Chris Dombrowski: The River You Touch

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 6:30pm

We're pleased to welcome Chris Dombrowski in support of The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water.

“We are matter and long to be received by an Earth that conceived us, which accepts and reconstitutes us, its children, each of us, without exception, every one. The journey is long, and then we start homeward, fathomless as to what home might make of us.”

When Chris Dombrowski burst onto the literary scene with Body of Water, the book was acclaimed as “a classic” (Jim Harrison) and its author compared with John McPhee. Dombrowski begins the highly anticipated The River You Touch with a question as timely as it is profound: “What does a meaningful, mindful, sustainable inhabitance on this small planet look like in the Anthropocene?”

He answers this fundamental question of our time initially by listening lovingly to rivers and the land they pulse through in his adopted home of Montana. Transplants from the post-industrial Midwest, he and his partner, Mary, assemble a life based precariously on her income as a schoolteacher, his as a poet and fly-fishing guide. Before long, their first child arrives, followed soon after by two more, all “free beings in whom flourishes an essential kind of knowing […], whose capacity for wonder may be the beacon by which we see ourselves through this dark epoch.” And around the young family circles a community of friends—river-rafting guides and conservationists, climbers and wildlife biologists—who seek to cultivate a way of living in place that moves beyond the mythologized West of appropriation and extraction.

Moving seamlessly from the quotidian—diapers, the mortgage, a threadbare bank account—to the metaphysical—time, memory, how to live a life of integrity—Dombrowski illuminates the experience of fatherhood with intimacy and grace. Spending time in wild places with their children, he learns that their youthful sense of wonder at the beauty and connectivity of the more-than-human world is not naivete to be shed, but rather wisdom most of us lose along the way—wisdom that is essential for the possibility of transformation.

Chris Dombrowski is the author of The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water. He is also the author of Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World’s Most Elusive Fish, and of three acclaimed collections of poems. Currently the Assistant Director of the Creative Writing program at the University of Montana, he lives with his family in Missoula.

Event address: 
124 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Books: 
Pre-Order Now Badge
The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water: Making a Life on Moving Water By Chris Dombrowski Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781639550630
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 11th, 2022

Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish By Chris Dombrowski Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571313645
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 15th, 2017