Leslie Carol Roberts

Leslie Carol Roberts, California College of the Arts

I’m American and first went to Antarctica in 1988 as a journalist on a Greenpeace ship. I lived on the sea and in the region for more than three months. I have been back to Antarctica twice since. As a writer, I work to understand our changing ecologies through story, object, and image. My first book, The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica, looks at New Zealand’s unique connection to the Antarctic as well as more general human relational identity to the continent through literature, song, image, and storytelling.

I studied political science at the University of Michigan, worked as a journalist in the US and abroad, including Australia and Thailand, and then studied Nonfiction Writing in the Iowa MFA program. My MFA work was awarded a Fulbright to New Zealand, where I was a scholar at Gateway Antarctica in Christchurch and earned an MA in English. I was the first Fulbright Fellow in Antarctic studies in the world. My second book, Here Is Where I Walk: Episodes from a Life in the Forest, came out in 2019 and is an eco-memoir, a collection of of environmentally oriented essays, the asking, “what is a walk in a forest if not a chance to fully and deeply celebrate the sauntering and reflective mind?” On my walks, I commune with nature and ponder many things. The book serves as a kind of journal of my perambulations, organized into twelve “episodes” or short essays, one for each of the twelve months of the year. Interspersed with the episodes are “notebooks”—looser, more intimate observations that expose more inner thoughts.The book paints a sharp picture of the natural and historical aspects of the Presidio, which acts as a platform that inspires broader consideration of the environment.

I am also a professor and chair at California College of the Arts, where I run the MFA Writing program and a founder of ECOPOESIS, an annual cross-disciplinary gathering that explores climate change through form and language.

        • Research projects/ interests
          • Human relationships to the Antarctic
          • Antarctic Poetica
          • Nonfiction
          • Ecopoesis
  Keywords: Literature, Poetry, Environment, Human-Environment Relations, Nonhuman.

 
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