Book Review: 101 Ways to Make Guerilla Beauty

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by Trebbe Johnson
Review by Emily Ryan

Trebbe Johnson, founder and Executive Director of Radical Joy for Hard Times, has just released her new book, 101 Ways to Make Guerilla Beauty. (Congratulations, Trebbe!)  

This slim book is both a how-to manual and deep dive guide into the philosophy of Radical Joy for Hard Times and its signature practice, the Earth Exchange.  

Johnson walks you through each step of the Earth Exchange, offering guidance and suggestions for points for reflection as well as activities that may suit a particular place.  It is perfect for the educator, activist, community leader, or family member who wishes to engage meaningfully and creatively with a wounded place.  The book is full of heartfelt wisdom and easy to use.

Like the Work That Reconnects, Radical Joy invites you to be present and open to a wounded place, to not turn away, but instead to commit to knowing and honoring it with a simple act of reciprocal beauty; in this way, both the place and you are changed.  Trebbe intentionally uses the word guerilla to capture folks attention, including that of the media and corporate and political officials, reclaiming the non-warlike definition of the word, “Spontaneous, bold and anonymous…actions undertaken by small bands of individuals, usually in impromptu ways and without authorization” as the perfect way to describe the Earth Exchange.  Gathering in community to create beauty in a wounded place may well be looked upon by future generations as a radical act of resistance~ this wonderful little book will make sure of it!

This release of this book is well-timed.  On June 17, 2017, a Global Earth Exchange event is happening all over the world and all are invited to participate!

To learn more, please visit www.radicaljoyforhardtimes.org for more information.


Trebbe Johnson is the founder and director of Radical Joy for Hard Times, a non-profit organization devoted to finding and making beauty in wounded places. She is the author of “The World Is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved”  and the forthcoming “Aphrodite at the Landfill”, and her articles on people’s relationship to nature have been published widely. A lifelong adventurer in inner and outer worlds, Trebbe has camped alone in the Arctic; studied classical Indian dance; worked as a model, village street sweeper, and award-winning multimedia producer; and led contemplative journeys in a clearcut forest and the Sahara Desert. She lives with her husband in rural northeastern Pennsylvania.

Emily Ryan, MSc, is an educator and facilitator with nearly twenty-five years of experience with place-based, context-specific curriculum that focuses on diversity and innovation in our relationship to Earth. Her reflective and imaginative approach celebrates living in wholehearted balance with our natural world.  Emily first experienced the Work That Reconnects in 1992 during her freshman year in college; it has played a central role in her life and work ever since.  Emily sits on the boards of Radical Joy for Hard Times and the Manitou Project. Raised in rural Vermont, after fifteen years of living and working in San Francisco, CA, Emily now makes her home on both coasts.

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