UMM to Host Book Reading, Signing with Nature Writer Bernd Heinrich

MACHIAS, Maine – Award-winning nature writer Bernd Heinrich will read from and discuss his work at the University of Maine at Machias on Wednesday, February 26. The reading is free and open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. in the UMM Performing Arts Center.

Heinrich, a professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont, has written 18 books on nature, as well as more than one hundred empirical science papers that have appeared in 40 different scientific journals.

While incorporating his observations and personal reflections on nature, many of Heinrich’s books relate to his research examining the physiological and behavioral adaptations of other animals to their physical environments. Some of his more popular works, which are also illustrated by the author, include Ravens in Winter, A Year in the Maine Woods, The Trees in my Forest, Mind of the Raven, Why We Run: A Natural History, The Geese of Beaver Bog, The Snoring Bird, Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, Summer World: A Season of Bounty, and Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death. His latest book, The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration, is due out in April.

Heinrich is also the subject of a 2011 documentary film, An Uncommon Curiosity: At Home and in Nature with Bernd Heinrich, which follows the author over the course of a year as he reflects on his past and shares his ideas about nature, science, art, beauty, and writing. 

The bestselling author has been described by Publishers Weekly as “arguably today’s finest naturalist author…our latter-day Thoreau.” 

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Maine, completed his Ph.D. at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and then took a position as insect physiologist and taught entomology at the University of California at Berkeley until 1980. He then returned to the East Coast, taking a professorship in the Biology Department of the University of Vermont, where he still teaches a field course, Winter Ecology, from his cabin in Maine.

During his time in Machias, Heinrich will also work with students in the creative writing workshop being taught this semester by Maine author Cathie Pelletier. Pelletier, who is UMM’s first Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing in Residence, has lined up several other accomplished writers to visit her students and hold public readings or performances. Following Heinrich’s appearance will be singer-songwriter David Mallett, who is slated to visit and perform in early March.

There will be a reception and book signing immediately following Heinrich’s presentation on February 26.