Notice: The virtual Common Reading Invited Lecture for 2023 has been rescheduled to 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2023. Robin Wall Kimmerer had to postpone the originally planned date for the lecture of Jan. 31.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the common reading book for 2023, Braiding Sweetgrass.PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University announced that Robin Wall Kimmerer, award-winning author of Braiding Sweetgrass, will be the featured guest speaker at the annual Common Reading Invited Lecture Mon., Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. The virtual event is free and open to the public.

“We look forward to welcoming the author of this year’s common reading book to speak to WSU and the community,” said Karen Weathermon, director of the Common Reading Program. “Braiding Sweetgrass is subtitled Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants and the book has provided the basis for rich discussions and presentations on the many subjects presented in it.”

Sponsors of the January lecture include the Common Reading Program; Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President; Visiting Writers Series; Dept. of English; Native American Programs; Global Campus; Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach (CEREO); and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter at WSU.

About Kimmerer

Author Kimmerer is described as a mother; scientist/botanist; enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York; and founder and director of SUNY ESF’s Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs drawing on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for shared goals of sustainability.  In 2022, she was named a MacArthur Fellow. In 2015, she addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.”

Event Login, Watch Parties, Advance Questions

Weathermon said that several groups are planning watch parties where attendees can share the lecture experience. Information on those will be posted on the CommonReading.wsu.edu website, where the link to the Zoom connection for the lecture is available as well as a space to post a question for Kimmerer in advance of the event.

Braiding Sweetgrass is the 16th common reading for WSU, and is the first book to be used for two successive years. Topics from the book are used in classes across many disciplines, and provide the springboard for academic discussions between students, faculty, and staff. Throughout fall and spring semesters, the Common Reading Program and collaborating partners organize numerous guest expert lectures, film showings, and other activities centered around the book.


Media contacts: Karen Weathermon, WSU Common Reading Program director, kweathermon@wsu.edu

Beverly Makhani, DAESA Communications and Marketing, makhani@wsu.edu