Risking the Rapids: How My Wilderness Adventure Healed My Childhood.

Irene O’Garden.


The program starts at 6:30 P.M.  – Q&A, BOOK-SIGNING & RECEPTION TO FOLLOW.

Noted New York writer Irene O’Garden grew up in what seemed like the perfect American Midwestern family. Behind the scenes, however, it was anything but. In Risking the Rapids Ms. O’Garden’s revelatory account describes her life, from her traumatic girlhood to her healing wilderness journey at age 62. Ms. O’Garden’s gripping narrative details an extraordinary true story.

Risking the Rapids opens with the shocking death of O’Garden’s problematic older brother in 2014. His early passing prompted her and other family members to seek emotional closure with him and their family past by journeying through the remotest area in the lower forty-eight, Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness. What was described as a genial river “float” became a harrowing whitewater experience. That chronicle is woven with the story of her upbringing in a repressed mid-century Midwest Catholic household with six other siblings, a TV-personality father, an icy mother and rivers of martinis.

Irene O’Garden has won or been nominated for prizes in nearly every writing category from stage to e-screen, hardcovers, children’s books as well as literary magazines and anthologies. Her critically-acclaimed play Women on Fire, (starring Judith Ivey), played sold-out houses at Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award. Ms. O’Garden was awarded The Pushcart Prize for her lyric essay “Glad to Be Human.” Her poems and essays have been featured in dozens of literary journals and award-winning anthologies. For more information please visit www.ireneogarden.com

 20 WEST 44thStreet (BETWEEN 5THAND6thAVENUES), New York City

Free Admission. Book-Signing and Reception to follow.

Advance registration is necessary.  Please click here to register.


 This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.