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Apr 22, 2020

Editor-in-Chief of Terrain.org, Simmons Buntin, helped me celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by discussing why we need strong writing voices now more than ever, how to deal with the current "infodemic" of misinformation, and resources for starting your own revolution.

“The voices in this essential anthology are anything but silent. Indeed, they are voices of hope, habitat, defiance, and, most importantly, democracy. Lend your ears, and then your own voice.” — Simmons Buntin

Simmons has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the CU, Denver, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, so it's no surprise that he found the intersection of "... the built and natural environments [something he calls] 'the soul of place'."

As the editor-in-chief of Terrain.org, a nonprofit literary magazine that explores just that, he publishes works that examine how our environment influences us in profound ways.

He's also the co-editor of a new collection titled Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy (Trinity University Press, April 22, 2020), described as a "patriotic anthology" that includes hundreds of writers, poets, artists, scientists, and political activists of all ages.

The more than 130 impassioned letters to America are calls to action for common ground and conflict resolution with a focus on the environment and social justice.

Lauded author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben, said of the book, “These letters come from a deep, real love of this place, and they imagine willing, receptive readers on the other end. We need a series of miracles looking forward, and this is one.”

Simmons is the author of 2 books of poetry, Riverfall, and Bloom, and also Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places (co-authored with Ken Pirie). He has published poetry, essays, and technical articles in publications as varied as Edible Baja Arizona, North American Review, Kyoto Journal, and Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society.

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In this file Simmons Buntin and I discussed:

  • How he became the editor-in-chief of Terrain.org
  • The origin story of the "Dear America" letter
  • Why bringing together so many impassioned writing voices is vital to our planet right now
  • How the 2020 Presidential election will have a huge impact on climate change (and democracy)
  • Why we need to question the direction of our nation and our part as patriots
  • And why it's more important than ever to be active, not passive

Show Notes: