Whatcom READS Announces Community Programs and Conversations Exploring Michael Christie’s 2022 Book Selection, ‘Greenwood’


Proposed by Whatcom County Library System

The Whatcom READS 2022 selection is the generational saga Green wood by Canadian author Michael Christie. With trees as a guiding metaphor, Green wood traces the rise and fall of a family and the “hopeful and impossible task of growing towards the light”.

“We think local readers will appreciate not only author Michael Christie’s writing and the book’s inventive structure, but also the themes found in Greenwood,” said Ann McAllen, chair of the Whatcom READS committee. “Whatcom READS invites our community to read and discuss the same book. With Green wood, together we can explore issues of climate change, family, Pacific Northwest botany, intersectional environmentalism and more. The list of community programs is rich and varied, but it all starts with the book.

To borrow Green wood as a book, eBook or audiobook by the library or buy it at Village books, which donates 10% of every sale to Whatcom READS.

Author Michael Christie. Photo courtesy of Whatcom County Library System

Visit whatcomreads.org to learn more about Green wood, author Michael Christie, and free community programs that enrich the reading experience.

Community events inspired by the Whatcom READS 2022 selection, Green wood

Most of the programs are online. On-site events have limited attendance. Pre-registration is required. Find more information and register on whatcom.reads.org.

WNP Fungi – Supporting People and Soils
All fungi have an important role in the ecosystem. Myecilia in fungi store incredible amounts of carbon underground. In this richly illustrated presentation, author and researcher Daniel Winkler will help you identify fungi while avoiding dangerous lookalikes.

7-8 p.m., Wednesday December 8

Pacific Northwest botany
There are over 3,000 species of plants native to Washington State, but many people cannot tell a fir from a hemlock or a calyx from a corolla. By putting names on these plants, we can begin to understand the important role each plays in keeping our planet healthy and well nourished.


11 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday December 11

Climate fiction and climate change literature
Professor Stephen Siperstein will explore how climate change literature, and in particular climate change fiction (also known as cli-fi), can be a source of radical hope in our world on fire.


11 am-12pm, Saturday January 22

Wood songs
Local luthier Devin Champlin discusses the making of musical instruments and the precious woods that are used in crafts.

7-8 p.m., Thursday January 27

Harnessing Bigleaf Maples for Syrup: How the Impossible Became Possible
Some of the rarest and tastiest maple syrups are mined right here in Whatcom County – sustainably! Hear the story of this Acme farmhouse – and future plans – from owner Neil McLeod and others during an intriguing on-site tour. Space is limited; pre-registration is required.
11 am-12pm, Saturday January 29

Directions will be sent to registered participants.

Poetry Reading with Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest
Join Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest for a poetry reading focused on the themes of this year’s Whatcom Reads selection, Green wood.

7-8 p.m., Thursday February 3

Intersectional environmentalism: the key to the fight against racism and climate change
Communities of color and low-income communities have borne the heaviest burden of environmental injustice, but these communities have been left out of conversations, including science policy and outdoor recreation. Scientist Emily Pinkney explains how to tackle rooted racism in the environmental movement, resulting in more effective solutions for the planet.


7-8 p.m., Thursday February 10

Introduction to forest baths
Join April Claxton, Among the Trees PNW, for an introduction to Forest Bathing. It is a slow walk with guided exercises using our senses to connect with the forest. Most of our time together will be spent in silence in a local park. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

10 a.m. to noon Saturday February 12 and Saturday February 19

Details of the event will be sent to registered participants.

One Million More Trees for Whatcom County? YES!
In this interactive Q&A webinar with Executive Director Michael Feerer, you’ll learn the why, who, what, where, and how of the Whatcom Million Trees Project’s exciting initiatives to plant a million trees in Whatcom County over the past few years. next five years.


6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday February 17

The story of Woodstock Farm – and its successful future
Learn about the history of this beautiful 16-acre waterfront park in the town of Bellingham along Chuckanut Drive, and its orchard being planted that will enhance local food resilience while retaining the character of this special site.

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday February 24

Do not miss!

Author events with Michael Christie

The author travels to Whatcom County to discuss the book and its creative process. Details and locations of the event will be announced.

March 3-5

Allied Arts Whatcom READS Challenge

Submit your original Greenwood-inspired artwork for exhibition at the Allied Arts Gallery in Bellingham.

The deadline for submission is March 1 and 2. The exhibition is from March 3 to 31. Learn more about alliedarts.org/whatcom-reads-art-challenge.


Watch a reading from local writers whose work has been shortlisted for the Whatcom WRITES 2022 anthology. Pre-registration is required for both events.

In person at Village Books in Fairhaven

2 p.m. Sunday February 20

In line

2 p.m. Sunday February 27

About Whatcom

Northwestern Washington’s premier annual literary event, Whatcom READS celebrates reading, readers, and strong communities through the shared experience of a book. Enter its 14e year, Whatcom READS is presented by all public and university libraries in Bellingham and Whatcom County – Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham Technical College, Northwest Indian College, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College and Whatcom County Library System. Village books is the community partner of Whatcom READS. Learn more about whatcomreads.org.

About Michael Christie and Green wood

Michael Christie is also the author of the highly regarded novel If I fall, if I die and the related collection of stories, The beggar’s garden. Her work has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His essays and book reviews appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Globe and Mail. A former carpenter and worker at a homeless shelter, the author divides his time between Victoria and Galiano Island, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and two sons in a half-timbered house that he built.

Here’s how the Whatcom READS selection committee describes the book: “Located in the Pacific Northwest, Michael Christie’s GREENWOOD opens in the near future in one of the last surviving old growth forests. The story skilfully traverses a cross section of generations, themes and eras. As Christie pulls off those layers, he exposes the core of what it means to struggle, survive and thrive; in essence, what it means to be human. This rich and well-paced tale offers poignant writing with interesting characters.

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