Mar 162013

The Next American Nature and Science Writing, a Series Curated by Christopher Cokinos and Sponsored by the University of Arizona Institute for the Environment

Civano sketch

The community of Civano in Tucson.
Image courtesy Stefanos Polyzoides.

Simmons B. Buntin
Author, Editor, and Community Provocateur
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 : 7 p.m.

The University of Arizona Poetry Center

I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday, March 27th for a talk and reading at the UA Poetry Center. I’ll be the second participant in the Next American Nature and Science Writing Series, and here’s what I’ll be doing:

Remixing Spaces as Places

Mixing prose and poetry, images and imagery, Simmons B. Buntin will present an artistic vision of landscape — natural and built — that defines livable places more broadly than just human communities. He will begin with a discussion and slideshow of vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods detailed in his new book, Unsprawl. He’ll recite poetry from the sub-urban fringe from his books Bloom and Riverfall. And he’ll conclude by reading a Sonoran desert essay that explores the public and personal risks of remixing spaces as places.

Specifically, I’ll provide a visual and oral overview of the twelve case studies of the Unsprawl book, which publishes this month, honing in on the community of Civano, located in southeast Tucson, where I’ve lived for thirteen years now. Civano was one of the nation’s first planned developments to integrate principles of sustainability (and a quantifiable methodology for measuring sustainability) with New Urbanism.

UnsprawlI’ll then read a few poems that speak to people and wildlife in place — specifically this place, the Sonoran desert.

And I’ll finish with an essay titled “The Sum of All Species,” which won the Mid-American Review’s nonfiction contest, selected by W. Scott Olsen. The essay braids the development of the community of Civano with two wildlife incidents: the capture of a whiptail lizard by my older daughter, and the rattlesnake bite of my younger daughter’s friend. It explores the question of how we define community, and what risks we’re willing to take to create a sense of place.

Copies of Unsprawl, Bloom, and Riverfall will be available for purchase and signing, and stickers will also be available for sale as a fundraiser for A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments, the journal I founded in 1997 and continue to edit, thanks to the fine work of our international editorial board and sharp genre editors.

A bit more about the talk and reading can be found at I hope you’ll join me for this free event!

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