Arts Society & Culture

Alumnus to speak on life-changing experience

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia alumnus Mark Warren will read from his book “Two Winters in a Tipi: My Search for the Soul of the Forest” as part of a UGA Libraries program Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. in the Sidney Samuel Thomas Reading Room on the third floor of the Miller Learning Center. The event is free and open to the public.

After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1969, Warren worked for 12 years as naturalist and environmental educator for The Georgia Conservancy and 17 years as wilderness director for High Meadows Camp. He was named Georgia’s Conservation Educator of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation in 1980.

In 1989, Warren’s house was struck by lightning and burned down-along with all of his tools, the novel manuscript he’d been writing for seven years and the music he’d composed for most of his life.

Left only with the clothes he had on, a knife, a guitar, and the field guides that had been in his truck, Warren decided to fulfill a childhood dream and make his home in a tipi. This transformed his relationship with the natural world and helped him become better acquainted with the seasons and living things around him.

Twenty years later and now living in a typical stick-built home, Warren views his two winters in a tipi as a cherished memory that fills him with gratitude. “For every night under that circle of poles, for every call of owl or fox, for every lesson of honesty that only solitude can teach, the land has shaped me, left its indelible mark,” he said. “Every herb and tree and shrub is an old friend now.”

Warren founded and runs the Medicine Bow Wilderness School in the North Georgia mountains, where he lives. He is also a national champion in whitewater canoeing and a winner of the World Championship Longbow Tournament.

Warren’s book will be available for sale before and after the reading. Light refreshments will be served.

Parking for the event is available in the Tate Student Center Parking Deck.