The Understory Book Club

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest

For this meeting we'll discuss pages 0-50.

Check back here immediately before the meeting starts for the link to the online meeting room!

Meeting link Choose the "Join on the Web" option. You do not have to download any app.

Ebook available from Multnomah County Library at,
Pdf available at,

Two kinds of long-term research are taking place at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a renowned research facility in the temperate rain forest of the Oregon Cascades. Here, scientists investigate the ecosystem's trees, wildlife, water, and nutrients with an eye toward understanding change over varying timescales up to two hundred years or more. And writers from both literary and scientific backgrounds spend time in the forest investigating the ecological and human complexities of this remarkable and deeply studied place.

This anthology--which includes work by some of the nation's most accomplished writers, including Sandra Alcosser, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Hogan, Freeman House, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Kathleen Dean Moore, Robert Michael Pyle, Pattiann Rogers, and Scott Russell Sanders--grows out of the work of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program and showcases the insights of the program's thoughtful and important encounters among writers, scientists, and place. These vivid essays, poems, and field notes convey a landscape of moss-draped trees, patchwork clear-cuts, stream-swept gravel bars, and hillsides scoured by fire, and also bring forward the ambiguities and paradoxes of conflicting human values and their implications for the ecosystem.

Forest Under Story offers an illuminating and multifaceted way of understanding the ecology and significance of old-growth forests and points the way toward a new kind of collaboration between the sciences and the humanities to better know and learn from special places. Bark's volunteer-led book club is called the Understory. Its mission is to maintain a robust and active book club as a strategy to actively facilitate engagement with all the different resources Bark's library. the Understory also strives to develop cultural competency in our organization and community and has begun to develop a lens with which we assess how well the resources in the library serve as anti-racist, de-colonial, and anti-white supremacist educational materials. the Understory frequently discusses issues of social justice as related to the environmental/conservation movement, the perspective of the author, and the representation (or lack of) of different cultural groups and knowledge in the books we read.