a literary festival at Wollam Gardens

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
10AM - 7PM


Wollam Gardens’ first ever literary festival is fast approaching, and we are excited to share the long list of authors, activists, artists, historians, and researchers who have agreed to join us for the day. These talented speakers will guide the day’s events and work with attendees to examine our central themes of Grace, Race & Renewing the Commons.

Clarence Lusane, Ph.D

Dr. Clarence Lusane is Professor and chairs the Department of Political Science at Howard University. He teaches courses in Black politics, comparative race relations, modern social movements, comparative politics of the Americas and Europe and jazz and international relations. He is an author, activist, and scholar, and a well-respected expert in the areas of human rights, global race relations, U.S. elections and politics, and international relations. He has lectured on these topics in over 60 countries including China, Colombia, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Japan, the Netherlands, Panama, S. Korea, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe among others. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and eight books on human rights, U.S. and black politics, globalization, and European history. His latest book is The Black History of the White House.

Thomas Lovejoy, Ph.D

Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity”. In 2010 he was elected University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. He serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. He served as President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment from 2002-2008 and was the Biodiversity Chair of the Center from 2008-2013. Before assuming this position, Lovejoy was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Spanning the political spectrum, Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. At the core of these many influential positions are Lovejoy’s seminal ideas, which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. He was the first to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965.

David Guggenheim, Ph.D

Dr. David E. Guggenheim is a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer, submarine pilot and educator. He is the founder and president of the Washington, DC-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Ocean Doctor, dedicated to advancing the conservation of the world’s oceans through scientific research, education and community engagement. Guggenheim created and oversees Cuba Conservancy – an Ocean Doctor Program, and is in his 18th year leading collaborative research and conservation efforts in Cuba focused on advancing economically- and environmentally-sustainable solutions for coastal communities that protect and sustain coral reef ecosystems. After more than 50 years without diplomatic relations, Ocean Doctor’s current project with Cuba’s National Center for Protected Areas represents the first official project between Cuba’s environmental ministry and a U.S. entity since the normalization of relations between the two countries. As an ocean explorer, Guggenheim piloted the first manned submersible dive into the world’s largest underwater canyons in the Bering Sea as a scientific advisor to Greenpeace. He was inducted into the Explorers Club as a National Fellow in 2008.

David Bollier

David Bollier is an American activist, scholar, and blogger who is focused on the commons as a new paradigm for re-imagining economics, politics, and culture. He pursues this work as Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and as cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy project. Bollier has co-organized pioneering international conferences and strategy workshops on the commons, and consults regularly with diverse activists and policy experts in the US and Europe. His blog, [add link], is a widely read source of news about the commons, and his book Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons [] (2014), has been translated into six languages. He and coauthor Silke Helfrich will publish Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons in September 2019.

Barry W. Lynn

From 1992 until his retirement in 2017, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn served as executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution’s religious liberty provisions. In addition to his work as a long-time activist and lawyer in the civil liberties field, Lynn is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, offering him a unique perspective on church-state issues. Lynn has received both a “free speech” award from the Playboy Foundation and a “freedom to worship” medal from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation. He is the host of podcast CultureShocks. An accomplished speaker and lecturer, Lynn has appeared frequently on television and radio broadcasts to offer analysis of First Amendment issues. News programs on which Lynn has appeared include PBS’s “NewsHour,” NBC’s “Today Show,” Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor,” ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN’s “Crossfire,” CBS’s “60 Minutes,”ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNN’s “Larry King Live” and the national nightly news on NBC, ABC and CBS. Lynn is a regular guest on nationally broadcast radio programs, including National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” “The Diane Rehm Show,” “Morning Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.” Lynn began his professional career working at the national office of the United Church of Christ, including a two-year stint as legislative counsel for the Church’s Office of Church in Society in Washington, D.C. From 1984 to 1991 he was legislative counsel for the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union. In 2006, Lynn authored Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault On Religious Freedom (Harmony Books). In 2008 he coauthored (with C. Welton Gaddy) First Freedom First: A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State (Beacon Press). His latest book is God & Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom Of Conscience (Prometheus Books), published in 2015.

