New writing contest: Sassafras Award for Excellence in Environmental Writing

Always exciting to see a new award established for environmental writing. This one is for regionally focused writing in the states of Missouri, Arkansas or Louisiana. The Sassafras Award for Excellence in Environmental Writing is a newly-established award of $3,000 that extends the Ozark Society Foundation’s history of publishing books that educate the public on …

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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: HOMES by Moheb Soliman

In HOMES, interdisciplinary poet Moheb Soliman traces the intricate borders of the Great Lakes—Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior (HOMES)—and explores the meanings of home, place, and identity in the spaces where water meets land and nature meets industry.  This stunning collection of postmodern ecopoetry prods the ironies that live in these in-between spaces. Soliman excavates …

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UK Writing Opportunity: Sustainability First Writing Prize

A wonderful writing opportunity for those of you in the UK: The Sustainability First Writing Prize 2021 is open to British writers and international writers living, working or studying in the UK, over the age of 18 years. Writing could include, but is not limited to, an article, a personal account, an essay, a short …

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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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Book Review: Irreplaceable by Julian Hoffman

In Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save Our Wild Places, Julian Hoffman shows us endangered habitats and the creatures who inhabit them—as well as the humans who are fighting to save these fragile landscapes. He puts us vividly within these places, portraying just how special and vulnerable they are, and also shows us the passion, dedication, …

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