Writer’s Voice Spotlight: Christopher Cokinos

by watershedcsuc


CSU, Chico Writer’s Voice is proud to present, naturalist, poet, and nonfiction writer, Christopher Cokinos, Thursday February 19th at 7:30pm in Colusa 100A.

Cokinos’ writing expresses concerns on many issues–climate change (especially geo-engineering), extinction, traditional natural history, space sciences, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and improving science communications. One recent afternoon, I sat on my back porch, among the trees, the bugs, the deer and the visiting foxes in order to fully experienced Cokinos’ book, Bodies, of the Holocene. In this book you start your journey quietly immersed in the healing heartbreak of nature and poetical prose. I remember thinking I’ve never read anything quite like this before. But, I can handle it. It’s a book of lyrical prose, after all. But the work escapes those boundaries and becomes your world. Through it, I was able to see the expanding sky with its joys and dangers. Experience the incredible loneliness of pain and separation and not turn away. I was hooked. The speaker in this book is hurting and he turns toward and relies upon the prairie of eastern Kansas to experience and come to terms with that pain. You can see yourself in his words. It was sunset by the time I turned the final page and completed our journey. I can’t wait to meet the author.

Cokinos is an author, a poet, a professor, and the Director of the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Arizona. He has been a crew journalist at the Mars Desert Research Station, and a researcher on a journey that brought 600 miles north of Artic circle to the South Pole. Currently he is an Udall Center Environmental Policy Fellow, and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona. His writing has won many awards, including, the Jon Burroughs Prize for Best Nature Essay (2007), a National Science foundation Antarctic visiting Artist and Writer Fellowship and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.

Christopher Cokinos is the author many works, including The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars (Tarcher/Penguin), and Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds (Tarcher/Penguin). With Eric Magrane, he has co-edited an anthology of contemporary nature writing called A Literary Field Guide to the Sonoran Desert (Arizona, 2016). Conkinos contributes essays to High Country News, and the Los Angeles Times. His current projects include Recivilization: Six Heresies to Keep a Planet Running. Which is an essay collection on massive technological approaches to contemporary environmental conditions. His work has been featured in a wide variety of venues, such as The Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The American Scholar, Science, and All Things Considered.

Please join us for an exciting evening with Christopher Cokinos, Thursday February 19th at 7:30pm in Colusa 100A. Thanks to contributions made by the Department of English and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Writer’s Voice readings are free and open to the public.

By Sylvia Bowersox