MISSOULA – In 2018, Latria Graham ignited a national conversation about visibility and racism in outdoor recreation with her article “We’re Here. You Just Don’t See Us.” The piece first appeared in Outside magazine.
In January, the noted essayist and reporter will join the University of Montana faculty as the 2022 Kittredge Distinguished Writer in Environmental Studies. She will teach a graduate writing workshop during spring semester and give a public reading.
“Latria’s work asks the questions that anyone writing about nature and the environment should be asking,” said Mark Sundeen, a UM assistant professor of Environmental Studies. “We’re honored to have her here.”
A columnist for Garden & Gun magazine, the South Carolina-based Graham has written for The Atlantic, Outside and many other outlets. She also is a fifth-generation farmer whose forthcoming first book, “Uneven Ground,” which is about preserving her 100-year-old farm and family legacy, sheds light on an epidemic of Black land ownership loss. It will be published by Mariner Books.
UM students taking Graham’s workshop will learn from one of American’s most thought-provoking writers, Sundeen said.
“The land that we are raised on shapes integral parts of who we become, how we articulate our experiences and what we are willing to fight for,” Graham writes in her course description. “This course is meant to challenge the ways we traditionally think about environments and provide students with the tools to write about the tender places they care for without the veneer of romanticism or false nostalgia that occasionally takes over.”
UM’s Kittredge Distinguished Writer in Environmental Studies is named in honor of Bill Kittredge (1932-2020), who taught creative writing at UM and inspired three decades of students. “Writers need communiality,” Kittredge said of Missoula and UM, “and there aren’t very many places you can find it in the United States. This is one of them.”
Contact: Mark Sundeen, UM Environmental Studies assistant professor, 406-243-6273, firstname.lastname@example.org.