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(Courtesy photo) Author Diane Ackerman's latest book is "The Human Age."
Utah Lit for September: ‘The Human Age’

Books » Poet offers hope in nonfiction meditation.

First Published Aug 23 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Aug 28 2014 06:58 pm

For September, the Tribune’s Utah Lit online book club will focus on Diane Ackerman’s "The Human Age." The poet and naturalist focuses on the paradoxical effects of humans on the Earth, and along with the damage, she reports on the reasons for hope.

In the book, Ackerman labels humans as "nomads with restless minds" and "powerful agents of planetary change." Her research-based meditations span the world, from considerations of space to sprawling cities to the hope of climate farming or the built-landscape of Manhattan’s High Line.

At a glance

Utah Lit: September

Join The Salt Lake Tribune in September talking with and about Diane Ackerman’s new book, “The Human Age.”

When » Friday, Sept. 26, 12:15 p.m. at sltrib.com

Join us » Post comments or questions on this story at sltrib.com, or send an email to ellenf@sltrib.com or jnpearce@sltrib.com. Or text 801-609-8059 or send tweets to #TribTalk.

Upcoming » In October, the Tribune will focus on two books: William Kent Krueger’s “Ordinary Grace” and Julie Otsuka’s novel “When the Emperor Was Divine,” about a Japanese-American family sent to the Topaz internment camp at Topaz during World War II.

‘Ordinary Grace’ » Krueger will appear at the Salt Lake County Library’s “One County, One Book” event at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Viridian Event Center, 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan.

‘Emperor’ » Otsuka will appear at the Salt Lake Library’s “Big Read” event on at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the City Library auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City.

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"Thankfully, Ackerman’s ecological forecast isn’t completely bleak," opines Kirkus Reviews, which in a pre-publication review labels the nonfiction book "a shimmering narrative about how the human and natural worlds coexist, coadapt and interactively thrive."

There’s hope to be found from the work of geologists studying the fossilized record of the human age, from the bioengineers creating organs from 3-D prints, and from the botantists studying the rebalancing of ecosystems threatened by invasive species.

Watch for an interview with Ackerman in the Sept. 21 arts section before our online conversation on Friday, Sept. 26.

Ackerman will read from her book at a Utah Book Festival event, hosted by the Tribune’s Jennifer Napier-Pearce, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Salt Lake City Library auditorium (210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City). The live Utah Lit event is sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council and the Salt Lake Public Library.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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