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To the Earth Festival

Margaret Renkl

The San Diego Symphony presents
Margaret Renkl
discussing in conversation

To the Earth Festival

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 6:00pm PDT

On Wednesday June 16th at 6:00pm PDT, the San Diego Symphony will host Special Guest Panelist Margaret Renkl as part of the 2021 To the Earth Festival Opening Panel Discussion. Margaret Renkl is the author of Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. She is also a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, where her essays appear each Monday. Her work has also appeared in Guernica, Literary Hub, Oxford American, River Teeth, and The Sewanee Review, among others. A graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina, she lives in Nashville.

The life-giving powers of nature have inspired artists for centuries. Fast-forward to today: environmental issues we all face, such as climate change, present new challenges to all inhabitants on the planet. Join musicians and composers from "To the Earth" in exploring how creative artists can tap creative thought to respond to these issues through their art. How can we reimagine our individual contributions and their impact on our shared home?

2021 To the Earth Festival Opening Panel Discussion
Steven Schick, "To the Earth" festival curator
Margaret Renkl, author and columnist
Gabriela Ortiz, composer
Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony CEO, moderator

Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents—her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father—and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver.

And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds—the natural one and our own—“the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love’s own twin.”

Gorgeously illustrated by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313836
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 30th, 2021