On March 1st we launched Welcome to the Anthropocene at the University of Alberta Conservatory with great success. More than 70 eager readers gathered to celebrate Alice Major’s 11th poetry collection; they were welcomed by Sharon Morsink, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Science – Physics. Peter Midgley, Senior Editor at UAP said a few words about Alice in introduction.
Duane Froese, Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, provided a little background on the Anthropocene – what is it? How do we know we’re in it? We learned that most of the audience will have been born before the start of the Anthropocene, which may well be determined to be 1964 — when there was significant above-ground nuclear testing, with concomitant results in the Earth’s crust.
Alice’s reading was most enjoyable: she was informative, serious, and sometimes also made us laugh. After the science and poetry, there was an opportunity to step outside and take a look at the stars. Unfortunately, the moon was hiding.
A reception, book sales, and author signings followed.
There were some great media sidenotes to the launch… The event made it onto the Edmonton Journal‘s Top Ten Things to Do, Codie McLachlan took great photos to post to the Social Seen column, and Global TV sent a camera to take some footage. Finally, Welcome to the Anthropocene hit number 1 on Edmonton’s Bestsellers list on March 11 — a rare position for a book of poetry, but well deserved!