2017 Geography of Hope Conference, “Ancestors and the Land”

As native people here in West Marin and throughout the world have taught us, we can best care for the land by knowing its history, by cherishing its stories, and by actively working to protect it. The conference hopes to stimulate conversations honoring ancestral connections to this and other landscapes—whether Native American, European, African, Asian, Latino, or elsewhere—that will lead to dialogues between generations and cultures to help us reconnect to place and restore balance to Mother Earth.

The 2017 panel presenters included conservationists, teachers, spiritual leaders, poets, novelists, and journalists who use poetry, fiction, or literary non-fiction to express a sense of urgency about environmental concerns and a fierce compassion for the well-being of the Earth. They included: Joanne Campbell; Drew Dellinger; Nikky Finney; John Hausdeorffer; Wendy Johnson; Lyla June Johnston; Winona LaDuke; Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff; Cherrie Moraga; Melissa Nelson; Celia Herrera Rodriguez; Lauret Savoy; Greg Sarris; Constance Washburn; and Brooke Williams.

2015 Geography of Hope Conference, “Women and the Land”

Geography of Hope Conference brings together leading writers and activists in the coastal village of Point Reyes Station for a three-day feast of readings, discussions, and activities to inspire and deepen an understanding of the relationships between people and place. Authors Robin Wall Kimmerer and Kathleen Dean Moore co-chaired the 2015 gathering. A fierce compassion for the well-being of the Earth illuminates the writing of both women and helps deepen an understanding of the relationship between people and place. They were joined by a dozen or more of the country’s most admired writers who also use language—whether poetry, fiction, or literary non-fiction—to express a sense of urgency about environmental concerns.

2013 Geography of Hope Conference, “Igniting the Green Fire: Finding Hope in Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic”

This the first West Coast gathering of the world’s foremost Aldo Leopold experts and the only opportunity to meet and hear from the creators and stars of Green Fire, the 2012 Emmy Award-winning film about Aldo Leopold’s life and conservation legacy which will be screened at the conference.The weekend features spirited conversations and presentations by prominent authors, naturalists, and conservation leaders, including: Aldo Leopold biographer Curt Meine; Aldo Leopold Foundation director Buddy Huffaker; former Natural Resources Conservation Service chief Paul Johnson; Center for Humans and Nature president Brooke Hecht; Leopold scholars Susan Flader and J. Baird Callicott; geologist and author Lauret Savoy; U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon; poet Robert Hass; author Gary Nabhan and “Planet Walker” John Francis; and Center for Whole Communities founder Peter Forbes (partial list).

2011 Geography of Hope Conference, “Reflections on Water”

The 2011 Geography of Hope Conference celebrates “Reflections on Water” with literary conversations, art, and field trips to farms, wetlands, and wilderness areas in the West Marin countryside. The Conference is co-chaired by award-winning poet Brenda Hillman and former United States Poet Laureate Robert Hass who bring a wealth of literary inspiration and personal magnetism to the event. It also features other established and emerging writers including Michael Ondaatje, William Least Heat-Moon, Tom Farber, Eddy L. Harris, Julia Whitty, Peter Gleick, Philip Fradkin, Alex Fradkin, Tim Palmer, Linda Spalding, Pamela Michael, Claire Peaslee, eco-poets Evelyn Reilly and Jonathan Skinner, and Heyday Books publisher Malcolm Margolin.

2009 Geography of Hope Conference, “Farming & Rural Life”

This year’s event will take as its focus writing on farming and the rural life featuring authors who are farmers, ranchers, and growers, people who—to paraphrase Barbara Kingsolver—have devoted their lives to the health of their habitat and food chain.

2008 Geography of Hope Conference, “Wallace Stegner”

The first Geography of Hope conference, held in 2008, was one of the most exceptional literary events ever to take place in northern California. It was dedicated to Wallace Stegner, whose writings often reflected on the relationship between people and the land.