Anne Richey is a North Carolina native who, despite her long residence in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley, can’t shake “Y’all” -- and neither has Colbert, she has noticed. The South stays in your blood. Still, Anne is much taken with the charms of the Catskills, especially in the person of famed literary naturalist John Burroughs (1837-1921).
"It must be a gift of evolution that humans can't sustain wonder. We'd never have gotten up from our knees if we could."
After earning a B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.A. from Georgia State University, Anne taught English for the University of Maryland's Berlin division in Germany and traveled widely in Europe. Back in the U.S., she signed on to teach "at risk" students in NYC. She was an adjunct professor at New York University for many years. Currently, she teaches poetry to adult learners in a number of Catskill venues, including the Lifetime Learning Institutes of Bard College and SUNY-New Paltz. She also likes to spread the word about John Burroughs in course offerings.
Walking and gardening are among Anne's basic soul-food groups -- though thanks to the abundance of ticks in the area, gardening has its paranoic moments. Reading John Burroughs provides an escape to the good old pre-Lyme days. Teaching and writing about him satisfy her interest in the 19th-century intellectual ferment which so vitally engaged him -- ferment which deeply resonates with 21st-century concerns: our hyper-materialism, our waning sense of the sacred, our depreciation of fact, and our insults to the natural world.
Anne is the author of the poetry chapbook, Good As My Word and the college textbook, Write-O: Targeting Specific Developmental Writing Issues (Houghton-Mifflin, 2008). Her poems have appeared in numerous regional and national journals, and have often been anthologized. Church of the Robin’s Ha-Ha!: John Burroughs’ “Natural Religion” and Other Poems is Anne’s first full-length collection of poetry.
* Anne is a tour guide at both Woodchuck Lodge and Slabsides, John Burroughs' writing retreats.