Printed Matter, Inc.
The Language of Trees
Printed Matter Chelsea
231 11th Avenue
“A masterpiece. Katie Holten’s tree alphabet is a gift to the printed world.” — Max Porter, author of Grief is a Thing with Feathers
Join us at Printed Matter Chelsea for the launch of Katie Holten’s The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape. Holten will be joined in conversation by contributors William Corwin, Nicole Davi, and Amy Harmon.
Inspired by forests, trees, leaves, roots, and seeds, The Language of Trees invites readers to discover an unexpected and imaginative language to better read and write the natural world around us and reclaim our relationship with it.
In this gorgeously illustrated and deeply thoughtful collection, Katie Holten gifts readers her tree alphabet and uses it to masterfully translate and illuminate beloved lost and new, original writing in praise of the natural world.
With an introduction from Ross Gay, and featuring writings from over fifty contributors including Ursula K. Le Guin, Ada Limón, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, James Gleick, Elizabeth Kolbert, Winona LaDuke, Richard Powers, and Robin Wall Kimmerer, Holten illustrates each selection with an abiding love and reverence for the magic of trees. She guides readers on a journey from creation myths and cave paintings to the death of a 3,500-year-old cypress tree, from Tree Clocks in Mongolia and forest fragments in the Amazon to the language of fossil poetry, unearthing a new way to see the natural beauty all around us and an urgent reminder of what could happen if we allow it to slip away.
The Language of Trees considers our relationship with literature and landscape, resulting in an astonishing fusion of storytelling and art and a deeply beautiful celebration of trees through the ages.
Katie Holten is an artist and activist. In 2003, she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Nevada Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Her drawings investigate the entangled relationships between humans and the natural world. She has created Tree Alphabets, a Stone Alphabet, and a Wildflower Alphabet to share the joy she finds in her love of the more-than-human world. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Washington Post, Artforum, and frieze. She is a visiting lecturer at the New School of the Anthropocene. If she could be a tree, she would be an Oak.
William Corwin is a sculptor and journalist from New York. He has exhibited at The Clocktower, LaMama and Geary galleries in New York, as well as galleries in London, Hamburg, Beijing, and Taipei. He has written regularly for the Brooklyn Rail, Artpapers, Bomb, Artcritical, Raintaxi, and Canvas, and formerly for Frieze.
Nicole Davi is a Professor in the Environmental Science Department at William Paterson University and an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Davi’s research focuses on developing and interpreting high-resolution paleoclimatic records in order to further our understanding of climate change over the past 2000 years. Davi also has several projects that focus on improving science literacy for undergraduate and K-12 students, and also for public audiences.
Amy Harmon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, covering science, nature, and social inequality.