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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Announcing the winner of the Siskiyou Prize

We are delighted to announce that Athena E. Copenhaver is the winner of the 2019 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature, for her novel DEEP SHADE.  The award’s final judge, Carol J. Adams (author of The Sexual Politics of Meat) writes: “Awareness of ecocide, environmental devastation, and animal suffering might not seem the likely content for a madcap adventure. That …

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Review: In The Art of Earth Architecture everything old is new again

As an architectural enthusiast, I have long admired Louis Khan. When I first visited San Diego years ago, I made sure to visit The Salk Institute. To see how concrete was used as both structure and frame, guiding my eyes toward the ocean. Kahn inspired me to dream about one day building a home made …

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Book Review: The Great Derangement

With the future state of the planet in question, Amitav Ghosh explores the roles of literature and history in terms of their place in the climate crisis in his book The Great Derangement. Ghosh, a fiction writer who has experienced climate catastrophes in South Asia, structures his argument in three parts: Stories, History, and Politics. …

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Interview with BARN 8 author Deb Olin Unferth

Thanks so much to Deb Olin Unferth for chatting with us about her new novel, Barn 8, released last month from Graywolf Press. EcoLit Books: For your article “Cage Wars,” published by Harper’s in 2014, your research included visiting a commercial egg farm and watching unedited footage of undercover investigations. A lot of information portrayed in the article, …

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In Animal City our painful past is still painfully present

If I asked you to picture a “cow town,” you would probably picture a small town, surrounded by pasture, set far away from the big city. Yet in the 1800s, cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco were also cow towns. It was not unusual to see herds of cows squeezed through downtown streets, …

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Eating meat in third person: The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Published in 1969, The Edible Woman is Margaret Atwood’s first novel. As a vegan, I was curious to read this book because it features a protagonist, Marian, who discovers one day that she can no longer eat meat. While at a fancy restaurant with her fiancé… She looked down at her own half-eaten steak and …

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Three Ways to Disappear: An interview with author Katy Yocom

Last year, we published Three Ways to Disappear, winner of the 2016 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature (it was also a finalist for the Dzanc Books Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize and the UNO Press Publishing Lab Prize). The novel is a story of sisters but also a story of India, and an endangered species …

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The list of outlets for environmental writing turns 70

As in there are now 70 of them. Thanks for everyone who contributed. We actually just received another contribution today so the list will be turning 71 shortly. The next challenge is how best to organize this list. Alpha sorting is a nice start but I’d love to improve upon it. Any suggestions are welcome…