John Muir National Historic Site and Alhambra High School Present The 2017 Ecopoetry Event

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Date: May 1, 2017
Contact: Jim MacDonald, 925-228-8860 ext. 6431

Join the National Park Service (NPS) and Alhambra High School students for the 2017 Ecopoetry Event. This is the 3rd annual event, staged in the historic Victorian home where the celebrated naturalist, John Muir, lived and wrote his books. The event will be held on Friday May 19, 2017, from 6 PM to 8 PM at the John Muir National Historic Site (NHS) in Martinez, CA. 

This year’s poetry reading in the parlor of the John Muir House will feature internationally known poet Jane Hirschfield, Heyday Books publisher Malcolm Margolin, and the poetry of W.S. Merwin. Jane Hirshfield, a current Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently The Beauty (Knopf, 2015), long- listed for the National Book Award and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015. Other honors include the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.  

Hirshfield’s work has always been engaged with the natural world and grounded in the Buddhist sense of interconnection, and recent poems address the subject of climate crisis with increasing directness. Her poems have been selected for eight editions of The Best American Poetry and appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and Orion. She is a frequent presenter at universities and literary festivals in this country and around the world.

Malcolm Margolin is the former publisher of Heydey Press, which has published books since the 70s that celebrate California’s natural world. His own non-fiction work, The Ohlone Way, was named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the 100 most important books published by a western writer in the twentieth century. In addition, he has been the leading promoter and publisher of Native Californian literature, both recovered and contemporary. Malcolm will read and serve as raconteur, which – if you’ve never seen him – is a skill he has honed to perfection.

W.S. Merwin, celebrated for decades, has been writing some of his greatest poetry recently, as he continues to explore the existential nature of the wild, as well as time and timelessness. We will invite former Ecopoetry participants, as well as students of Alhambra, to read poems of Merwin’s to bring his voice into the Muir House. As is our tradition, a select few of Alhambra’s poets will participate as well.

Reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call 925-228-8860.
Created in 1964, John Muir NHS preserves the home, landscapes, and gravesite of conservationist and national park advocate John Muir. John Muir NHS, located at 4202 Alhambra Avenue, Martinez, CA 94553, is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. Admission to the site is free of charge. For more information, please visit the park website at, ‘like’ us on Facebook, call (925) 228-8860 or email e-mail us.

The National Park Service has more than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: May 8, 2017

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4202 Alhambra Ave
Martinez, CA 94553


(925) 228-8860

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