Rhapsody with Science

Lecture by UPEI writer-in-residence Harry Thurston

Harry Thurston, award-winning environmental journalist

Harry Thurston is an award-winning poet, naturalist and globe-travelling journalist whose environmental and nature writing has appeared widely in North American magazines, including Audubon, Equinox, Canadian Geographic, and National Geographic. Thurston will give the 2023 UPEI Don Mazer Arts & Science Lecture on October 3, 7:30 pm, at UPEI’s McDougall Hall, room 248.

His talk, “Rhapsody with Science: The Education of a Nature Writer,” will address “the separation between the sciences and the arts.” 

Thurston writes, “My personal journey has made me question this supposed divide. Instead, like the great biologist and writer E. O. Wilson, I believe that ‘neither science nor the arts can be complete without combining their separate strengths’ and that nature writing seeks to make our minds and hearts whole again.”

Thurston has published 17 books of nonfiction. Tidal Life, A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy (1990) won all three Atlantic Provinces’ nonfiction book awards and has been called a “natural history classic.” The Atlantic Coast, A Natural History (2011) received the Lane Anderson Award for the best science writing in Canada. His awards include the National Magazine Award for Science and Technology and the Canadian Science Writers Association Science and Society Awards.

A life-long Nova Scotia resident, Thurston began writing poetry while training as a biologist at Acadia University, and has published 12 poetry collections, His most recent, Ultramarine (2023), explores the passage of time, both as individuals and as a species. A passionate fly fisher, in 2020 he published a fishing memoir, Lost River, The Waters of Remembrance. A cultural as well as conservation activist, he has served as chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada.

Thurston’s lecture is presented by the UPEI Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science, and supported by Bookmark Charlottetown. The lecture series is named in honour of Dr. Don Mazer, an esteemed UPEI Psychology professor who led the development of UPEI’s Environmental Studies Program, and whose interests have bridged the Arts and Sciences on PEI. The public is invited, and admission is free.