Liam Heneghan: Beasts at Bedtime Reading

Event details

  • Friday | March 8, 2019
  • 7:30 pm
  • Art + Literature Laboratory 2021 Winnebago St, Madison, WI 53704

How can children’s bedtime stories show us how we can protect the earth? Join The Black Earth Institute in our Dane County Performance Series to find out.  Liam Heneghan, Author of Beasts at Bedtime will be doing a reading at the Art + Literature Laboratory in Madison, WI at 7:30PM!

Some of the largest environmental challenges in coming years—from climate instability, the extinction crisis, freshwater depletion, and deforestation—are likely to become even more severe as this generation of children grows up. Though today’s young readers will bear the brunt of these environmental calamities, they will also be able to contribute to environmental solutions if prepared properly. And all it takes is an attentive eye: Heneghan shows how the nature curriculum is already embedded in bedtime stories, from the earliest board books like The Rainbow Fish to contemporary young adult classics like The Hunger Games.

Beasts at Bedtime is an awakening to the vital environmental education children’s stories can provide—from the misadventures of The Runaway Bunny to more overt tales like The Lorax. Heneghan serves as our guide, drawing richly upon his own adolescent adventures in Ireland and parental experiences in Chicago. Heneghan as a guide is as charming as he is insightful, showing how kids (and adults) can start to experience the natural world in incredible ways from the comfort of their own rooms.

Beasts at Bedtime will help parents, teachers, and guardians extend those cozy times curled up together with a good book into a lifetime of caring for our planet.

Liam Heneghan, an ecosystem ecologist, is Professor of Environmental Science and co-director of DePaul University’s Institute for Nature and Culture. His research has included studies on the impact of acid rain on soil foodwebs in Europe, and on inter-biome comparisons of decomposition and nutrient dynamics in forested ecosystems in North American and in the tropics. Over the past decade Heneghan and his students have been working on restoration issues in Midwestern ecosystems. Heneghan is co-chair of the Chicago Wilderness Science Team. He is also a graduate student in philosophy, a part-time model, and an occasional poet.

The Dane County Performance Series is supported by the Wisconsin Humanities Council. This project is also supported by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Plesant T. Rowland Foundation.

The Wisconsin Humanities Council is a leading statewide resource for librarians, teachers, museum educators, and civic leaders, who drive entertaining and informative programs using history, culture and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone. The Wisconsin Council also awards more than $175,000 a year over seven rounds of grants to local organizations piloting humanities programming. For more information on Wisconsin Humanities Council, visit or connect on Facebook at or Twitter at @WiHumanities