Book Review: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Charlotte McConaghy’s Once There Were Wolves shares much in common with her previous novel, Migrations — the journey of a troubled young woman hoping to save the animals she loves, while also fighting the demons of her past. Yet despite these echoes, Once There Were Wolves is entirely unique in its story of biologist Inti Flynn, who …

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Deer America: Rewilding begins outside your front door

Deer are a common sight here in Ashland, Oregon. And a common source of conflict between residents. Some want to see the deer killed and others (like us) want to see the deer left alone. Fortunately, the deer have been fairly expressive as of late and one deer penned this letter for High Country News …

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Book Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Studies of animal intelligence have demonstrated the impressive cognitive abilities of certain animals: rhesus macaques, crows, bottlenose dolphins, border collies.  Recently, there is another animal gaining increasing recognition for its intelligence: the octopus. The Soul of an Octopus is, as its subtitle aptly describes, “a surprising exploration into the wonders of consciousness.”  Written by Sy …

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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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