Author Michael Pollan to Give Talk and Public Reading at Yale

Michael Pollan, one of America’s leading writers on the interplay of nature and humanity–including at the dinner table and in the backyard garden–will give a talk and read from his work at Yale on April 23.

Free and open to the public, the reading and talk, “On The Plate and In The Garden: Nature Writing After Wilderness,” will take place in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall (SSS), 1 Prospect St., Room 114, at 7.p.m.

Pollan will be at Yale as a John Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer, and his visit will include a Master’s Tea in Jonathan Edwards College for the Yale community earlier in the day.

In his two most recent books, Pollan has explored fundamental questions about the relations of humans to the food they consume. In “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” (2006), which the New Yorker called a “wide-ranging invitation to think through the moral ramifications of our eating habits,” Pollan introduced readers to such mechanisms of food production as industrial feedlots and “wet mill” processing plants. Largely to offer guidance to perplexed readers of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Pollan wrote “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” (2008), a book that has as its opening line: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Earlier, in “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World” (2001), Pollan led readers to see plants cultivated throughout the ages as engaged in complex interactions with their human nurturers. “Plants were acting on me,” he writes, “getting me to do things for them that they couldn’t do for themselves.” Praising Pollan’s argument that plants are domesticating humans as a “stunning insight,” the environmental historian William Cronon added that “we can be grateful that one of our wittiest writers about nature is also one of our wisest.”

Pollan has been a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987 and, since 2003, the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He has studied at Bennington College, Oxford University, and Columbia University, where he received a Master’s in English.

Pollan’s visit is sponsored by Jonathan Edwards College and the John Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer Fund, established by Richard and Sheila Schlesinger in memory of their son.

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