Gretchen Legler with Grace Talusan, Woodsqueer [Cambridge]

Porter Square Books is thrilled to welcome Gretchen Legler for Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life. Legler will be joined in conversation by author and GrubStreet instructor Grace Talusan. This event will take place on Thursday, April 28 at 7pm at Porter Square Books: Cambridge Edition. Space will be limited, so be sure to RSVP below to save your spot!

"Woodsqueer" is sometimes used to describe the mindset of a person who has taken to the wild for an extended period of time. Gretchen Legler is no stranger to life away from the rapid-fire pace of the twenty-first century, which can often lead to a kind of stir-craziness. Woodsqueer chronicles her experiences intentionally focusing on not just making a living but making a life--in this case, an agrarian one more in tune with the earth on eighty acres in backwoods Maine.

Building a home with her partner, Ruth, on their farm means learning to live with solitude, endless trees, and the wild animals the couple come to welcome as family. Whether trying to outsmart their goats, calculating how much firewood they need for the winter, or bartering with neighbors for goods and services, they hone life skills brought with them (carpentry, tracking and hunting wild game) and other skills they learn along the way (animal husbandry, vegetable gardening, woodcutting).

Legler's story is at times humbling and grueling, but it is also amusing. A homage to agrarian American life echoing the back-to-the-land movement popularized in the mid-twentieth century, Woodsqueer reminds us of the benefits of living close to the land. Legler unapologetically considers what we have lost in America, in less than a century--individually and collectively--as a result of our urban, mass-produced, technology-driven lifestyles.
Illustrated with rustic pen-and-ink illustrations, Woodsqueer shows the value of a solitary sojourn and both the pathway to and possibilities for making a sustainable, meaningful life on the land. The result, for Legler and her partner, is an evolution of their humanity as they become more physically, emotionally, and even spiritually connected to their land and each other in a complex ecosystem ruled by the changing seasons.

Gretchen Legler is the author of On the Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station, Antarctica and All The Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman's Notebook, which received two Pushcart Prizes (reissued by Trinity University Press). She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine at Farmington. She lives in Farmington with her partner, Ruth.

Grace Talusan is the author of The Body Papers, which won the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant writing and the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. In 2022, she received creative writing fellowships from  United States Artists, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Brother Thomas Fund. She has published most recently in the anthology Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University.

Event date: 

Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life By Gretchen Legler Cover Image
ISBN: 9781595349590
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Trinity University Press - February 15th, 2022