Photo Essay: Wild Mercy 2015

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There’s a lot to get excited about in Missoula during spring semester.

The weather gets steadily better, the days longer. Later in the semester we begin to see robins and mountain blue birds, buttercups and balsamroot.

You name it, the spring semester’s got it.

And yet with all this bounty, one of the most anticipated events around the F.L.A.T. actually comes in February and hangs on until March.

It’s called Wild Mercy.

Wild Mercy is the Environmental Reading Series sponsored by EVST and Camas Magazine. Every Thursday for two months, a pair of writers—both graduate and undergraduate—will read their latest work in front of an audience.

The fire rages, the tea steeps, and the crowd always leaves inspired.

This year was no different. Starting with Camas Magazine co-editors Nick Triolo and Emily Withnall, for seven weeks the F.L.A.T. studio held space for some of the best student environmental writing Missoula has to offer.

Take a look at the photo essay below for some of the highlights of the 2015 Wild Mercy. If you’d like a more in-depth account of the Wild Mercy tradition, take a look at the article, “Of Stories and Bonfire.”

And finally, let Terry Tempest Williams’ words tumble around in your heart, the very words that inspired the name of this place-based gathering “Wild Mercy:”

“The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.”

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