Book Review: The Pelican Tide

Sharon J. Wishnow’s debut novel, The Pelican Tide—set on Grand Isle, Louisiana, in 2010, just before the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill—is both an intense environmental disaster story and a heartwarming story of a family finding their way back to one another after a series of devastating events. Josie Babineaux is a chef, mother, newly …

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Book Review: FIRE WEATHER by John Vaillant

John Vaillant’s Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World is not only the story of the devastating 2016 Fort McMurray fire in Alberta, Canada, but also a history of fire, the oil industry, climate science, and where we go from here. In addition to the page-turning narrative of the fire that raged through Fort McMurray, Fire …

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A new environmental journal Springs to life

As a fan of the Rachel Carson Center I was excited to see the recent launch of the first edition of Springs, their new environmental journal: The Rachel Carson Center (RCC) is pleased to announce the launch of Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review. Our new open-access online publication features peer-reviewed articles, creative nonfiction, and artistic contributions that …

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Two new books from the Whale Warrior

Few people have done as much to protect whales and the waters they live in than Paul Watson. Founder of the Sea Shepherd Society, Watson has devoted a lifetime to quite literally going head-to-head with whalers in oceans around the world. Watson is also a powerful writer, with numerous books to his name over the …

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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.

Book Review: Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America, co-edited by Stefanie Brook Trout and Taylor Brorby

Reviewed by Lucia Hadella in partnership with Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project and Environmental Arts and Humanities program. How does one go about telling the story of hydraulic fracturing in the United States in a way that illuminates its repercussions for humans and nonhumans? Through poetry? A short story? An essay? Does one travel to …

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Our 2017 Siskiyou Prize judge is Jonathan Balcombe

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 …

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Book Review: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

Alexis M. Smith’s lovely novel Marrow Island envisions environmental catastrophe on several levels, beginning with a devastating earthquake and the subsequent oil refinery accident whose effects, even though these events are backstory, linger on every page. The novel begins with a mysterious opening chapter, in which Lucie Bowen, twenty years after the earthquake, is again fleeing the …

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Book Review: The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

The Penguin Lessons is the story of a young Englishman who, on vacation in Uruguay from his teaching job at a boarding school in Argentina, rescues an oil-covered Magellanic penguin. This memoir will charm anyone who loves these tuxedo-feathered birds — and Neil Baker’s illustrations, on the cover and scattered throughout the book, are enchanting. …

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Book Review: The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston

Imagine a world that is just like our own—same countries, same technologies, same history—but with one major difference: dragons. The dragons in The Story of Owen don’t limit themselves to feeding on damsels in distress. They’ll eat anybody. And livestock, too. But if there’s one thing these low-intelligence beasts truly can’t resist, it’s carbon emissions. …

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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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Fill ‘er up: A review of Living Oil by Stephanie LeMenager

Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century by Stephanie LeMenager  is an academic book and priced accordingly. In other words, this is not the sort of book you’d find in an airport bookstore. Perhaps it should be. This book provides historical and cultural insights into our complex relationship with oil — from the “peak discovery” period of the …

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