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Opportunities for writers of animal-centric stories and essays, care of the ASLE

In Animal Rights, Climate Change, Conservation, For Writers, Pollution, Veganism, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker0 Comments

ASLE (The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment)  listed a few calls for submission that caught my eye: Writing Meat: Flesh-Eating and Literature Since 1900 The conversion of animal bodies into flesh for human consumption is a practice where relations of power between humans and nonhuman animals are reproduced in exemplary form. From the decline of (so-called) traditional animal husbandry to the emergence of intensive agriculture and, more recently, the biotechnological innovation of in vitro meat, the last hundred years have seen dramatic changes in processes of meat production, as well as equally significant shifts in associated patterns of …

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Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

In Book Reviews, Conservation, Nonfiction, Trees by Jacki Skole0 Comments

I approached Hope Jahren’s memoir, Lab Girl, with a bit of trepidation. You see, Jahren is an award-winning geobiologist who studies plants, making her area of expertise one in which I’ve never had much interest. (Confession: I can’t tell an oak from a maple or a peony from a petunia.) So when The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani wrote that Lab Girl “does for botany what Oliver Sacks’ essays did for neurology,” I was persuaded to pick up the book. I’m glad I did, for Lab Girl is as much a paean to self-discovery and enduring friendship as it is …

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My Last Continent: A Novel by Midge Raymond

In Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Fiction, Oceans, Veganism by John Yunker0 Comments

I’m happy to announce the publication of contributor Midge Raymond’s debut novel My Last Continent (Scribner). This novel wears the “eco-fiction” label quite well. The novel focuses on penguin researchers in Antarctica and their struggles to protect creatures who are at the mercy of changing climate and increased tourism. The book also has a plot element that has long been a concern from those who work in Antarctica: A tourist vessel hits ice and begins to sink, with rescuers more than half a day away. Here are a few reviews My Last Continent has received so far: “Atmospheric and adventurous…the story and vivid writing will …

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Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature

In Animal Behavior, Book Reviews, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Wolves by John Yunker0 Comments

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. And while a century may seem like a long time, it’s safe to say, after reading Engineering Eden, that we’re only just beginning to understand how to best manage our lands. Fundamental to management is the question of how “wild” do we want our parks to be? Author Jordan Fisher Smith writes: There are two ways in which most people don’t wish to die: by being torn apart by a wild animal and by being roasted in flames. These two abject fears from deep in the ape-psyche, became, in the American …

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New EcoLit Books: Spring/Summer 2016

In Book Publishers, Fiction, Nonfiction by John Yunker0 Comments

So many books, so little time! Because we can’t review every book that catches our eye I thought we should at least try to mention  new and upcoming books periodically. So here are the recent books that were mentioned to us. Cultivating Environmental Justice: A Literary History of U.S. Garden Writing by Robert S. Emmett UMass Press Enchanted Islands: A Novel by Allison Amend Nan A. Talese/Doubleday Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal Pia and the Skyman By Sue Parritt Perils of Payeto, Saving the Last Vaquita Porpoise by Tio Stib If you’re …

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Book Review: The Dog Merchants

In Book Reviews, Nonfiction by Jacki Skole0 Comments

Most dog lovers consider their canines loyal companions, best friends, or beloved family members. (Count me in that last category.) The American legal system considers them property. Journalist Kim Kavin, in her new book, The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers, suggests that we view dogs in a more provocative way—as products, not unlike the chicken and steak, veal and pork, that line “that big case of meat in the supermarket.” After all, she tells readers, some thirty million dogs are bought and sold each year, in what is estimated to be an $11 billion-a-year …

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Holy Mōlī: Albatross and Other Ancestors

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Oceans by John Yunker0 Comments

The Laysan albatross is known as Mōlī in Hawaiian. It is difficult not to speak in superlatives when describing the albatross. The bird has a wingspan longer than most humans are tall. Albatross far outlive most other birds — with one active albatross now 64 years old. They spend most of their lives  at sea, gliding just a few inches above the waves. Only 5% of their lives are spent on land — and this is where they are particularly vulnerable, when they are breeding and caring for their chicks. Author Hob Osterlund is founder of the Kaua’i Albatross Network an organization that works to protect these birds. And through her writing you …

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Book Review: Whippoorwill

In Animal Rights, Children's Books, Fiction by Anna Monders0 Comments

When sixteen-year-old Clair Taylor’s neighbors get a dog and leave him staked in the yard in freezing weather, she tries to ignore the whimpers and cries—the clear neglect—that is going on outside her window. The dog is none of her business, and Mr. Stewart, the neighbor, is a rude and abusive man. Eventually the dog’s suffering becomes too much for Clair, and she begins visiting him. His name is Wally. His neck is chafed raw. He’s covered in mud and poop. And he goes crazy for attention. Clair wishes she hadn’t closed her eyes to the situation for so long. Through …

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Introducing The Hopper

In Fiction, For Writers, Journals and Magazines, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker0 Comments

I’m pleased to introduce the new environmental literary journal The Hopper, along with a Q&A with the founders.   Tell us a bit about The Hopper and how it came to be. Green Writers Press (our mother organization) produced one issue of a more casual and smaller distribution magazine called Greenzine last April 2015. When Sierra Dickey got involved with GWP as a poetry editor, the previous editors of Greenzine had since left the press. She was interested in the periodical process and decided to revive the publication and bring it up to a place where it could compete with other regional …