grasshoppers and a crab's shell and rocks? From our first recorded story etched in cuneiform in 2700 BCE, to our current Poets Laureate, to our own Dr. B, we will get in the weeds; words will rock our world.

Class will include lecture, discussion, small groups, and video, with writing in journals. Each week a text and readings will be assigned, with questions for journal writing in one's alcove or tree nook. It takes a village: we can't read it all in four weeks, but we divide into teams to report back on several works. 

  • All read: Thoreau, Walden
  • Recommended: Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
  • Recommended articles: Thoreau, "Walking," John Muir, "The Forests Were God's First Temples." Hand-outs and digital versions of poetry, essays, and other reading for at home and in class.


Dr. Barbara Mossberg is a Professor of Practice in Literature in the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Seminar


Division of Student Services and Enrollment Management, Continuing and Professional Education, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Target Audience

All Students, Faculty/Staff, General Public, Alumni



$95 OLLI-UO Members; $135 General Community Members


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