Skip to main content

What is NYU Reads?

NYU Reads brings the NYU community together around a single common reading, chosen by a University committee made up of faculty, student, and administrator representatives. Building on our undergraduate schools’ first-year reading programs, NYU Reads extends this dialogue beyond Welcome Week and opens it up to the entire University community.

Fall 2021: Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer book coverBraiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013) is our NYU Reads selection for the 2021-22 academic year.

Braiding Sweetgrass is a remarkable collection of essays seeking to reconcile science with traditional cultural knowledge. The author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where she also serves as Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Woven together, the individual threads of Braiding Sweetgrass form a rich and lyrical meditation on our place in the natural world. Kimmerer’s book tells us how science and traditional cultural knowledge can complement each other as we strive to better understand the environment in which we live.

Upcoming Events

Robin Wall Kimmerer will give a talk to the NYU community on Thursday, September 30, 2021, 12:30 – 1:30 PM. This event will take place online, to ensure that all who wish to attend can do so. Further information, including instructions for registering for the event, will be available in late August.

Find upcoming event programming from the NYU Libraries.

Accessing the Book

From the NYU Libraries

Braiding Sweetgrass Ebook: Follow this link to the ebook in the Libraries’ catalog

Access to NYU Libraries resources is now available to incoming students via the Library Catalog.

From the NYU Bookstore

You can purchase either a paperback copy or a digital copy from the NYU Bookstore.

Research Guide, Resources and Support

The NYU Reads research guide includes a selection of resources for engaging with this semester’s NYU Reads book, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. In support of the NYU Reads mission, this guide compiles resources to refer to and engage with while reading and discussing Braiding Sweetgrass.

Visit the Braiding Sweetgrass research guide.

If you need emotional support while reading Braiding Sweetgrass, professional counselors are available to talk 24/7 through the Wellness Exchange hotline at +1-212-443-9999 or to chat through the Wellness Exchange app (available in the Apple App Store or Google Play).

For First-Year Students

Events and discussions for Braiding Sweetgrass will take place primarily in the Fall 2021 semester, with some additional programming in Spring 2022. We recommend that you plan to read Braiding Sweetgrass over the summer, before the start of the fall semester.


If you need help retrieving books or would like to request an alternative format, please email us at