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Culture » Entertainment Picks

Philip Connors: Fire Season

Saturday April 9 @ Sam Weller’s Bookstore

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There’s a great American literary tradition where writers abandon their daily routine to climb up a fire-watch tower to gain a better view of both the natural world surrounding them and the depths of the inner world within. Edward Abbey did it, as did several immortals of the Beat Generation. Philip Connors is just the latest to follow those masters up the rungs.

That’s not to say that he doesn’t have something new and important to add to the fire. As one of the last of his kind, Connors uses the solitary time reflecting on the place of humankind in both the modern and natural world. “The life of a lookout is a blend of monotony, geometry and poetry, with healthy dollops of frivolity and sloth,” he writes. “It’s a life that encourages thrift and self-sufficiency … To be solitary in such a place in such a way is not to be alone. Instead, one feels a certain kind of dignity.”

Philip Connors: Fire Season @ Sam Weller’s Bookstore, 254 S. Main, 801-328-2586, April 9, 6 p.m., free. SamWellers.com