Learn the stories behind my stories as I give updates, discuss literature, and share writing advice. Find all my writing at www.tylerdunning.com.
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Follow the Fox

Monthly Newsletter

June 2016

The best way for me to recap this month is in sections:
The Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers' Conference
June 3 – June 9
The Bread Loaf School of English was founded in 1920 in the small community of Ripton, Vermont, and has since become the most prestigious writing conference in the country. The environmental division of Bread Loaf (established in conjunction with Orion Magazine) is fairly new, however; this was its third annual installment. At the conference you do such things as bird walks, attend lectures, participate in workshops (I was placed in Rubén Martínez's group), take classes, meet with agents and editors, listen to readings, and drink booze in a barn. You eat in a cafeteria, college style, and meet the most introverted of literary weirdos; you spontaneously swim in creeks shrouded in maple and ash trees; you go on hikes with friends and faculty alike, learning about plant identification and the politics of Latin America. You basically lose yourself to the monastic withdraw of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals for a week in the woods, all while advancing your art. It was the best. And I got depressed as fuck when I had to leave.

The faculty included Belle Boggs, Jane Brox, David James Duncan, Maurice Manning, Rubén MartínezAimee Nezhukumatathil, Robert Michael Pyle, and Scott Russell Sanders. (The photo above is of the Robert Frost Farm; Frost spent more than forty summers lecturing at the school.)
Acadia National Park, ME
June 9 – June 11
Being back in New England for the first time in seven years, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to explore one of the few remaining U.S. national parks on my list (I have now been to fifty-one of the fifty-nine). As I said though, Bread Loaf left me depressed and I was in no position to properly appreciate the park alone (this also happened to me several years prior when I first visited Bryce Canyon...depression and I have a running history in the parks). Luckily, my ol' chum Colin O'Shea spontaneously drove up from Boston to experience Acadia with me and alleviated my neurosis.

I wrote a short piece about the experience and about my current mindset with the national parks. Email me if you'd like to read it.
Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia
June 11 – June13
Keeping with my trajectory up the coast, I traveled to see another friend in the Maritimes of eastern Canada. I hadn't seen Stephen Besaw in six years, but, over the course of two days, we were reacquainted and I was introduced to his charming agrarian lifestyle.

I wrote a short essay about my time with the Besaws. Email me if you'd like to read it.
Lewistown Public Library, MT
June 23
I was afforded the opportunity to read some of my work and discuss the history of the U.S. national parks at the Lewistown Public Library this month. You never know how these things are going to turn out, or if anyone is going to show up, but this presentation went great and I really enjoyed goofing with the librarians afterwards.
Photo by Alex Newby.
The American Prairie Reserve
June 23 – June 26
In the heart of Montana's prairie land, the American Prairie Reserve is resolute on restoring habitat back to its historic biosphere prior to westward expansion. What is unique about the APR, compared to other forms of conservation in this country, is that it is all privately funded, essentially becoming America's first private national park. This, of course, isn't without controversy, especially with ranchers in the region, but I've developed a friendly rapport with this group over the last few months and will be joining their transect across the historic PN Ranch in September.

Photo by Alex Newby of me overlooking the Missouri River (I'm the yellow dot).
Fairmont Hot Springs, MT
June 27 – June 29
A lot of people are surprised when they find out I have a job, which surprises me. But, I guess, I just don't talk about it that often. I work in the furniture industry, for a family business, which operates as a buying group that consolidates orders for small, independent stores to ensure that they get the same collective buying power as big-box stores and corporate chains. We basically allows mom-and-pop shops access to furniture being manufactured globally (most of it coming from China, Indonesia, and Vietnam). And, as such, I frequently attend furniture conventions. Here is a photo from a convention at Fairmont Hot Springs with my niece.
Back in May, Nigel McGuinness interviewed me for his podcast, releasing the episode about a week ago. The discussion includes thoughts on sexuality, marriage, and children. Listen to it HERE.

(Also, if you like what you hear, please rate, review, and subscribe to Nigel's podcast.)
Thank you for subscribing and thank you for the support! Until next month, love & tear gas riots.
Copyright © 2018 Tyler Dunning, All rights reserved.
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