Fellows' Presentation

One Writer's Trip

From the Garden to the Plate and the Beyond
Illustration by Maira KalmanIllustration by Maira Kalman

Part of the 2015–2016 Fellows' Presentation Series

Lecture by Michael Pollan RI '16

This event is free and open to the public. Registration required.

In this autobiographical talk, Michael Pollan tells the story of the path his thinking and writing have taken since he first planted a vegetable garden under the unfortunate influence of Thoreau and Emerson. Beginning with that horticultural disaster, his work has evolved into an exploration of human engagement with the natural world. But rather than go to "the wild" in search of nature, as Americans typically do, Pollan has focused on nature as we find it closer to home: the garden, the farm, the table, and most recently, the altered states of consciousness that certain plants and fungi allow us to achieve. What does it mean that a mushroom can occasion a mystical experience? What value do such experiences have for the individual, the culture, and the plants and fungi involved? The talk will include brief readings from several of Pollan's previous books and a work in progress.