September 06, 2013

Author Jeff Biggers to present lecture Sept. 11

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Jeff Biggers, award-winning author, activist and storyteller, will speak Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library. 

Biggers, winner of the American Book Award and SIU’s Friends of Morris Library 2010 Delta Award, will present “The Other Southern Illinois: How Our Region Changed the U.S. (And Why We Must Defend it)” at 7 p.m. in the John C. Guyon Auditorium.  An extended question-and-answer session and reception will follow in the library’s rotunda.  The event is free and the public is welcome to attend. 

The presentation will focus on the extraction of energy resources from Southern Illinois and the controversy and impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  The process involves a high-pressure mix of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals to break rock formations to then release oil and natural gas.

Sam Stearns, founder of Friends of Bell Smith Springs and a longtime Shawnee National Forest environmental activist will introduce Biggers. Brent Ritzel, president of the Buckminster Fuller Future registered student organization and a master’s student in public administration, will discuss Fuller’s legacy at SIU and progressive activism.

Biggers received the Delta Award for his book, “Reckoning at Eagle Creek, the Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland.”  The award, presented annually since 1976 by the Friends of Morris Library, goes to an individual or organization that has written, edited or published noteworthy work about Southern Illinois.  Biggers said the book highlighted the impact of the region’s coal industry on the land, people, culture and future.

Sponsors include Morris Library and the Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE) and the Buckminster Fuller Future registered student organization.

For more information, visit or or contact Ritzel at 618/203-4844.