That was Aimee Nezhukumatathil reading a chapter from her book, World of Wonders, which is Indiana Humanities’ 2022 community read selection.
Aimee’s book of essays is also the focus of an event sponsored by Indiana Humanities on Thursday, September 22 at the Cook Center in Bloomington. The event is part of IH’s One State / One Story program, and I spoke (virtually) with Megan Telligman, their director of programs, to find out more about the overall project and the event:
Indiana Humanities is a statewide nonprofit that supports grants and programs encouraging Hoosiers to think, read, and talk with the humanities, such as literature, history, or ethics as guides.
Over the past several years, our unearthed theme has encouraged Hoosiers to discover and discuss their relationships with the natural world.
One way we support this conversation is to select a book and organize programs and grants for communities across the state to participate in discussions.
Our One State / One Story selection for 2022 is World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Through a series of 28 remarkable short essays, Aimee reflects from the world and all its wonders, from fireflies and whale sharks to corpse flowers and ribbon eels.
In doing so, she opens up conversations about how wonder at the natural world can inform our own lives and relationships.
On Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM, Amy will visit Bloomington, where she will participate in a public conversation with Indiana’s own award-winning poet Ross Gay. This will be at the Cooke Center for Arts and Humanities at Indiana University's Maxwell Hall.
During the program, Aimee will read a bit from World of Wonders, then Ross and Aimee will have a conversation about wonder, joy, and our relationships with the natural world. The conversation will be followed up with time for audience questions and an opportunity for book signing.
This program is free and open to the public, though registration is required since space is limited.
If you can't make it out on Thursday, Aimee will also participate in a program at the central branch of the Indianapolis Public Library on Wednesday, September 21st. There she will be in conversation with another of Indiana’s wonderful poets, Adrian Matejka, who was recently named editor of Poetry Magazine.
To register for either of these programs or to learn more about Indiana Humanities offerings, you can visit www.indianahumanities.org or find us on social media at I-N Humanities.
That was Megan Telligman, the director of programs at Indiana Humanities, talking about "INconversation with Aimee Nezhukumatatil."
Again, the event is on Thursday, September 22 at in Bloomington, and Aimee will read from her book and maybe talk about things like narwhals, newts, tree trunks, peacocks, as well as broader topics like racism, aging and death, and where we fit in nature.
You can find information about this free event at wfiu.org/arts. I’ll include some links in the web post with more about Indiana Humanities and a video of Aimee reading that was posted by her publisher Milkweed Editions.
For now, ponder this: the narwhal’s horn is actually a tooth… For WFIU Arts, I’m LuAnn Johnson.