Conversations from the Pointed Firs 4/1/22: A talk with author Gretchen Legler

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month is Gretchen Legler, author of Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life published by Trinity University Press, an evocative examination of the back-to-the-land experience in Maine with her partner, Ruth Hill. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington where she lives. She and Peter discuss her most recent book, an intimate portrait of life in Maine, as well as the power of observation for creative writers, and her Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where her interests focused on exploring human connections to the sacred in the natural world.

Key Discussion Points:
-Maine Writing
-Back to the land
-LGBTQ
-Creative writing
-Personal memoir

Guests by name and affiliation:
Gretchen Legler is a farmer, gardener, teacher, writer, lover of the natural world and the author of three book-length works of nonfiction. Her writing has garnered two Pushcart Prizes, a Notable Essay designation in Best American Essays, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment creative writing award, a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, and was a finalist for the Steinberg Essay Prize, and the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. She teaches creative writing and English at the University of Maine Farmington, where she is also the Director of the Campus and Community Garden.
?She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from Macalester College, a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English and Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where her interests focused on exploring human connections to the sacred in the natural world.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 3/4/22: A talk with author Kimberly Ridley

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month is Kimberly Ridley, science writer, essayist, and award-winning author, and resident of Brooklin, Maine. Her books for children include The Secret Pool and The Secret Bay, both illustrated by Rebekah Raye, Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot, and published this year, a new book of essays and historical renderings of natural things: Wild Designs: Nature’s Architects. Kim is an elegant writer, teacher and communicator of her affinity and sense of wonder of things observed in her own backyard in Maine. In this episode Kim and Peter discuss Kim’s many books, nature writing in general, the power of unstructured time for children, and the power present in close observations of our natural world.

-Nature Writing
-Children’s books
-Biomimicry
-Maine plants and animals
-Science

Guest:
Kimberly Ridley is a science writer, essayist, editor and children’s book author who has been writing about nature, science, health and the environment for more than 25 years.
Her passion is “inciting wonder” by sharing her love of nature and science with children and adults. She does numerous author visits and has taught nonfiction-writing workshops in dozens of elementary schools in Maine and the northeast based on her books. In addition, she teaches nature writing workshops for families and adults and presents special talks and programs at libraries and other public venues around Maine.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 2/4/22: A Talk with William Carpenter

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month on Conversations from the Pointed Firs is William Carpenter. Bill is the author of “Silence”, published by Islandport Press in 2021, as well as other works of poetry and fiction. He is the co-founder of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor where he taught in the English department for 48 years until his retirement in 2019. He and Peter discuss his new book; the traumas and the scars of war; the past and future of human ecology and the importance of better understanding and living within our natural systems; the complexities of social stratification of island communities; inheritance versus native belonging; and the nature of conflict and loss.

#Maine fiction
#Coastal and island living
#War
#Trauma, Stress and Mental Health
#Human Ecology

Guests:
William (Bill) Carpenter grew up in Waterville, Maine, graduated from Dartmouth College and got a PhD at the University of Minnesota, taught at the University of Chicago, and returned to Maine to help found the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor where he taught English for 48 years. He is the recipient of the Pablo Neruda award, the Black Warrior award, and the AWP award in poetry. His previous novels are “A Keeper of Sheep” and “The Wooden Nickel”. He and the writer Donna Gold live in an old coastal inn and spend summers exploring Maine islands aboard their family sloop Northern Light.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 1/7/22: A talk with Glenn Libby and Tony Small, authors of “Caught: Time, Place, Fish”

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guests this month are Glenn Libby and Antonia Small, authors of the book “Caught: Time, Place, Fish”. Glenn is a working fisherman, proprietor of Port Clyde Fresh Catch, and an advocate for fishing policy in Maine; Toni is a photographer, educator and ocean advocate. In this episode they discuss their book, portraits and essays on fisheries and fishers, an essential aspect of the spirit of Maine.

#Maine Fisheries
#Fishing Policy
#Working Waterfront
#Sustainable, Local Fisheries
#Photography

Guests:

Glenn Libby and Antonia Small: Glenn is a working fisherman, proprietor of Port Clyde Fresh Catch, and an advocate for fishing policy in Maine. Toni is a photographer, educator and ocean advocate. Together they co-authored “Caught: Time, Place, Fish“, an account of the beauty, fragility and profound change that characterizes fishing, fishing families, and the communities who depend on them. Through portraits and essays, “Caught” chronicles the individual and community efforts to transform a way of life for all who depend on the ocean’s bounty.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 12/3/21: Talking with Lincoln Paine

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Peter Neill’s guest for Friday, December 3rd is Lincoln Paine, maritime historian and, author of “The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World”, and “Down East: An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine”. This is a fascinating discussion about the history of our coastal places in Maine–from the days when England declared every white pine in the State to be the King’s property, to the future of Maine’s coasts—from industry to how and where we go for recreation and renewal.

-Maine History
-Maritime History
-Spirit of place, community
-Logging and shipbuilding

Guest: Lincoln Paine, maritime historian and, author of “The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World”, and “Down East: An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine” published by Tilbury House.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 11/5/21: “Mythical Creatures of Maine: Fantastic Beasts from Legend and Folklore”

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Conversations from the Pointed Firs, talking with Christopher Packard, author of “Mythical Creatures of Maine: Fantastic Beasts from Legend and Folklore”. Chris is a full-time high school science teacher, and prior to taking up teaching and writing he worked as an ecological restoration technician, field biologist, naturalist, and outdoor educator. His new book explores rich Maine folklore—tales of humans confronted by strange beasts, both wonderful and terrifying. Based on meticulous research into legend and folk tale, the resulting book is an encyclopedia, a field guide to the mythical creatures that maybe can be found in Maine and beyond—if you’re looking in the right places.

-Maine History
-Nature
-Spirit of place, community
-Logging and the outdoors
-Myth, Legend, Folklore
-Maine writing

Guest:
Christopher Packard, author of “Mythical Creatures of Maine: Fantastic Beasts from Legend and Folklore” published by Downeast Books (September 1, 2021)

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 10/1/21: “The Historic Taverns and Tearooms of Maine”- an interview with the authors

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

The guests for Friday, October 1st are Kathy and Bill Kenny, authors of “The Historic Taverns and Tearooms of Maine” published by the History Press of Charleston, South Carolina (May 31, 2021). The conversation centers around the social history and political culture of Maine as nurtured in unexpected places.

-Maine History
-Prohibition
-Spirit of place, community
-Women’s suffrage
-Taverns and tearooms

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 9/3/21 Earl H Smith “Downeast Genius: From Earmuffs to Motor Cars, Maine Inventors…”

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

The guest for Friday, September 3rd is Earl H Smith, a native of Waterville, a 40-year veteran of Colby College, former dean of the college, recently retired, and author of “Downeast Genius: From Earmuffs to Motor Cars, Maine Inventors who Changed the World”.

Key Discussion Points:
-INVENTION
-MAKER CULTURE, FIX-IT CULTURE
-SPIRIT OF PLACE
-HISTORY OF INVENTIONS AND PATENTS

Guest: EARL H SMITH, AUTHOR, HISTORIAN, NATIVE OF MAINE

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.