Sunday, June 24, 2012

June News

A new review of my Yosemite book appears on Amazon, written by nature writer, Lisa Knopp, who lives in Nebraska and is the author of What the River Carries: Encounters with the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte (University of Missouri Press, 2012).

I’m back from hiking in the Beartooth Mountains and giving a reading at the book store in Red Lodge, Montana.  Recently I gave a book reading at the Peoria Public Library and talked to the Sierra Club about Yosemite and ecology.  I also bounced up to Wisconsin to give a presentation on poetry at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.

And a recommendation from Marty Olney in California: 

"I've just finished reading our friend Mark Liebenow's book Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection in Yosemite. Read it. Buy it for a friend (which I'm about to do). Read it in your book group. Devote a church study group to it. I think this review from the book cover says it best: "This is a book of a hero's journey--of a journey deep into the wilderness of our hearts among the wild flowing rivers we try to navigate in the face of pain, the glacial movement of recovering from tragic loss. It's about how when we listen to the gifts of nature we can find deep spiritual power; we can find grace. This is a beautiful book." It is indeed beautiful."

As you read Mountains of Light, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write.

thanks, Mark

Readers Update for May

I met with a book club that chose my book for this month’s reading. We had a lively discussion about Yosemite, how each of us draws close to nature, and their concern that on some of my adventures I might have taken a few too many risks.  Perhaps.  But after one makes one wrong decision in the middle of a long hike, one almost has to make another risky decision in order to get back to safety.

Good reviews continue to come in.  I noticed this one the other day.  A friend in California loved the book and gave it to one of her friends. He loved it and posted the following at Amazon:

“It is lovely to discover a newborn classic, especially when sent as a gift unlooked-for, out of nowhere, with no prior contact with the author or story. In the narrative tradition of John Muir, but suggestive of the more explicitly metaphorical images of the Robert Frost or Annie Dillard, Liebenow's poetics and meaning match in a way that includes the reader in an experience of congruence, rather than offering a passing nostalgia. The simple ritual of reading Mountains of Light brings the reader into the experience of parallel journeys, often divided into "inner" and "outer" life, such that the usual practice of estranging the two becomes less and less possible. Faithful to the best of nature writing, Liebenow writes naturally, "dissolving the boundaries" so that the organic mutuality of being a creature and alive warms the everyday while opening a door to an understanding of what hurts most, uplifts, challenges, and opens the eyes of the heart to see that "Grace collects on the mountain peaks in the high country and flows down the Merced Canyon into the valley as fog..." This kind of reading experience is not just recommended, it is essential.”
                                                                        Brandon Williamscraig

I’m grateful when people like the book enough to tell others.  This is the best recommendation that an author can hope for.

Developments in April

With the talented help of my nephew, Kevin Hall, I created a video trailer for my Yosemite book and posted it on YouTube.  (You can see it by clicking on the link on the right side of this page.)  It uses my photographs and words, and has elegant music in the background composed by Lindsay Adler. 

The Wisconsin State Journal also interviewed me.  It’s more of a profile on me than a review of the book, but I’m grateful.  They also used some of my Yosemite photos.  You can read the article by clicking on this link: