Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finalists for the 2009 Orion Book Award

Next month the winner of The Orion Book Award will be announced in New York City. The Orion Book Award is given annually to a book that has achieved excellence in addressing a growing ecological awareness and the need for a healthier relationship between humans and the natural world. Nominations for the award are made by advisors, writers, editors, and contributing editors of Orion. Selection of the winning book and four finalists are made by a five-person selection committee, which changes annually.

Here are the finalists for the 2009 award:
  • Trespass, by Amy Irvine (North Point Press) 

  • The Wild Places, by Robert Macfarlane (Penguin Books)

  • The Bridge at the Edge of the World, by James Gustave Speth (Yale)

  • Inventing Niagara, by Ginger Strand (Simon & Schuster)

  • Finding Beauty in a Broken World, by Terry Tempest Williams (Pantheon Books)
[Fortunately for us, Terry Tempest Williams will be speaking this week in a special event by Literary Arts. The event takes place at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, March 25th, at the Newmark Theater.]

Previous winners of The Orion Book Award include The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story, by Diane Ackerman (WW Norton) and Wild: An Elemental Journey, by Jay Griffiths (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)

The first issue of Orion Nature Quarterly was published in June, 1982, and in its first-page editorial, George Russell, the publication’s first Editor-in-Chief, boldly stated Orion’s values:

“It is Orion‘s fundamental conviction that humans are morally responsible for the world in which we live, and that the individual comes to sense this responsibility as he or she develops a personal bond with nature.”

In the intervening twenty-five years, Orion has been a focal point in an extraordinarily rich period of nature writing, and it has remained true to that core conviction, though the magazine has evolved into a bimonthly, in larger format, and the range of its interests has broadened to include not only environmental but cultural concerns.

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