Book Review: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

The planet has survived five mass extinctions, but it’s the sixth that we should be worried about. Elizabeth Kolbert’s wonderful book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History outlines the human impact on the globe by following researchers who are studying not only the past but today’s resources and species currently at risk, from the oceans …

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The 2014 Siskiyou Prize Winner & Finalists…

Ashland Creek Press is delighted to announce that New York Times bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler has chosen Mary Heather Noble’s memoir PLUMES: ON CONTAMINATION OF HOME AND HABITAT as the winner of the 2014 Siskiyou Prize. We are also delighted to announce the prize finalists: Amy Hassinger for her novel AFTER THE DAM and Julie Christine Johnson for her novel THE CROWS OF BEARA. Of …

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The Necessary Evolution of Environmental Writing

Halfway through reading The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston, I came across the following passage: A new danger, moreover, now threatens the birds at sea. An irreducible residue of crude oil, called by refiners ‘slop,’ remains in stills after oil distribution, and this is …

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Home Ground, A Guide to the American Landscape

Edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney

(Trinity University Press, field edition 2013)

 

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“What draws our attention?” Barry Lopez asks in his introduction of Home Ground, a surprisingly entertaining guide to the language of the American landscape. Humans are predisposed to pay attention to subtle changes in the natural world, harking back to our hunting/gathering days, when knowing and naming these distinctions helped the tribe find dinner, or discourage the setting up of camp on shifting sands. Lopez and Gwartney commissioned a tribe of writers to gather up the words and define them through the lens of the humanities. The evocative phrase angle of repose

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Writing opportunity for UK and Ireland residents: New Welsh Writing Awards

People, Place & Planet: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment From the website: New Welsh Review, in association with WWF Cymru and the CADCentre, is thrilled to announce the New Welsh Writing Awards, which will celebrate the finest non-fiction writing in the new and increasingly popular ‘short’ form. We’re looking for …

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Siskiyou Prize update – new award, extended deadline

The winner of the Siskiyou Prize, in addition to a cash prize of $1,000 and book publication, will also receive a four-week residency at the PLAYA retreat in central Oregon. PLAYA is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences, and other fields of creative inquiry. On the edge of the Great Basin in central …

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Book Review: Lost Antarctica by James McClintock

As James McClintock points out in his enlightening book, Antarctica is often referred to as “the poster child” for global warming, a bellwether of climate change, the place where we see the most drastic results of a warming planet. McClintock’s Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land offers a firsthand view of the challenges facing …

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Book Review: The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Read this in the heat of August — languorous, sweltering, submerged. It begins, “Soon it would be too hot.” J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World is a classic in the growing genre of climate fiction — fiction that brings attention to climate change. It’s not about the cause of a manmade global catastrophe (For this, Martin …

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Book Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior does all that a great work of eco-fiction should, addressing the issues (climate change) without sacrificing the story (a woman whose small-town world is broken wide open by a mysterious act of nature). Dellarobia Turnbow, married at seventeen due to a pregnancy in which she lost the baby, is a decade later …

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