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News of the World Discussion Leader Leslie VonHolten

Leslie VonHolten lives in Strong City, Kansas, in the heart of the beautiful Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. Her writing interests are in the area of environmental art and culture.

“Our land, the weather, the seasons, and even the night sky dictate the terms of our lives,” she said. “No one knows that better than people who live and work in the High Plains. That’s why I love discussing books for HPPR. Our conversations  always expand my perceptions.”

Leslie’s writing heroes bring personal memoir to their environmental essays. The late, great, horribly complicated Edward Abbey and his cantankerous protection of the desert. Terry Tempest Williams and her critiques of femininity, religion, and the cycles of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Aldo Leopold and the steady rhythms that informed his land ethic in Sand County. These authors continue to influence environmental writers today, broadening the scope of stories told within a landscape.

Leslie is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelors degree in art history and English literature, and a masters in public administration. In her spare time, she serves on the board of the Garden of Eden in Lucas and volunteers for as many literature-related projects as she can, including HPPR, the State Library of Kansas, and the Lawrence Public Library. She lives in Lawrence with her kids, dog, and her husband Tim, an elementary school art teacher.