Book Review: Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit by Judy Grahn

The stories and essays of Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit: Living in a Sentient World form a beautiful tapestry of communications across species and consciousness. From grateful dragonflies to fatherless strawberries to companionable stones, poet and activist Judy Grahn details meaningful connections from her own experiences of the sentient world. Throughout her firsthand accounts, she weaves in histories …

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Book Review: IN THE COMPANY OF MEN

Véronique Tadjo’s slender, haunting novel In the Company of Men offers myriad points of view—human and nonhuman—in its story of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014. Published in French in 2017 and in English in 2021, it’s a timely novel that makes important connections, revealing the devastating impact of how humans treat the …

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Book Review: The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

In The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes traces the history of birds—as well as humans’ relationships and interactions with them—over several millennia and across multiple continents. Barnes is a UK-based nature writer, so North American readers will enjoy an opportunity to become more familiar with Britain’s backyard birds, such as the wood pigeon, the Scottish …

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Book Review: The Shark Club

Ann Kidd Taylor’s novel, The Shark Club, is not only a delightful read as we head into spring and summer “beach reading” time, but it is a much-needed antidote to Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Rather than instill fear in readers, The Shark Club highlights the importance of these four-hundred-million-year-old creatures to our ecosystem and debunks the myths that other books …

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Eastern Oregon University offers new MFA concentration focused on Wilderness, Ecology, and Community

A year ago we began compiling a list of writing programs with a focus on the environment and animals. The latest addition to the list is EOU’s new low-residency MFA program: Eastern Oregon University is pleased to announce the launch of a new low-residency writing MFA with a concentration in Wilderness, Ecology, and Community (WEC). …

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Book Review: The Reign of Wolf 21

reign of wolf 21 cover

The Druid Wolf Pack of Yellowstone National Park has garnered international notoriety over the last 20 years. Established in the mid-1990s, the Druid Wolf Pack was at one point the largest recorded wolf pack in the world. And, luckily, park ranger and wolf expert Rick McIntyre has been present to record every excruciating detail of …

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Announcing Writing for Animals: A 4-week writing program

I’m pleased to announce a rather unique program to be taught next month by myself and Midge Raymond. I hope you can join us… Writing for Animals is a four-week writing program designed to help writers become more effective advocates for animals. Using the book Writing for Animals as a text, we’ll examine the ways in which …

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Maverick: A life among animals, reconsidered

At the opening of the essay collection Maverick, Laura Jean Schneider writes: I’m in the third generation of butchers in my family. As a family, we slaughtered and butchered most of the meat we eat ourselves. While this was not without conflict it seemed that once animals flesh was cooked, we were absolved of the …

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Book Review: World of Wonders; In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

No one sees nature quite like a poet and Aimee Nezhukumatathil proves that in World of Wonders, her first book of prose. This collection of essays centers around Nezhukumatathil’s lifelong interactions with and observations of the natural world. Born to a Filipina mother and a father from South India, Nezhukumatathil grew up all over the United States due to the demands of her mother’s job as a psychiatrist, and was immersed in landscapes from New York to Arizona. She writes from both the poet’s perspective and as a person of color in a white-privileged world.