Stephen Jenkinson, renowned author and speaker, is now confirmed for the conference!
He will join Anita Goldman for a conversation on the connection between the climate crisis and our relationship with death and dying. The conversation will be part of the regular in-person conference program day 2 and livestreamed online (registration coming).
Stephen Jenkinson [Author, Master of Ceremony, Culture Activist, Storyteller, Off-grid small-scale Farmer, Carver, Keeper of the Great Hall – Canada]
Jenkinson teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School. For years, after apprenticing to a master storyteller as a young man, acquiring a master’s degree in theology from Harvard Divinity school and another in social work from the University of Toronto, Stephen Jenkinson led the palliative care department in a major Canadian hospital and was assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school. He has worked extensively with caregivers, dying people and their families. Whilst sitting at the deathbeds of over a thousand people, he encountered again and again what he called a “wretched anxiety.” Rather than any one individual’s personal issue with dying, Jenkinson understood this as symptomatic of a cultural absence, a death phobia, a grief illiteracy. These experiences served to distil a number of questions: Has it always been this hard to die? When do we really begin to die, and what are we supposed to do then? How is it that grief is a skill, something to be learned and practised? Those questions and more spawned several books. He is the subject of the National Film Board of Canada feature length film documentary, Griefwalker (Dir.T. Wilson).
He is the author of Reckoning, co-written with Kimberly Ann Johnson (2022), and A Generation’s Worth: Spirit Work While the Crisis Reigns (2021), Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (2018), the award-winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015 and translated into Hebrew and Turkish), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions (a live teaching from 2013), How it All Could Be: A workbook for dying people and those who love them (2009), Angel and Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life – (a live teaching from 2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002). He was a contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007). Lost Nation Road (Dir.I.MacKenzie) is a glimpse behind-the-scenes of a soulful mystery train. His Nights of Grief and Mystery world tours, with fellow Canadian singer/ songwriter Gregory Hoskins, are odes to wonder, love letters for the willingness to know endings.