Upcoming event: Evolving Beyond Animal Ag

Imagine that you’re an nth-generation farmer and you’ve been raised to continue business as usual in animal agriculture. But you can’t help but notice that the world is changing around you. People are eating less meat, consuming less dairy. Animals activists (such as myself) are saying cows and sheep and pigs and chickens deserve peaceful …

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Learning to love weeds: Beyond the War on Invasive Species

Dandelions. Bull thistle. Kudzu. Japanese knotweed. Himalayan blackberry. From front lawns to woodlands, these are among the most despised of plant species. Species that, we are told, are hell-bent on taking over every square inch of soil, crowding out native species, ruining ecosystems, giving gardeners ulcers. But what if everything we know about weeds is …

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Review: Building a Better World in Your Backyard

When it comes to nonfiction environmental books these days, I feel that we’re reaching “peek dystopia.” Or, at least I hope we are. Because it seems that between books about our warming planet, animal extinction, water shortages and wars, I’m sufficiently enlightened and depressed. What we don’t have enough of these days are hands-on books …

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New Podcast: John Yunker joins The Afterword for a Chat About Environmental Stories

Author and EcoLit Books co-founder John Yunker joined guest Joelle Teachey, executive director of Trees Upstate, for a podcast focused on environmental literature. The Afterword is a podcast devoted to the “future of words” and is hosted by Amy Bowling and Holland Webb. You can listen to it here. You can also subscribe via iTunes.

Writing Opportunity: Poetry and essays on plant poetics

Here’s an opportunity for contributions to a special issue on plant poetics. Submissions are open from November 1st to December 27th.  Poems and scholarly essays are invited in response to the following prompt from guest editor John Ryan: A novel area of science called plant cognition is showing us that plants are more than photosynthetic androids or …

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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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Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment: And our irrational, insatiable, unsustainable desire to control nature

I feel ashamed to admit this, but until recently I had not read, end to end, Silent Spring. I had read parts of the book over the years and have been acutely aware of what the book is about — and perhaps this was the reason I avoided it for so long.  But when I saw …

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Writing Opportunity: Stage plays focused on building a sustainable society

The UK-based Green Stories Writing Competition is looking for full-length plays that address sustainability — and, best of all, the contest is free to enter. Here are the details… We are looking for Stage Plays that in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society. If you’d prefer to create your story in …

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