Grace Tiffany, Ph.D

Dr. Grace Tiffany is a professor of English at Western Michigan University. Since receiving her doctorate in 1989, Tiffany has taught Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at Fordham University in New York City, the University of New Orleans and Western Michigan University. She focuses primarily on Shakespeare, which she teaches at the introductory, advanced undergraduate and graduate levels. She has written numerous scholarly articles and several historical novels and scholarly monographs about Renaissance history and culture. Her work has appeared in Shakespeare Studies, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, The Renaissance Quarterly, Comparative Drama, Christianity and Literature, and Renascence, among other journals. In 2007 she received a College of Arts and Sciences award for her research and creative activity. She received a distinguished teaching award from WMU in 2010. In addition to her scholarly work, Tiffany is also a novelist. Her latest books include Paint and Gunpowder Percy

Ellen Polishuk

Ellen Polishuk is a first-generation sustainable vegetable farmer, holding a degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. A self-described “compost queen,” Ellen grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC in the 60s and 70s. She was born loving plants, collecting houseplant “pets” by age seven, and renting a garden plot at age ten. By age sixteen, a summer farming job marked the beginning of her agricultural career. Ellen worked for several years in the vegetable seed business in California. In 1992, with five farm seasons under her belt, she was hired by Potomac Vegetable Farms to manage their satellite farm in Virginia, fifty miles west of DC. After twenty-five years at Potomac Vegetable Farms, where she was a co-owner, she now consults and teaches full-time, specializing in sustainable agriculture, vegetable growing practices, and increasing farm profitability. Ellen and Forrest are longtime colleagues at Arlington Farmers Market. She is the co-author of Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st Century Farmer, published in 2018

Sanho Tree

Sanho Tree is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has been Director of its Drug Policy Project since 1998. A former military and diplomatic historian, his current work encompasses the reform of both international and domestic drug policies by promoting alternatives to the failed prohibitionist model. In recent years the project has focused on ending the damage caused by the drug wars in Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Establishing humane and sustainable alternatives to the drug war fits into the IPS mandate as one of the major contemporary social justice issues at home and abroad. He has been featured in more than a dozen documentaries and frequently lectures at universities and conferences around the world. He previously collaborated with Dr. Gar Alperovitz on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth (Knopf, 1995)

Bonnie Monteleone

As the Director of Science, Research and Academic Partnerships for Plastic Ocean Project, Inc. as well as the Executive Director, Bonnie Monteleone is a researcher who has collected plastic marine samples globally including four of the five main ocean gyres, the Caribbean, and has extended this work to Pyramid Lake, outside of Reno, Nevada. Monteleone completed her first field study exploration in the North Atlantic Gyre in July 2009 in collaboration with Maureen Conte, PhD. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS). In the fall of 2009, Monteleone accompanied Algalita Marine Research Foundation’s 10-year resampling of the North Pacific Gyre, quantifying the rate of plastic marine debris growth to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, sampling a transect of 3,460 nautical miles (nm).

O.H. Perry Cabot

O.H. Perry Cabot is a local historian and longtime resident of Culpeper, Virginia. A former US Army officer, Cabot has focused his historical research on the Culpeper region of Northern Virginia, including a special focus on the town of Jeffersonton. He is the co-chair of the Society for the Preservation of Culpeper History. And, Cabot recently completed a book entitled Anatomy of a Village: Jeffersonton, Culpeper County, Virginia 1930.

Florence Nash

Florence Nash received her BA in English from UNC, MA in Music from California State U at San Jose, and MA in Liberal Studies from Duke. She has published two volumes of poetry (Crossing Water and Fish Music) and her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including among others the Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina (UNC Press), North Carolina Literary Review, The Sound of Poets Cooking, Palo Alto Quarterly, Potato Eyes, Reed, Triggerfish, and Karamu. She is a past winner of the NC Writers Network Blumenthal Writers & Readers award and was showcased as one of 10 Emerging Poets of the New South at Vanderbilt University’s Millennial Gathering of Writers. While working as a writer and editor for Duke Medical Center, she directed the OLLI poetry workshop for Duke Continuing Studies for 16 years and was nominated for Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Now retired, she is an ardent choral singer and cooks with reckless enthusiasm.

Michael Fishbach

For the past 23 years Michael has been actively involved in field research and conservation work on Blue and other Great Whales. He is about to spend his 20th season of fieldwork on the large whales of the Sea of Cortez this winter. Michael’s passion is connecting the scientific and conservation communities and forging actions that minimize human impacts which are detrimental to the world’s Great Whales. His efforts for the GWC revolve around live educational presentations, bringing issues like the “Whale Pump” and Ship Strikes into the public domain, funding, and helping the public to gain more awareness of Great Whales and their current plight. Michael regularly attends the GWC’s MZ Blue – Whale inflations, attends conferences, speaks with the media and friends of GWC. Michael was formerly one of the top 50 tennis players in the world and spent 10 years competing on the Men’s Professional ATP Tennis Tour, all over the world.

