This weekend I attended the NeMLA conference in Buffalo. The panel I presented on was sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment, and was a wonderful chance to see some ASLE folks in the off-year (ASLE conferences are every 2 years — the next one will be in 2009 in the beautiful city of Victoria, B.C.). Our panel was very interdisciplinary (by design), and we had some wonderful discussions. After the panel I spent much time scribbling down ideas and thoughts I wanted to follow up on. I love how conference sessions can sometimes spark new ideas and new directions for collaboration and research. While I wasn’t able to take in the entire conference, I was glad I attended. I also very much enjoyed walking around the Allentown district of Buffalo. The architecture is so interesting, and the two restaurants I tried (Fiddleheads and Betty’s) were fantastic!
I had planned to go over to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Saturday, but last week I heard about the 2008 Niagara Social Justice Forum, so decided to head back to St. Catharines early to take that in instead. It was such a wonderful event! I was especially inspired by the “Hungry For Change” session which included presentations by Linda Krago of Twig & Tree Gardens and Kevin Hamilton, an organic farmer and food activist based out of the Hamilton region. It was wonderful to see such a great turnout for the event, as we gathered to enjoy a delicious vegetarian/vegan-friendly lunch (provided by Strega) I noticed that there was hardly an empty chair in the place.
The two events have left me energized and inspired — inspired to do more writing, inspired to get involved with local groups in the Niagara region, inspired to start thinking about the veggies I’m going to plant this spring. After a kind of gloomy and tiring winter, this was just what I needed!