Reading by Patrick Somerville
Thursday, April 30, 4:30 p.m.
Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, G70 Klarman Hall
The Spring 2020 Barbara & David Zalaznick Creative Writing Reading Series comes to a close with a reading by screenwriter & novelist Patrick Somerville. Patrick Somerville is a Cornell alum (MFA ’05) and the creator of the series Maniac (Netflix), as well as two upcoming series, Station 11 and Made For Love (HBO Max). He got his start writing for television on the FX drama The Bridge and later wrote for the second and third seasons of HBO’s The Leftovers. Somerville is the author of two short story collections and the novels This Bright River and The Cradle. He grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and lives with his wife and three kids in Los Angeles.
Life today is full of stressors, and this is especially true for college and university students. To improve students’ mental and physical well-being, Don Rakow, an associate professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell, recommends a prescription of fresh air. In a book coauthored with Gregory T. Eells, Nature Rx: Improving College-Student Mental Health (Cornell University Press, 2019), Rakow argues that campus programs encouraging students to spend more time outdoors can reduce the stress and anxiety of academic, social, and relationship pressures, particularly for those also dealing with mental health issues, trauma, or substance abuse. In this Chats in the Stacks talk, Rakow will discuss the value of Nature Rx programs and present a step-by-step formula for constructing and sustaining them on college campuses. This book talk is supported by the Mary A. Morrison Public Education Fund for Mann Library.
The wisdom of the ancients might be applicable to beer pong. In 1536, alarmed by a rising culture of binge drinking and competitive excess in sixteenth-century Germany, humanist and neoclassical poet Vincent Obsopoeus wrote De Arte Bibendi [The Art of Drinking] urging moderation while also offering tips for giving good toasts and winning drinking games—all based on his extensive personal experience. In this Chats in the Stacks book talk, Michael Fontaine, professor in the Department of Classics and the associate vice provost of undergraduate education at Cornell, will share his commentaries and insights on How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing (Princeton University Press, 2019), his new translation of Obsopoeus’s work. This book talk is sponsored by Olin Library. Light refreshments will be served.
Decades after her death, nature study movement leader Anna Botsford Comstock is finding her true voice. The original 1953 publication of her autobiography, The Comstocks of Cornell, has long been considered the definitive account of her life and that of her husband, entomologist John Henry Comstock, but it was, in fact, heavily edited—with important parts omitted and with several discrepancies from the original memoirs. Karen Penders St. Clair has restored Anna Botsford Comstock’s voice in her edited The Comstocks of Cornell: The Definitive Autobiography (Cornell University Press, 2020), which includes previously missing sections of Comstock’s descriptions of Cornell’s early days and her and her husband’s life and work. In this Chats in the Stacks talk, St.
Many private gardens in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii were decorated with statues, paintings, and mosaics evoking far-away Egypt, which was part of the Roman empire at the time. These foreign images and objects transformed household space into a microcosm of empire, according to Caitlín Eilís Barrett, an associate professor in the Department of Classics at Cornell. In a Chats in the Stacks talk, Barrett will discuss case studies from Pompeii featured in her illustrated book, Domesticating Empire: Egyptian Landscapes in Pompeian Gardens (Oxford University Press, 2019), the first contextually oriented monograph on Egyptian imagery in Roman homes. This book talk is sponsored by Olin Library. Light refreshments will be served.
Wild colonies of honey bees hold the key to improving the health of the managed colonies kept by beekeepers, according to Thomas D. Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology, in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell. Why do colonies of honey bees living in the wild thrive while those of beekeepers often suffer high mortality? What new insights have scientists gained about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees, by looking at how they live in nature? In a Chats in the Stacks talk, Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, will answer these questions as he presents The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild (Princeton University Press, 2019). He will also discuss a new approach to beekeeping—“Darwinian Beekeeping”— whereby beekeepers can revise their practices to make the lives of their six-legged partners less stressful and therefore more healthful.
Horror writer Kevin Lucia talks about his latest works, the horror industry today, and about what scares him. (Hint – it’s not the monsters he writes about.) Lucia will read from his works Through A Mirror Darkly and Things Slip Through on Friday, October 30th at Barnes & Noble, Vestal, NY.