Book Review: Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics

A decade ago, not long after moving to Oregon, I traveled to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park where I entered an old-growth coast redwood forest for the first time. To say it was a moving experience is an understatement. The photographs I took were also an understatement; no picture can capture the enormity of these …

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Writing Opportunity: The Wallace Stegner Prize in Environmental Humanities

Wallace Stegner Prize

Here is an excellent opportunity presented by the University of Utah Press: The Wallace Stegner Prize will be awarded to the best monograph submitted to the Press in the broad field of environmental humanities. To compete for this award, manuscripts must emphasize interdisciplinary investigations of the natural and human environments and their fundamental interconnectedness, research …

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Book Review: Gardenland: Nature, Fantasy, and Everyday Practice

When you hear the word “garden” do you picture something like this: Or do you picture something more like this: The fact that these are both “gardens” illustrates just how loaded the word has become over the years. And the fact a garden can be so many things made me curious as to how we …

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Book Review: The Humane Gardener

What in the world could be inhumane about gardening? Plenty, it turns out, thanks to this beautifully produced and incredibly important book by Nancy Lawson: The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife. The Humane Gardener makes a persuasive case for rethinking conventional knowledge about what a garden or yard should look like and …

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Review: Edge of Awe: Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country

Funny how a word can change on you. When I moved to Oregon nearly a decade ago, I first heard about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about the Steens mountain range, and the diversity of bird species that migrate through this region. Back then, Malheur meant wilderness. But in 2016, after group of armed men …

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What We’re Reading: September 2019

Midge Raymond This opinion piece in The Guardian shows in great detail why eating animals and animal products needs to be part of the conversation about climate change.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/ipcc-land-climate-report-carbon-cost-meat-dairy This opinion piece in the New York Times uses both wit and wisdom to discuss why “vegans are irrefutably on the right side of history.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/28/opinion/vegan-food.html Jacki …

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Finding a way through environmental despair

At the ASLE conference earlier this summer I heard this book referenced in a number of sessions. And now, having read it, I realize why. Braiding Sweetgrass is a rich collection of essays about plants and animals, indigenous and scientific awareness, and our tenuous relationship with nature. But more than that, it is the story …

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Notes from the ASLE Conference in Davis, California

ASLE is the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Every other year, the organization hosts a conference; this year it was at the University of California at Davis, and we drove down to participate. I’m told there were more than 1,200 attendees, a conference record, and a sign that environmental literature is …

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Where the Crawdads Sing

Kya Clark, the protagonist in Delia Owens’ debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, knows little of the world beyond the remote sliver of North Carolina coastal marsh she calls home. Abandoned by her family. Shunned by her community. Kya’s is a near solitary existence, her closest companions the gulls that, like Kya, inhabit the marshland. …

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