Hear stories of adventure at the Bookworm of Edwards
Daily staff report
If you go …
What: Peter Heller at the Bookworm of Edwards.
When: Today, 6 p.m.
Where: Bookworm of Edwards.
Cost: $10, includes appetizers.
More Information: 970-926-READ, bookwormofedwards.com.
Peter Heller grew up studying botany and ecology, learning the names of plants, trees and birds. He spent his childhood in the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Now he makes his living writing about the wild and beautiful places that he has always called home.
Heller will return to the Bookworm in Edwards Tuesday night to discuss his newest book “The River,” a gripping tale of friendship tested by fire, white water and violence. Heller will be present this evening at 6 p.m.
Heller always feels the most at home in the great outdoors, whether he is fly-fishing, canoeing or surfing.
“Ever since I was a kid — swimming in brooks and creeks, in the ocean, paddling a canoe, climbing — There is a simplicity and a sense of connection and a thrill I never got anywhere else,” Heller said in a press release. “In nature I learned the joy in feeling inestimably small, in forgetting at times my own name, or even that I’m human. There’s freedom in that, and a connection with a landscape and wildlife that speak different languages than our own.”
His constant drive to find new adventures eventually brought him to Colorado, a place he now calls home. It has become a touchstone in his life. When asked to pick a favorite place in his own backyard, Heller paused.
“Oh, man. Which is your favorite kid?” he joked. “River runs on the Arkansas, the Eagle, the Colorado, the Poudre,” Heller listed, “and my first elk hunt decades ago above Tabernash.”
It only made sense that nature takes a front seat in his writing, just as it does in his own life. All of his works have been stories fundamentally focused in the outdoors and its power over individuals and their relationship with each other and the land around them.
“I love following a current through new territory, and how the rigors of those trips brought out the best in people and friendships.”
His newest piece of fiction, “The River” looks at friendship and how it can be tested under dire circumstances. Heller’s prolific lineup of nature writing is punctuated by another release later this year. His success stems from the same dedication with which he approaches nature, constantly seeking writing opportunities every single day.
The best advice he could give to other writers is surprisingly, not about nature at all. It is poetry.
“Great poetry teaches the economy of language, the power of a few choice words. And about cadence, the importance of how words sound together.”
There is also the common advice many offer, you just have to do it.
“The best way to get good at writing is to treat it like an Olympic sport. The same discipline, same grit when you fall down, same passion,” Heller said. And if there is one thing other than a love of nature that rings true with Heller’s writing, it is passion.