Writers' Lunch: Ecological Awareness in Writing | Mechanics' Institute

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Writers' Lunch: Ecological Awareness in Writing
moderated by Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte

Join Mechanics' Institute for a discussion on the topic "Ecological Awareness in Writing" with Viola BuitoniKevin Hobbs, and Obi Kaufmann. This event will be moderated by Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte.

This special session of Writers' Lunch celebrates the intersection of National Garden Month (April) and Earth Day (April 22).

Friday, April 19 at 12:00 pm online via Zoom.

FREE - all are welcome!

 

Viola Buitoni, a San Francisco-based chef instructor and food writer, was born in Rome and raised in Perugia, Italy. With stories and knowledge from six generations, her recipes cross the best of local agriculture with Italian artisanal foods. By sourcing raw ingredients directly from local farmers, adhering to seasonal produce, and reimagining the traditional balance of animal and vegetable on the plate, Viola's approach translates this ecological awareness for her audiences in ways that are understandable, usable, and accessible. This approach reflects her deep curiosity and respect for the culinary craft as a creative and embodied human response to our ecological environment. Italy by Ingredient: Artisanal Foods/Modern Recipes (Rizzoli) is her first cookbook. Viola teaches Italian modern home cooking classes virtually via Milk Street Cooking School in Boston, and in person at 18 Reasons and The Civic Kitchen in San Francisco. In spring and fall, she leads immersive culinary tours through off-the-beaten-path Italy. In 2020 the President of the Italian Republic awarded her the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia for her work to further the culture and business of Italian food. She lives in San Francisco’s Mission District with her husband, son, and tiny dog. You can follow her work on Instagram @violabuitoni.

As a plantsman, horticulturist, and grower with over 35 years’ experience, Kevin Hobbs has one foot planted in the botanical world the other in commercial production and, for the last couple of decades, a mind increasingly focused on sustainability and countering climate change. Working with likeminded friends and colleagues globally he enjoys sharing knowledge and introducing new ornamental and edible plants to the market through his role as New Product Director at Pinnacle Plants International. A passionate advocate of all things green and growing shared through talks, social media, and publications which include his most recent books The Story of Trees: And How They Changed the World (Laurence King) and Edible: 70 Sustainable Plants That Are Changing How We Eat (Thames & Hudson). You can follow his work on Instagram @florafanatica.

Obi Kaufmann is an award-winning author of many best-selling books on California's ecology, biodiversity, and geography. Most famously, his 2017 book The California Field Atlas, currently in its seventh printing, recontextualized popular ideas about what he calls “California’s more-than-human world”. Following his initial Field Atlas, his next books, the State of Water; Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource, and The California Lands Trilogy: The Forests of CaliforniaThe Coasts of California, and The Deserts of California present a comprehensive survey of California’s physiography and its biogeography in terms of its evolutionary past and its unfolding future. An avid conservationist, Obi Kaufmann regularly travels around the state, presenting his work and vision of ecological restoration and preservation from the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildland Center to the Mojave Desert Land Trust. Most recently, Obi was the 2023 artist-in-residence for the National Park Service at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and his latest book, The Deserts of California, won the 2024 Book Award for California Lifestyle from the California Independent Booksellers Association. You can catch him every month in conversation with author and tribal chairman Greg Sarris in their podcast called Place and Purpose. A lifelong resident of California, when he isn’t backpacking, Obi Kaufmann makes his home base in Oakland and has just finished the manuscript of his sixth book. Published by Berkeley’s Heyday books, it will be available everywhere this fall and is titled The State of Fire, Why California Burns. You can follow his work on Instagram @coyotethunder.

 

This event will be conducted via Zoom. Register and you will be emailed the Zoom credentials.

About the Moderator

Award-winning author and Pushcart Prize nominee Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose autobiographical and fictional short story collections, along with her lyrical and stunning poetry, artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative.  Her writing has been variously described as “rich in vivid imagery,” “incredible,” and “great contributions to literature.” Her first novel, Betrayal on the Bayou, was published in June 2020 and a poetry collection she has written with her daughter Dr. Angela M. Boutte, titled No Poetry No Peace™, was published in August 2020 and is the namesake of the No Poetry No Peace™ series at the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco. Her in progress novel first chapter, “The Burden Keeper,” was the 2021 fiction category winner for the San Francisco Writers Conference writing contest anthology. An inaugural Oakland Poet Laureate runner-up, she is also a popular teacher, literary reader, presenter, storyteller, curator, and emcee/host for literary and poetry events. Find out more at www.sheryljbize-boutte.com/

Join us, share, and learn!

Writers' Groups

Admission: 
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Public - Free
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Location: 
Offsite: See description for location
Questions?
Nico Chen - 415-393-0103
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0116.
 

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