In Celebration of Books

Elizabeth Rush and her book %22Rising, dispatches form the New American SHore%22

Elizabeth Rush

April 14, 2021

Elizabeth Rush is the author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, and Still Lifes from a Vanishing City: Essays and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar. Her work explores how humans adapt to changes enacted upon them by forces seemingly beyond their control, from ecological transformation to political revolution. She teaches at Brown University and is currently at work on a book about motherhood and Antarctica’s diminishing glaciers.

At Gunston, we believe in the transformative power of language and the study of writing as craft. Our In Celebration of Books program is one way that we instill these values in our students. Each year, we invite a writer of local, regional, and national prominence to our campus. Consistent with our mission of educating “ethically and environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders for our globalized society,” the program features authors from all fields and disciplines. In addition to a public reading or talk, each guest also visits the classroom, where students have the unique opportunity to interact with them in a highly-personalized environment. 

For nearly three decades, In Celebration of Books has been a revered tradition at Gunston. It began in the boarding school days, where teachers would dress as their favorite authors. In time, the program evolved into a full day of workshops and readings that brought as many as twelve renowned writers to campus. Our current format is designed to provide students with consistent exposure to living writers, whose areas of expertise align with our curricular programming. Over the course of their four years at Gunston, students can expect to hear a diverse array of voices, from journalists and novelists to poets, historians, environmentalists, and other scientists.

Gunston has hosted such notable writers as the late Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Richard Ben Cramer; Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award winner for In the Heart of the Sea; the former poet laureate of Maryland, Michael Glaser; Tom Horton, author of numerous books about the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region; and poet Nick Flynn, whose memoir was the basis for the film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro.

Past Visiting Authors

Nomi Stone and Rose Skelton to Visit for In Celebration of Books February 22 & The ICB Bookfair Returns

On Friday, February 22, Gunston will host two writers, Nomi Stone, a poet and anthropologist, and Rose Skelton, a fiction writer and journalist. The day will begin at 8:15 in The Field House, where Stone and Skelton will be in conversation with English Department Chair Amanda Newell, English teacher Morey Weimer, and Orion McCluskey, who is an editor for the school's Effectrix literary magazine. The event is open to the public. In addition, The Bookplate (from Chestertown) will be bringing from their collection books specially selected for our students. The books will be available for purchase throughout the day in a bookfair-style format...

Gunston to Welcome Author Mary Evelyn Tucker

On Friday, October 27, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-author with Brian Swimme of Journey of the Universe (Yale UP, 2011) will be visiting Gunston for the fall installment of the school's In Celebration of Books program. Journey of the Universe was the 2017 Gunston community summer read...

On Friday, October 28th, a distinguished panel will gather at Gunston for "Electing the President: A Conversation," a special election edition of its annual In Celebration of Books program, which will begin at 8 a.m. in the Field House. Headmaster John Lewis, who teaches American Government, will moderate as guests weigh in on the history, politics, demographics, and theater of presidential elections in the United States...