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Death, depression and a hawk named Mabel

In her acclaimed memoir "H Is for Hawk," author Helen Macdonald reflects on the shock and depression she experienced at the unexpected death of her father. The two had a close bond, marked by their mutual fascination with nature.

Thrown by her loss and struggling with depression Macdonald, an experienced falconer, chose to train a notoriously difficult-to-handle raptor, a Northern Goshawk. She called her Mabel.

“The hawk was everything I wanted to be: solitary, self-possessed, free from grief, and numb to the hurts of human life.”

Macdonald spoke at Benaroya Hall on February 1 as part of Seattle Arts & Lectures Literary/Arts Series. The program opened with WITS poet Cordelia Christian reading her poem "Hemlockwing."

Sonya Harris recorded her talk.

Listen to the full version below:

Year started with KUOW: 2006