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Author Terry Tempest Williams will speak March 24 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As the 2015 Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the College of Arts and Sciences, Williams will present a free public reading at 7:30 p.m. in the Genome Sciences Building auditorium.

Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. Through her writing, which has altered the way many readers think about the natural world, she addresses the fundamental questions of humanity and justice.

A westerner by birth, Williams grew up in Utah, very near the Great Salt Lake, a site that has become central to her writing. Her works include “When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice,” “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place,” “An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field,” “Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape,” “Leap” and many others. 

In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She currently serves as the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.

Williams will participate as a panelist in additional free events:

  • March 23, 3:30 p.m., Hyde Hall: “Nor any drop to drink.” Featuring moderator Bland Simpson (Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing), Lawrence Band (director, Institute for the Environment) and Bernie Herman (George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore). Co-sponsored by the Water in our World program.
  • March 25, 3:30 p.m., Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall: “Memoir and the natural world.” Featuring moderator Stephanie Elizondo Griest (assistant professor and Margaret Shuping Fellow of Creative Nonfiction), Jan DeBlieu (author, naturalist and environmentalist) and Philip Gerard (author, naturalist and UNC-Wilmington creative writing faculty member).

Her visit is sponsored by the Hanes and Hibbits families, the Office of the Chancellor and the department of English and comparative literature. For more information, visit and

Published March 20, 2015