Taylor Broby(CEDAR FALLS, Iowa) – Writer Taylor Brorby will visit the University of Northern Iowa for a public talk about his coming-of-age memoir “Boys and Oil: Growing Up Gay in a Fractured Land” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in Lang Hall Auditorium.

A master of fine arts graduate of Iowa State University, Brorby is the Annie Tanner Clark Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah. He regularly speaks around the country on issues related to extractive economies, queerness, disability and climate change.

“Boys and Oil,” Brorby’s third book, recounts his upbringing in the coalfields of North Dakota, his adolescent infatuation with books and how he felt intrinsically different from other boys. Now an environmentalist, Brorby uses the destruction of large swathes of the West as a metaphor for the terror he experienced as a youth. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Book Critics Circle, the MacDowell Colony and the North Dakota Humanities Council. 

Brorby is the editor of the anthology “Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America.” His other work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Orion Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, and numerous anthologies. He is a contributing editor at the North American Review, which has been housed at the University of Northern Iowa since 1969.

Taylor Brorby is one of several visiting speakers in the Aldo Leopold Distinguished Lecture Series. Previous speakers have included Erin Brokovich, Robert Bullard, Elizabeth Kolbert and Terry Tempest Williams. For more information and to submit questions to Taylor Brorby in advance of the event, visit the Aldo Leopold Distinguished Lectures website.


Eric O’Brien, UNI Director of Sustainability, (319) 273-7207, eric.obrien@uni.edu

Jeremy Schraffenberger, Professor of English, (319) 273-3879, jeremy.schraffenberger@uni.edu