Malcolm Margolin in conversation with Wendy Johnson

A Point Reyes Books Benefit for Heyday Press

Malcolm Margolin in conversation with Wendy Johnson

Photo of Malcolm Margolin

Just picture it! Malcolm Margolin, founder and executive director of Heyday, a nonprofit press devoted to California’s cultural and natural history, in conversation with Wendy Johnson, Buddhist meditation teacher, organic gardening mentor, and author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate. They’ll be discussing a range of subjects—from California’s indigenous cultures to nature, history, and literature. A quirky, personal, and affectionate benefit for Heyday.

“Heyday publishes only a fraction of the beauty that flows past,” says Margolin, “and I’d love to share with the audience not only stories that turned into books, but also stories from 40 years of hanging out in California.”

Heyday was founded by Malcolm Margolin in 1974 when he wrote, typeset, designed, and distributed The East Bay Out, a guide to the natural history of the hills and bayshore around Berkeley and Oakland. Out of this modest first effort a major California cultural enterprise has taken shape. Heyday publishes around twenty-five books a year. It founded two successful magazines—News from Native California and Bay Nature—and has taken a lead role in dozens of prominent public education programs throughout the state. In 2004 the independent publisher merged with its nonprofit wing, Clapperstick Institute, to complete its transition to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit enterprise. 

Malcolm Margolin is author of several books including The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area, named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the hundred most important books of the twentieth century by a western writer. He has received dozens of prestigious honors including lifetime achievement awards from the San Francisco Bay Area Book Reviewers Association and the California Studies Association, a Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Foundation, and a Cultural Freedom Award from the Lannan Foundation. In 2012 he received the Chairman’s Commendation from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the second person in the United States to be so honored.

Wendy Johnson been meditating and gardening for more than thirty years at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in northern California where she lived with her family from 1975 to 2000. Renowned for its pioneering role in California’s food revolution, Green Gulch provides choice produce to farmers’ markets and to San Francisco’s Greens restaurant. Her book, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, distills her lifetime of experience into an extraordinary celebration of inner and outer growth, showing how the garden cultivates the gardener even as she digs beds, heaps up compost, plants flowers and fruit trees, and harvests vegetables. Her book evokes an abiding appreciation for the earth—both cultivated and forever wild.

In 2000 Wendy and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received the annual Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. Since 1995 Wendy has written a quarterly column, “On Gardening,” for Tricycle Magazine, a Buddhist Review. She was honored in The Best Science and Nature Writing 2000, published by Houghton Mifflin. Wendy is a mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard program of the Chez Panisse Foundation, a project that she has been involved in since in its inception in 1995. She is a founding instructor of the College of Marin's innovative Organic Farm and Gardening Program established in 2009.