Suter Seminar: The Blueberry Years

Where Science Center, 104

Duration 1 hour

The Blueberry Years

James Minick, MA
Faculty Associate, English Department
Radford University
Radford, Va

The Blueberry Years captures the story of Minick’s experience creating and operating one of the mid-Atlantic’s first certified-organic, pick-your-own blueberry farms. For a decade, the author and his wife planted, pruned, and picked while also opening the field to hundreds of people who came to harvest berries. These pickers shared blueberry-flavored moonshine and sober religion, warm hugs and bushels of stories. To give a larger context, the author includes brief interludes on all things blueberry as well as on national issues such as organic foods. Ultimately, this book tells the story of a young couple pursuing their blueberry dream.

Mr. Minick has taught in the English Department at Radford University since 1989. He is the author of The Blueberry Years, A Memoir of Farm and Family, and winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. Minick has also written a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path, two books of poetry, Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven, and he edited All There Is to Keep by Rita Riddle. In 2008, the Virginia College Bookstore Association awarded Burning Heaven the Jefferson Cup for best book of the year. His poem “I Dream a Bean” was picked by Claudia Emerson for permanent display at the new Tysons Corner/Metrorail Station. Minick’s work has appeared in many publications including Shenandoah, Orion, San Francisco Chronicle, Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Conversations with Wendell Berry, The Sun, Appalachian Journal, Bay Journal News, and Wind, and for thirteen years, he wrote a monthly column for The Roanoke Times New River Current. Currently, he’s pursuing an MFA at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he is the Fred Chappell Fellow.

Co-sponsored by the EMU Language and Literature Department

Intended Audience General Public

Tags SCIENCE, Intellectual Life

Contact Information

Name Lynn Quay

Phone # 432.4400