On Monday I'll be giving a talk at Western Michigan University called No Complacency: Imagination and Calls to Action. After decades of stubbornly refusing to give up on creative writing as good work, and a decade of (also stubbornly) refusing to give up on the future of the Saugatuck Dunes, I have a few things to say about this. I hope to be useful and maybe even a little inspiring to anyone who refuses to succumb to the "whatever" philosophy of life. For details, click here and scroll down.

Last Friday I got to speak at a Great Lakes conference at the University of Michigan. Jerry Dennis, who knows, loves, and writes beautifully about the Great Lakes, delivered the keynote. He said he believes the biggest threat to the lakes is anything that makes us feel hopeless. He's probably right, and in these times brushes with feelings of hopelessness are inevitable. The key, I've found, is it to find ways to push back the feeling, or to proceed anyway despite it.

Community, however it happens (and reading, writing, and conversation are powerful community builders) can be a powerful antidote to the inertia caused by hopelessness. If you're anywhere near Kalamazoo, I hope you can join us on Monday. There will be a reception with snacks and time for conversation starting at 5:30.

Details: Gwen Frostic Lecture Series, Monday, November 14, 6:00 p.m., Meader Rare Book Room (#3016), Waldo Library, WMU. Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program, the Center for the Humanities, and the Department of English.