Rochester Reads!


With readings, discussions, film appreciation, and other activities throughout the month, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer’s acclaimed Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants will take readers on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). More about Robin Kimmerer here.

Calendar of Events Here | Readers Guide Here | Robin Wall Kimmerer Events Here | Rochester Reads 2021  Resources & Information

To secure a Corporate Partnership or purchase an ad, email Alison Meyers at


Reading, Talk, & Conversation with Poet Santee Frazier
Thursday, October 7, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Free to the Public | ASL Interpretation
Masking Required
Rochester Academy of Medicine, 1441 East Avenue, Rochester, NY
Event Sponsor: Bruce & Dana Gianniny
Cultural Partner: Rochester Academy of Medicine

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Please note: We are monitoring data and guidance from federal, state and local health officials. We will update event protocols accordingly.

Our kick-off will be streamed in real time! Join Zoom, Meeting ID# 842 3750 7832, Passcode 704925

Santee Frazier will read original poems, give a talk on literature and culture, and be joined in conversation with Angelique Stevens, Monroe Community College Professor and award-winning essayist. Mr. Frazier is the author of the poetry collections Aurumpraised by Terrance Hayes as a trove of sensations,” and Dark Thirtycalled “visceral, immediate, and memorable” by Arthur Sze. More about authors Frazier and Stevens here.

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Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County Reading, Q & A, and Book Signing
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 12 pm | Free to the Public | ASL Interpretation
Masking Required

115 South Avenue, Rochester
Event Sponsor: Friends and Foundation of Rochester Public Library and Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

In-Person Seating: Sold Out
Tickets are available for the Virtual Reading. The passcode for the event  is: 554343. You will need this code after clicking on the Zoom link in your email.

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SUNY Brockport Keynote and Book Signing
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Free to the Public | ASL Interpretation
Masking Required
Edwards Hall, SUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY
Event Sponsor: The College at Brockport, SUNY, Department of English
In-Person Seating | Keynote on YouTube

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Please note: SUNY Brockport is monitoring data and guidance from federal, state, and local health officials. We will update event protocols accordingly.

Don’t wait in line! Purchase your copy of Braiding Sweetgrass  now from Ampersand Books and enjoy a 15% discount. View curbside pick-up hours here. Learn about bulk order discounts here.

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More about Robin Kimmerer

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Braiding Sweetgrass is instructive poetry. Robin Wall Kimmerer has put the spiritual relationship that Chief Seattle called the ‘web of life’ into writing. Industrial societies lack the understanding of the interrelationships that bind all living things―this book fills that void.” (Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation and Indigenous Environmental Leader) Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. With reflections ranging from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, Braiding Sweetgrass circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.

Kimmerer’s first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. The author tours widely, has been featured on NPR’s On Being, and in 2015, addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of healing our relationship with nature. She lives in Syracuse, NY, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology and the founder and director of the Center for Native People and the Environment.

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More about Santee Frazier & Angelique Stevens

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Santee Frazier’s honors include a 2009 Lannan Residency Fellowship and the 2001 Truman Capote Scholarship from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, his poetry collections offer non-romanticized, realistic portraits of great beauty, and a rare look at the truths of survival for Native peoples in today’s society. Mr. Frazier is Visiting Faculty, 2021-2022, at the MFA for Poets & Writers, College of Humanities, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“In language infused with the attitude of blues—never nostalgic or self-pitying—Frazier explores the harsh lives of people living at the margins with a measure of tenderness that underscores their dignity. The poems handle tough subjects gracefully, moving thematically from issues of sexual exploitation and violence in everyday domestic life to a kind of wonder at the redemptive possibilities of the human spirit rising out of chaos.” (Former United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey)

Angelique Stevens, Haudenosaunee, lives in Upstate New York where she teaches creative writing, literature of genocide, and race literatures. Her nonfiction can be found in LitHubThe New England ReviewThe Chattahoochee Review, and a number of anthologies. Her essay “Ghost Bread” won the Prism International Creative Nonfiction Contest; she won the grand prize for the Solas Award in 2019; and her essay “Remember the Earth” was published in Booth 13: Nonfiction Prize Issue, a Special Issue selected as a Notable in The Best American Essays 2020. A member of the Board of Directors of Water for South Sudan, she is writing a memoir about her experiences growing up in New York State.

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