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Speaker Series: Rob Simbeck & Margaret Renkl

September 1, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Join the Charleston Library Society & Buxton Books as we host authors Rob Simbeck & Margaret Renkl as they discuss their recent books, The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist and Late Migrations: Natural History of Love and Loss. The writers will have a lively, and poignant conversation covering topics from their books as well as the environment. Tickets are $5 and include a $5 off coupon to use through Buxton Books on either Simbeck’s The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist or Renkl’s Late Migrations: Natural History of Live and Loss. To purchase tickets, call 843-723-9912 or click here.

The Southern Wildlife Watcher is a colorful look at thirty-six common and not-so-common animals found in the southeastern United States–from the hummingbird to the bald eagle and from the bullfrog to the bobcat. Rob Simbeck, one of the Southeast’s most widely read naturalists, combines a poet’s voice with a journalist’s rigor in offering readers an intimate introduction to the creatures around us. Through delightful storytelling each vignette offers accessible information supported by quotes from noted naturalists and biologists. Simbeck covers habitat, diet, mating and reproduction, environmental challenges, and even folklore in outlining the lives of insects and other invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, and fish. The Southern Wildlife Watcher is a refresher course and handbook for veteran nature lovers, an introduction for young readers, and fireplace or bedtime reading for those wanting to reflect on nature’s bounty.

Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver.

And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds the natural one and our own the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only loves own twin.

Gorgeously illustrated by the authors brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.

Rob Simbeck has written for the Washington Post, Guideposts, Field & Stream, Birder’s World, Wildbird, and wildlife/conservation magazines in twenty states. He is the author, ghostwriter, or editor of more than twenty books and is former president and chairman of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association.

Margaret Renkl is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, where her essays appear weekly. Her work has also appeared in Guernica, Literary Hub, Proximity, and River Teeth, among others. She was the founding editor of Chapter 16, the daily literary publication of Humanities Tennessee, and is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina. She lives in Nashville.


September 1, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm