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The Overstory: An arboreal love story (and lament)

In Anthropocene, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Trees by John Yunker

When we started EcoLit Books five years ago, this was the type of book I had in mind. A novel that places nature in its proper place in relation to people. That is, above us — in this case, both figuratively and literally. In The Overstory, Richard Powers has crafted an epic novel that stretches hundreds of years, culminating in a series of life-and-death environmental battles. But even more so, this is a novel about rediscovering the largest and oldest living creatures on our planet. So many of the characters are alien to the trees they share the planet with until …

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Book Review: The Animals’ Agenda by Marc Bekoff & Jessica Pierce

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Reviews, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Veganism by Midge Raymond

The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce is an important and timely book that examines the human relationship with — or, more accurately, examines the many ways in which humans use — animals and how this relationship needs to evolve. This book asks readers to rethink how we see animals and to adopt more compassionate practices toward them, from animals used for food and entertainment to those in the wild. If this book has one message that we all need to hear, it’s that animals in our society suffer abuses that …

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Happy Earth Day

In Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Insects, Oceans, Oil, Trees, Veganism by Midge Raymond

It’s been nearly 40 years since the first Earth Day, and unfortunately we’ve recently taken a lot more steps backward than forward. Still, we humans have taken a lot of great steps forward since the 1970s. There’s a lot to celebrate about our planet, and so many ways to help it survive and thrive. We founded Ashland Creek Press to raise environmental awareness through literature … this combines two of our passions: stories and taking care of our planet. There are myriad ways to help out the planet, and to make every day Earth Day in your own life. Immerse …

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Opportunity for Writers: Art after Nature from The University of Minnesota Press

In Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Conservation, For Writers, Nonfiction, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

I’ve long been a fan of Antennae, a literary/artistic journal created and curated by Giovanni Aloi. So I was thrilled to see that the University of Minnesota Press is partnering with Giovanni and Caroline Piccard on a new book series titled Art after Nature. Here’s their vision for the series: Art after Nature maps new aesthetic territories defined by the humanities’ recent ontological turn. In the face of the unprecedented shifts in humanity’s conceived relationship with the natural world, modes of critical and political artistic engagement are adapting in response. As notions of pristine sublimity crumble, Art after Nature proposes to explore the consequences of this transition, further destabilizing anthropocentrism, and revealing the dark ecological fluidity of naturecultures. The urgency imposed by anthropogenic lenses of inquiry provides an ethical …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2017

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Nonfiction, Oceans, Pollution by John Yunker

It’s that time of year again, a time to reflect on the books that have left their mark on us. Books that will, over time and with luck, leave their mark on society as well. I polled our contributors to see what books they’ll remember best from 2017. And here we have it — a selection of children’s books and adult fiction and nonfiction — some of which we’ve reviewed and some of which we hope to still. A word of thanks — to our contributors, for reading and reviewing books that make a difference; to the authors of these books that inspire …

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Submission window is now open for the 4th annual Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, For Writers, Oceans, Pollution, Veganism, Wolves, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

Now in its fourth year, The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature is now open for submissions of published and unpublished manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections.. The 2017 prize will be judged by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Balcombe. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and a four-week residency at PLAYA. The submission deadline is September 30, 2014. For complete writers’ guidelines, click here. All unpublished manuscripts entered for the Siskiyou Prize will be considered for publication. “New environmental literature” refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife. The prize …

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Cold Mountain Review: Special Issue on Extinction

In Anthropocene, Endangered Species, For Writers, Journals and Magazines, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

Literary journal Cold Mountain Review is currently taking submissions for its Fall 2017 special issue devoted to extinction: As species decline globally at an accelerating rate, greater than at any time in the past 65 million years, we invite submissions that give voice to endangered and vanishing creatures, cultures, and tongues; re/imagine and express creaturely relationships on the brink, including the human and more-than-human; imagine ourselves ceasing as a species; and encounter and name the political, economic, and cultural forces driving this human-induced extinction event. http://coldmountainreview.org/special-issue-extinction/  

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Our 2017 Siskiyou Prize judge is Jonathan Balcombe

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, For Writers, Insects, Oceans, Oil, Organic Farming, Pollution, Trees, Veganism, Wolves, Writing Opportunities by Midge Raymond

We are thrilled to announce that our 2017 Siskiyou Prize judge is Jonathan Balcombe. Jonathan’s most recent book is the New York Times bestseller What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of our Underwater Cousins, an extraordinary journey underwater that reveals the vast capabilities of fishes. He is also the author of the books The Exultant Ark, Second Nature, Pleasurable Kingdom, and The Use of Animals in Higher Education. Jonathan has three biology degrees, including a PhD in ethology (the study of animal behavior) from the University of Tennessee, and has published more than 50 scientific papers on animal behavior …

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ASLE announces 2017 book award finalists

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Publishers, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Essays, Fiction, Nonfiction, Oceans, Pollution, Trees, Veganism by John Yunker

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment has announced the finalists for their bi-annual book awards. The ASLE book awards “in the areas of ecocriticism and environmental creative writing recognize excellence in the field.”   Creative Award Finalists The judges were Emily McGiffin, the winner of the ASLE Creative Writing Award in 2015, who lives in Vancouver, BC; Rich King, a finalist for the 2015 Creative Writing Award, a research associate with The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport; and Tom Hallock, who teaches in the Visual & Verbal Arts Department at the University of …

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Thinking About Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene

In Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Wolves by John Yunker

The anthropocene is the proposed geologic term for the period in which humans have made a significant impact on the earth’s geology and ecosystems. It’s not a term without controversy however, which I learned as I read the first essay in Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene. Susan Rustick writes: What will my canine companions think if the Working Group on the Anthropocene makes an initial proposal that our current epoch be called the Anthropocene? What will the elm tree sense or the aronia bushes? What clarion call or trumpet of death will be heard by the Whooping Crane or …