John Elder taught English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont before retiring in 2010. His special interests in the classroom were American Nature Writing, Romantic and contemporary poetry of earth, Japan's haiku tradition, and service-learning. He has published widely, including three books (Reading the Mountains of Home, The Frog Run, and Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa) that combine descriptions of the Vermont landscape and discussions of environmental literature with memoir. He is also co-editor of the Norton Book of Nature Writing. Picking Up the Flute is his latest project, an account of immersion in traditional Irish music since retirement that also explores connections between Vermont and Ireland and celebrates the achievements of Tim Robinson.