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Acclaimed Writer and Conservationist T.A. Barron To Speak at Lyceum Program

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Date: April 28, 2009
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-0363

Saturday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. – Nature and Humanity: Connecting Our Lands, Our Lives, and Our Stories
Join T.A. Barron, highly acclaimed author of The Great Tree of Avalon, The Lost Years of Merlin, and many other books, as he finds great inspiration in the wonders of nature and the heroic potential of every person. “In everything I do,” says T. A. Barron, “I’m a storyteller. As a dad, a writer, a documentary film maker, a conservationist, and a voice for the importance of heroes, in all these ways, I tell stories. Why? Because there is no more powerful or more exciting way to convey an idea than through a story.”

T.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country, traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar, managed a successful business in New York, and then changed careers to become a full-time writer and conservationist. His passion for the wonders of nature, his deep concern for humanity and our fragile planet, and his belief in the heroic potential of every person, radiate through his books—many of which are international bestsellers.

From the attic of his Colorado home, Barron writes powerful, poetic, and inspiring books enjoyed by children and adults alike. His highly acclaimed work has garnered the Nautilus Award, given to books that promote a better world, as well as honors from the American Library Association and the International Reading Association. In the words of author Madeleine L’Engle, T.A. Barron’s books are “a rare gift to be treasured for a lifetime.” Robert Redford declared that, “T.A. Barron’s appreciation for nature shines through” his “extraordinary” work. And Book Sense labeled his books, “the best of the best that is being written in children’s literature.”

Barron’s novels include: The Lost Years of Merlin epic (currently being developed into a feature film); the new Merlin’s Dragon trilogy; The Great Tree of Avalon (a New York Times best seller); and The Ancient One (the story of a brave girl and a great redwood tree). He has authored and illustrated children’s books such as High as a Hawk, The Day the Stones Walked, and Where is Grandpa?—as well as nature books about Colorado’s magnificent wilderness. His non-fiction book, The Hero’s Trail, describes how any person from any background can make a positive difference to the world.

T.A. Barron also founded a national award to honor outstanding young people. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, which he named after his mother, recognizes extraordinary, public-spirited young people from all backgrounds, in the hope that their examples will inspire others. He produced a documentary film, Dream Big, profiling seven young winners of the Barron Prize.

In addition, Barron has served on many national boards, including the Princeton University board of trustees, where he helped to found the Princeton Environmental Institute, and The Wilderness Society, which recently honored him with its highest citizen award for conservation work. Barron often speaks at conventions, book events, universities, and community gatherings. But his favorite pastime remains hiking on mountain trails with his wife, Currie, and their children.

The theme of the 2009 Lyceum Series is “Celebrate our Natural World: Artists Who Are Inspired by the Environment.” This year’s series has a cultural focus. The presentations will highlight how the natural world influences and inspires artists. Artists of all types: singers, musicians, painters, sculptors, woodcarvers, performance artists, writers, quilters and photographers will be involved in this year’s Lyceum.

The Lyceum schedule runs through May 16, 2009. Financial support for the lyceum series is provided by the park’s nonprofit partner, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. Programs are free and open to the public. They are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center auditorium in Rocky Mountain National Park. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

a photo of Abner Sprague buying a pass to Rocky Mountain National Park

Homesteader and lodge keeper Abner Sprague was the first person to pay to enter Rocky Mountain National Park. His fee was $3.