The meaning of “Terroir”

The 2013 Terroir Creative Writing festival is coming up: April 27th in lovely McMinnville, Oregon.  I’ll be speaking on the topic of “Buried Treasure,” making reference not only to a galvanizing quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson, but to the idea of terroir, which is the unique flavor of place, including that place’s geography and soils and weather, that influences a plant and its fruit and gives its wine or chocolate or tea or what-have-you the particularity of that specific hillside or field.  Terroir means locale, nativity, philopatry: where home is, what draws us home, and what of home we carry with us as we travel and as we write.

I’m therefore delighted to be speaking about native soil on what is truly my native soil: the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  I’ll be signing copies of Little Century, as well as seeking to rub shoulders with Monica Drake, Peter Ames Carlin, and other terrific writers.  Also: if you’ve not had a chance to work with the gifted Linfield College poet and teacher Lex Runciman, now is your chance.  Learn more about the festival, which is sponsored by the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County, and register for it here.