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Lauret Savoy

Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape

Lauret Edith Savoy’s life and work draw from her need to put the eroded world into language, to remember fragmented pasts into present. A woman of African American, Euro-American, and Native American heritage, she explores the stories we tell of the American land’s origins and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. For her, writing of the complex intertwinings of natural and cultural histories is a way of seeking home among the ruins and shards that surround us all. For Savoy, this work is as necessary as breathing.

Savoy’s latest book is Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (Counterpoint Press), was selected for the 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and the 2017 Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Creative Writing Award.  It was also a finalist for the 2016 PEN American Open Book Award and Phillis Wheatley Book Award, as well as shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and the Orion Book Award. Savoy’s essays and other writings have appeared in the Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Huffington Post, Travel & Leisure, ArtForum, Christian Science Monitor, and Orion magazine, as well as in books such as Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril.

Savoy is the David B. Truman Professor of Environmental Studies and Geology at Mount Holyoke College, a photographer, and pilot. Born in California, and a familial native of Washington, D.C., she graduated cum laude from Princeton University, then received her MS in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and PhD from Syracuse University. Winner of Mount Holyoke’s Distinguished Teaching Award and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, she has also held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.