The next several months have turned into a lovely string of environmental writing events, presentations, and retreats.
1) Compose 2015, Saturday, May 2nd. Oregon City, OR: Clackamas Community College Creative Writing Conference. The blurb of the workshop panel I am leading:
“Telling Stories of Revolution:” How can we find our voice when writing and filming stories that help transform ourselves and our cultures into more eco-centric, resilient ways? It’s hard but necessary work, but the future of our planet demands that we do, now more than ever. In this workshop, we will discuss how to create and deliver stories through writing and film about environmental and social activism, about advocacy work, and about unique approaches to turning heads about specific issues and causes that matter to you.
2) Orion Breadloaf Environmental Writer’s Conference, June 1-7, 2015, Middlebury, VT.
Will be working on craft with some of the greats: Rick Bass, Scott Russell Sanders.
3) ASLE Conference, June 23-27, Moscow, ID – Presenting a paper on the ecological undercurrents of circumambulation, a type of circuitous pilgrimage.
4) Environmental Writing Institute, September 9-13, Missoula, MT. Working with David James Duncan on craft.
5) Banff Mountain and Wilderness Writing Retreat, (Pending) Oct-Nov 2015.
Honored to have my article “Circumnavigation: The Revolutionary Way” and photos published on Territory Run Co.’s website today. Excerpt below. These folks from Portland, Oregon, are doing wonderful things for the sport and aesthetic culture of mountain/trail running. Grateful to be a part of it. This piece is hinting at a much larger creative book/photography project I’m working on now, aiming for Summer 2016.
“So, I ask: what is it about circumnavigation? What the hell difference does it make what shape your journey carves into the mountain, into the psyche?
Perhaps it’s just nicer not to backtrack. Maybe that’s it. Maybe circling something makes it easier not to get lost. Yet I would argue for more. I would argue that something happens when we move around things, not just through them or up them or into them or over them. As outdoor enthusiasts, as howling-wilderness-animal-yahoos, when we move and interact and dance in concert with our home, this planet, something just feels right. Something becomes calibrated. Aligned. I’m convinced that to complete such a circuit is to mimic greater ecological rhythms at play all around us–seasons, cycles, orbits, weather patterns, electrical circuitry. The list goes on.” Read the full article.
This might be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. So humbled and proud to finally share with you our short film, “The Crossing,” a 21-minute documentary about a protest I helped organize against open-pit gold mining in Baja, Mexico. Directing this film was so beautiful and difficult and time-consuming and…deeply fulfilling. The biggest ups to Mike and Alex (and Zoe!) at Ë Media. You took kindling and made a bonfire. So, here it is. I give to you, “The Crossing.” This will be only available for one month, as we will take it down at the end of August to submit to film festivals. Please watch when you have space, then share share share it with the world; I fiercely believe the planet needs more stories like these. Dedicated to all that remains untamed and free.
“The Crossing” © 2014 from Michael Hanich on Vimeo.
Words and photos from the past few weeks of visitations by good friends, talks and thoughts and travels through Wyoming wilds. Tetons + Yellowstone + Big Horns. Summer.
I SAIL IT
I sail it
A boat to travel;
Or dive deep?
I follow it
A path to meander afoot;
Through soft and tough,
Tangled bramble and view-sight-awe.
I scratch it
A wound to bleed;
On me on others on everything,
Purple scars stick around.
I hear it
A coyote to rise at dawn;
Snout-snot pointing at melting starscape,
Liberated yelp begs Moon to stay.
I browse it
A library to know to penetrate;
Ribbed rows of prose and bones,
Stillness and headphones and butterfly-catchers.
I find it
A key to unlock;
Shadowed cellar-box dusty and stale,
Only to discover another key.
I love it
A world to rest here-now-naked-alive;
Gifts of perceptual song,
Bubbling up from chambered mystery
Too grand for us, but of us.
Following a month of travel and visiting family and friends in California and Oregon, I met up with artist-beat-writer-poet-friend Trevien Stanger in Washington for a circumnavigation of the Olympic National Park. From coastal camping to running through the rainforest, this place sings songs, and we spent a few days joining in. Photos + quotes from Elizabeth Kolbert’s highly anticipated new book I just finished, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Haunting and illuminating. (Spoiler Alert: We’re in it and we’re causing it.)
“What history reveals, in its ups and downs, is that life is extremely resilient but not infinitely so. There have been very long uneventful stretches and very, very occasionally ‘revolutions on the surface of the earth’…To the extent that we can identify the causes of these revolutions, they’re highly varied: glaciation in the case of the end-Ordovician extinction, global warming and changes in the ocean chemistry at the end of the Permian, an asteroid impact in the final seconds of the Cretaceous. The current extinction has its own novel cause: not an asteroid or a massive volcanic eruption but ‘one weedy species.’ As Walter Alvarez put it to me: ‘We’re seeing right now that a mass extinction can be caused by human beings.'”
After touring last summer with The Postal Service, I was excited to go work with Death Cab for Cutie this summer as they played a handful of shows on the East Coast. My responsibilities included: Photographer, Trail Running Coordinator + Coach, and Personal Assistant to the Production Team. So intense. So much fun. This band and crew are some of the most talented, most professional, and kindest people I’ve ever met. Some photos.
Calling all creatives, all revolutionaries, all architects of a new, more sustainable, resilient and authentic future. Please take a minute to watch our new video teaser and consider supporting this project. After the first two days of its launch, we have already fundraised a 1/4 of our goal. Share with your worlds, and please join us in celebrating and defending wild spaces.