ASLE Book and Paper Award Winners Announced

ASLE is very excited to announce the winners of the 2015 ASLE Book Awards. The awards, in the areas of ecocriticism and environmental creative writing, recognize excellence in the field. The official presentation of certificates and $500 cash prizes will take place during the Authors’ Reception at the 2015 ASLE Biennial Conference at the University of Idaho, on Wednesday, June 25, 2015.

Creative Book Award Winner:

Cover_Subduction_ZoneSubduction Zone (Pedlar Press, 2014) by Emily McGiffin

Judges said of her book:

“McGiffin’s poetry startles and provokes, even as it pleases and draws the reader in. Impressively, she takes on subject matter as immense as empire–its power over us yet vulnerability to self-destruction–and makes it vivid, personal, and immediate.”

Emily McGiffin is a PhD student in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. Her PhD research investigates socioeconomic, cultural and environmental change in extraction-based communities of rural South Africa and Canada and the ways in which the literature of these regions engages with these concerns. In addition to  Subduction Zone, she is the author of the poetry collection Between Dusk and Night (Brick Books, 2012) and has published widely in literary magazines across Canada.

Judges: Ross Gay (Indiana University), Joni Tevis (Furman University), and Scott Knickerbocker (The College of Idaho)

Ecocriticism Book Award Winner:

Cover_SeymourStrange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination (University of Illinois Press) by Nicole Seymour

Judges commented:

“Nicole Seymour’s Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination is an ambitious, intelligent, and subtle intervention on the longstanding division between queer theory and the “natural.” Building on a deep appreciation of how the natural has historically been deployed against sexualities and identities outside the heteronormative, and the links between that violence and environmental degradation, Seymour identifies vitally important tradition of queer environmentalism in contemporary literature and film from the Americas. Strange Natures is a major contribution to the queering of ecocriticism and the greening of queer theory.”

Judges: Rob Nixon (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Paul Outka (University of Kansas) and Sarah McFarland (Northwestern State University)

Graduate Student Paper Award Winner

ASLE has also given a Graduate Student Paper Award for a paper presented at the 2015 Conference to Vera Coleman, Arizona State University, for her paper entitled “Becoming a Fish: Trans-Species Beings in Narrative Fiction of the Southern Cone”.  It will be presented in a session on “Cosmopolitics Beyond the Anthropocene” on Saturday, June 27.  She will be awarded a prize of $100 and have her essay published in our journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

2015 Judges: Alison Calder (University of Manitoba), Cheryl Lousley (Lakehead University), Chad Wriglesworth (University of Waterloo), Nancy Holmes (University of British Columbia, Okanagan), Daniel Heath Justice (University of British Columbia), and Angela Waldie (Mount Royal University)

Special thanks go out to ASLE’s Awards Coordinators for all their work this year:
Christoph Irmscher, Indiana University, Bloomington (Creative Book Award)
Salma Monani, Gettysburg College (Ecocriticism Book Award)
Nicholas Bradley, University of Victoria (Graduate Paper Award)