Ralph Chami, Ph.D

Dr Chami is currently Assistant Director in the Institute for Capacity Development (ICD), International Monetary Fund, where he oversaw the development and implementation of the internal economics training program for all IMF economists as well as the revamping of the Institute’s external training program for officials from member countries. Most recently, he was Assistant Director and Division Chief in the Middle East and Central Asia Department where he oversaw surveillance and program work on fragile states: Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen, and was Mission Chief for Libya and Somalia. He is the recipient of the 2014 IMF Operational Excellence Award for his work on Libya. Previously, he was the Chief of the Regional Studies Division, where he oversaw regional surveillance of 32 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia regions, and the production of the Regional Economic Outlook.

Arjun Singh Sethi

Arjun Singh Sethi is a community activist, civil rights lawyer, author, and law professor based in Washington, DC. He works closely with Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh communities and advocates for racial justice, equity, and social change at the local and national levels. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Arjun traveled the country and met with a diversity of people and documented the hate they experienced during the campaign and after inauguration. American Hate: Survivors Speak Out was released in August 2018 and named an NPR Best Book of the Year.

Jeffrey L. Hantman, Ph.D

Jeffrey Hantman is an anthropological archaeologist who conducts research in the Eastern United States, principally in the Chesapeake Bay/Middle Atlantic region. In this area he has had a long-term interest in the history of the Monacan Indian people of Virginia. He has also conducted field research and published on ceramic analysis and demography in the ancestral Pueblo region of the Southwestern United States. Recent publications include “Indigenous Archaeologies: The Quiet Revolution Is Here” in American Antiquity 2009, “Does Rethinking Indigenous History Reframe the Jamestown Colony” in Across the Great Divide: Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, 1400-1850, University of Arizona Press (2010), and “Monacan Meditation: Individual and Regional Archaeologies in the Contemporary Politics of Indian Identity,” in Places in Mind: Public Archaeology as Applied Anthropology, Routledge Press (2005). He has co-edited several books including Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark and the Making of America (Virginia 2004).

Bob Wollam

The owner of Wollam Gardens, Bob has been growing cut flowers since 1988. Since then, he has devoted his time to growing local, sustainably harvested flowers on Wollam Gardens’ 11 acres. His efforts have helped to promote the importance of local flowers in the larger “locavore” movement. As most cut flowers are trucked and shipped hundreds and thousands of miles before they even reach the customer, Wollam Gardens’ Virginia-grown flowers serve as a model for what a modern, environmentally conscious flower business can look like. Bob splits his time between Wollam Gardens and Washington, DC, where he’s resided for 28 years as a community activist, husband, and father.

Shawn Appling

Shawn serves as the Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, Horticulture, housed in the Culpeper Extension Office and serves Culpeper, Madison, & Orange Counties. Responsibilities include providing educational programming and diagnostic services for commercial horticulture, homeowners, and green industry professionals. Shawn also coordinates the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program (Rapidan River Master Gardeners) in these counties.

Michael Gerard Mason, Ph.D

Dr. Michael Gerard Mason joined the staff of African American Affairs in the Spring of 2015. He serves as an Assoicate Dean and as the Director of the Luther Porter Jackson Black Cultural Center. He believes that “As a people we must be diligent in our struggles to understand and appreciate the meanings of Black (historically and currently) to each of us individually and, to the extent possible, to us all collectively. It is equally important to connect this understanding and appreciation to the ways we prepare our students for leading, learning, and living as young Blacks in our global society.” As the director of LPJBCC, Dr. Mason is responsible for creating opportunities to link Black culture and identity development to the whole Black student experience. His dissertation, “DuBois’s Double Consciousness: Unifying the Singular Experiences of Black doctoral students in Predominantly White Institutions” has served as a an important focal point of his research, practice, and training relative to the Black student experience in higher education.

Zach Lester

Zach Lester is a farmer and soil and landscape artist. He founded Tree and Leaf farm in 1998, first focusing on landscape gardens, wildflower meadows, and planted trees. Over the years, Tree and Leaf farm expanded to include vegetables as well and became known for its “ecoganic” practices. Zach Lester continues to farm and sell produce at farmers’ markets in the DC area today.