Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Sarah Eaton
Collins Living-Learning Center

Last modified: Monday, November 8, 2010

Award-winning nature and science writer to speak at IU's Collins Living-Learning Center

Nov. 8, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Alumnus Christopher Cokinos, an author-environmentalist and former resident of Collins Living-Learning Center, will return to the residence hall to read his work and host an essay-writing workshop with IU students Thursday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.

Christopher Cokinos

Christopher Cokinos

Print-Quality Photo

Cokinos' reading, titled "Vanished Birds and Shooting Stars: Death and Life from the Skies," will take place in the Coffeehouse in Edmondson. The reading is open to the public and is part of The College of Arts and Sciences' Themester 2010, sustain•ability: Thriving on a Small Planet.

In his two nonfiction books, "The Fallen Sky" and "Hope is the Thing with Feathers," Cokinos has grappled with the tragedy and inevitability of extinctions. From the cautionary tale of the last known wild passenger pigeon (and how the extinction of that species was human-caused) to the effects of meteorite impacts in the past and the future, Cokinos frames a discussion of extinction within the contexts of personal responsibility and deep time.

Surprisingly, out of literal devastation -- such as an impact event 500 million years ago -- life can emerge, Cokinos writes, so our time on Earth is, in part, a gift of past extinctions. But how do we live now? Cokinos will address that question among others in his reading.

Cokinos graduated from IU in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a journalism minor. He is the winner of a Whiting Award, the country's most respected prize for emerging writers. His books have garnered praise from multiple publications including Nature, Science, and the Boston Globe. He teaches creative writing and history of science fiction courses at Utah State University, where he is an associate professor of English, is the current president of the Utah Audubon Council and sits on the boards of the Bridgerland Audubon Society and Hawkwatch International.

Collins Living-Learning Center is a residential unit of IU's College of Arts and Sciences that supplements regular university programming with its own accredited courses, arts events, social service activities and enrichment programs.

For more information, contact Sarah Eaton, Collins Living-Learning Center, 541 N. Woodlawn, 812-856-3025,