HOST & PRODUCER M. Allen Cunningham
M. Allen Cunningham is a writer, editor, and teacher in Portland, Oregon. In addition to Thoreau's Leaves he hosts the creativity podcast In the Atelier. Cunningham is the founder of the award-winning independent publishing house, Atelier26 Books, where he edited Funny-Ass Thoreau, the first compendium of Thoreau's humor. Cunningham has been reading Thoreau for nearly 30 years, and during his formative period as a writer he spent substantial time in Concord, MA. He started Thoreau's Leaves during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, out of a wish to share with listeners, in a uniquely atmospheric and meditative form, the consolations and inspirations he finds in his regular explorations of Thoreau's journal. "Thoreau knew how to stay at home," says Cunningham, "and he was so adept at finding the universe in his own backyard. This is an exemplary practice that we all, living under lock-down, can benefit from right now, but it has an enduring relevance beyond these times as well. As a portrait of consciousness, of a mind awake and alert to the natural world, Thoreau's journal is unparalleled."
More: Read Cunningham's "Thoreau Was Actually Funny As Hell," the introductory essay to Funny-Ass Thoreau