2016 Sowell Conference Preview

Robert Michael Pyle

“Our Lovely World, Our Tardy Rage: Fifty Years of Writing for Nature”

A butterfly lands on Bob's nose.

A butterfly lands on Bob’s nose.

Robert Michael Pyle is a professional writer and lepidopterist. He attended University of Washington (B.S. and M.S.) and Yale University (Ph.D., School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 1976). He has published 17 books including Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year which won the 2011 Washington State Book Award and Wintergreen: Rambles in a Ravaged Land which won the 1987 John Burroughs Medal. Other awards include the Washington State Book Award (2008) and the National Outdoor Book Award (2007) for Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place. His latest poetry collection Evolution Genus Iris was published by Lost Horse Press in May 2014, and we’ve heard from Bob that another poetry collection is forthcoming.

With Arthur Kruckeberg at Sun Mountain.

With Arthur Kruckeberg at Sun Mountain.

Between 1997 and 2008, Pyle wrote the popular column “The Tangled Bank” for Orion Magazine and Orion Afield. The collected essays were published in book form as The Tangled Bank: Writings from Orion by Oregon State University Press in 2012. Each essay explores Darwin’s contention that elements of the living world are “endlessly interesting and ever evolving” with subjects ranging from a life without screens to independent bookstores to magpies.

Bob the Butterfly Man!

Bob the Butterfly Man!

In 2014 Pyle was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He founded the Xerces Society and has served as a butterfly conservation consultant for Papua New Guinea and as Northwest Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy. In addition to the Sowell Conference, he will speak at Texas Pollinator Powwow on Saturday, April 23 at the Museum of Texas Tech University.

The 2016 Sowell Conference will be held April 21-23. Other speakers include David James Duncan, John Lane, Barry Lopez, James Perrin Warren, Toni Jensen, and Kurt Caswell. Photographs are from the Robert Michael Pyle Papers, 1874-2014 and undated at the Southwest Collections/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University.

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