Walker Art Center

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Lewis Hyde

In Defense of the Cultural Commons

Part of Walker Open Field

The renowned poet, essayist, and cultural critic brings fresh insights to the cultural commons and the Walker’s Open Field program. Hyde, who has a particular interest in the public life of the imagination, is the author of The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property (1983), a book acknowledged by artists of all kinds for its illumination of art-making as a noncommercial practice. His recent book, Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership, is a stirring defense of the cultural commons. Suspicious of the idea that all creative work is “intellectual property,” Hyde goes in search of other ways to value the fruits of human wit and imagination. A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, he teaches at Kenyon College and Harvard University. This program is part of InCommons (InCommons.org), an initiative of the Bush Foundation to inspire and support the courageous leadership necessary to engage communities and solve problems.


Open Field and Target Free Thursday Nights sponsored by

Major support for Open Field is generously provided by Margaret and Angus Wurtele.