The Write Connection at Thoreau Farm

A Program in Partnership with the Thoreau Society

Author talks and writing workshops that encourage critical thinking and perceptive writing about the world and ourselves.

Spring 2023

Church of the Wild: A Conversation with Victoria Loorz

Church of the Wild places Thoreau’s intimacy with nature into a community of spiritual practice. With a fresh look at a beloved community larger than our own species, this workshop uncovers the wild roots of faith to undergird our commitment to a groaning and glorious earth. Simple practices of sacred reconnection with the land, waters and creatures of our home places invites us to care for the world by falling in love with it.  It is an invitation to trust the knowing deep within us that we are an important part of an interconnected relationship with All That Is.
Victoria is joined in conversation by Richard Higgins.
Saturday, June 3, 2023
At Thoreau Farm  Online Only
Free, registration required
Click here to register on Zoom and join us virtually
Victoria Loorz, MDiv, an eco-spiritual director and wild church pastor, is focused on spiritual practices that help to restore sacred relationships with the Earth.  She co-founded the ecumenical Wild Church Network, a growing group of spiritual leaders on the edges of the Christ tradition who gather outside of buildings, encountering God directly in intimate relationship with the natural world. Victoria founded and leads The Center for Wild Spirituality, (formerly called Seminary of the Wild), a movement hub for fellow edge-walkers who feel called into a new kind of spiritual leadership within a beloved community larger than our species.  She delivers workshops and is the author of the award-winning book, Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred.  
Richard Higgins is a writer, book editor and the author of Thoreau and the Language of Trees. He was a staff writer for The Boston Globe for 20 years, and is on the Thoreau Society board.  A graduate of Holy Cross College, Columbia Journalism School, and Harvard Divinity School, Richard lives in Concord. His new book on Thoreau’s religion is scheduled to come out from the University of Chicago Press in 2024.   He is also coauthor of Portfolio Life (Wiley) and co-editor of Taking Faith Seriously (Harvard University Press).


Fall 2023

Thoreau’s Axe: A Conversation with Author Caleb Smith

September 7, 2023


At Thoreau Farm

Free Event, registration required

“Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things,” Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden (1854), offering a warning about technology and distraction that resonates in our own time. In conversation with Daegan Miller, Caleb Smith will discuss his new book Thoreau’s Axe: Distraction and Discipline in American Culture, exploring how nineteenth-century Americans understood the problem of distraction, as well as the ways they tried to rehabilitate their powers of attention.

Click here to Register for the in-person event

Caleb Smith is a professor of English and American studies at Yale University. His books includeThe Prison and the American ImaginationThe Oracle and the Curse, and an edition of Austin Reed’s 1858 prison memoir, The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict. His latest is Thoreau’s Axe: Distraction and Discipline in American Culture. More informaton can be found on Caleb’s website.

Daegan Miller is a critic and essayist. He writes about landscape, about how we make a place for ourselves in the world, and about how we make sense of that place-making. He is the author of This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent, which Robert Macfarlane chose as a Best Book of the Year for The Guardian. His essays and reviews have appeared in EmergenceSlateLiterary HubGuernicaThe North American Review, and many other places. He lives in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts with his family.

Caleb Smith photo credit: Sasha Rudensky.

We are delighted to also offer virtual access to this author event. To join us live online, please click the button below and register. 

Click here to register on Zoom and join us virtually

Foraging With Jeeves & Other Offbeat Mycological Excursions: An Author Talk with Lawrence Millman

October 15, 2023


At Thoreau Farm

Free Event, registration required

This book defies any known genre, just as fungi often tend to defy our attempts to identify them. Think science (the Salem witchcraft fungus) followed by satire (a fungal Faust) followed by an account of what sort of fungi one might find in Antarctica. An element of humor pervades the book’s pages, as indicated by a remark one of its characters, the butler Jeeves, makes to his master: “Wit and mycology go together, sir.”

Author and Arctic explorer Lawrence Millman has written 18 books, including such titles as Our Like Will Not Be There Again, Last Places, Hiking to Siberia, At the End of the World, Fascinating Fungi of New England, Fungipedia, and Goodbye, Ice. He is also a contributor to Thoreau Farm’​s book: What Would Henry Do? Volume II. He has visited Henry’s grave more times than he’s visited either his mother’s or his father’s graves. He lives in Cambridge.


Henry David Thoreau: Thinking Disobediently – An Author Talk with Lawrence Buell

Thursday October 19
7 pm
At Thoreau Farm
Free, $5 Suggested Donation
Registration Required

Click here to Register for the in-person event

Henry David Thoreau was a leading figure in the American Transcendentalist movement, an intellectual with worldwide influence as an essayist, social thinker, naturalist-environmentalist, and sage. Two of his most famous works, Walden, and “Civil Disobedience,” are foundational to American literature, philosophy, and political activism. However, he is also a controversial figure. Scholars have regularly offered conflicting assessments of the significance of his work, the evolution of his thought, and even the facts of his life. In his new book, HENRY DAVID THOREAU: Thinking Disobediently, esteemed Thoreau scholar Lawrence Buell details the complexities and contradictions of Thoreau’s life and work, providing necessary context to understanding a key American writer.

Join leading Thoreau scholar Lawrence Buell at Thoreau Farm as he shares his book, the first concise account of Thoreau’s life, thought, and impact in more than half a century.  His book offers a highly readable entry-point for readers unfamiliar with this author, agitator, naturalist, and sage that is packed with new insights sure to interest seasoned scholars as well.

We are delighted to also offer virtual access to this author event. To join us live online, please click the button below and register. 

Click here to register on Zoom and join us virtually


“A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean, Birdman of the Senate”—Author Talk

Thursday, November 16, 2023


FREE Zoom event; registration required.

Register on Zoom

How did one man protect the future of birds?

A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean,Birdman of the Senate is the story of how Connecticut’s George P. McLean helped establish lasting legal protections for birds, overseeing passage of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, landmark environmental protection legislation that is still in effect today.

In this program, Will McLean Greeley, McLean’s great-great nephew, puts McLean’s victory for birds in the context of his distinguished forty-five-year career marked by many acts of reform during a time of widespread corruption and political instability.

Will McLean Greeley grew up in West Michigan with a passion for American history, politics, and birds. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and then a master’s degree from Michigan in archives administration. After retiring from a thirty-five-year career in government and corporate market research, he embarked upon three-year research and writing journey to learn about his great-great-uncle George P. McLean and his legacy. Married and the father of two sons (and two grandchildren), Greeley lives in Midland, Michigan. A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington is his first book.