Member News

Scott T. Starbuck’s Hawk on Wire Selected as a Montaigne Medal Finalist

Scott T. Starbuck’s book of climate change poems, Hawk on Wire, was selected from over 1,500 entries as a Montaigne Medal Finalist at Eric Hoffer Awards for “the most thought-provoking books.” The book, written at a PLAYA climate change residency, was also a July 2017 “Editor’s Pick” at along with The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, and was featured at Yale Climate Connections.  There is a 24-minute YouTube of his book launch sponsored by La Jolla Historical Society’s WEATHER ON STEROIDS EXHIBIT. In addition to being a poet, ...

Novelist JoeAnn Hart Presenting at the International Literature Festival Berlin 2017

JoeAnn Hart is honored to be taking part in the International Literature Festival Berlin 2017 which takes place at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin, Germany from September 6th through the 16, 2017. On Monday, September 11th at 6 p.m. JoeAnn will be presenting her novel Float, followed by a discussion of the work.

Later the same evening, at 7:30 p.m., as part of Science Year 2016/17, which this year centers around Seas and Oceans, JoeAnn will participate in “Reading the Currents. Shifting ...

In Memoriam: Nat Hart

Nat Hart was a longtime ASLE member, and he will be greatly missed by our community.

Obituary from the Morris Sun Tribune:

Nathaniel Hart, professor emeritus and early faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Morris died peacefully on January 16 at West Wind Village, Morris, Minnesota. Born March 4, 1930, he was 86.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to David and Ruth Hart, Nathaniel centered his life on his love of English literature and in service to the principles of the academy. In 1952, he ...

In Memoriam: John Felstiner

John Felstiner, Stanford Professor and poetry scholar, dies at age 80

It is with great sadness that we share the news that longtime ASLE member Louis John Felstiner, Jr., died on February 24, 2017 at the age of eighty. Professor Felstiner was a translator, literary critic, teacher, poet, and ardent environmentalist. He is survived by Mary Lowenthal Felstiner, his wife of over fifty years, their two children, Sarah and Alek, and two grandchildren, Brayden and Asa.

Professor Felstiner was born in Mount Vernon, New York, ...

New Publications by Michael Potts

Michael Potts has recently published an article in Tolkien Studies that looks at the influence of Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West on Tolkien’s famous Lord of the Rings. Spengler formulated a complex and immensely influential argument that civilisation was cyclical – it grew in a particular environment or soil, bloomed and then declined and withered as the ideals that sustained it exhausted themselves and decay and decline set in. Tolkien fans will obviously recognise the applicability of this to the world of Middle ...

In Memoriam: Kota Inoue

Kota Inoue was a member of ASLE.  Many participants in the Moscow conference will remember Kota, who was a friendly volunteer with the site host team. He greeted many of the conference attendees at the registration table, in multiple languages, and was a smiling and friendly face throughout the event. He will be greatly missed.

This memoriam for Kota was written by his mentor and dissertation advisor James Fujii, and is posted here with his permission:

It is with great sadness that I announce the ...

Taiwan Symposium on S-F/Sci-fi and Planetary Healing

A Symposium on S-F/Sci-fi and Planetary Healing at Tamkang University in Tamsui, Taiwan (November 12, 2016)

Entitled “Writing S-F and Giving Voice to Planetary Healing,” this one-day symposium was held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at Tamkang University in Tamsui, Taiwan. It is our belief that, while the generic focus of Sci-fi is mainly on the hypothetical and the apocalyptic fate of the humans, our approach to S-F should not be limited to Sci-fi exclusively; we need to encompass speculative fiction in its most inclusive ...

John Burroughs Medal Awarded to Sharman Apt Russell

The John Burroughs Association selected Sharman Apt Russell for her book Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World, published by Oregon State University Press.

In the exploding world of citizen science, hundreds of thousands of volunteers are monitoring climate change, tracking bird migration, finding stardust for NASA, and excavating mastodons. The sheer number of citizen scientists, combined with new technology, has begun to shape how research is conducted. Non-professionals become acknowledged experts: dentists turn into astronomers and ...

Words for the Earth Award Established at CSU

Longtime ASLE members John Calderazzo and SueEllen Campbell are retiring from Colorado State University, and CSU is establishing a Words for the Earth Award in their honor.

This award will support efforts by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff whose work addresses the pressing need to illuminate and protect the natural world and employs the skills and insights of literature and expression.

If you would like to contribute, give online at, or mail a check payable to the Colorado State University Foundation (write ...

Cameron Conaway in Newsweek, Wins Journalism Fellowship

ASLE Member Cameron Conaway has written an article on pollution in India’s Ganges River that is published in Newsweek.  The piece was submitted for an American Society of Magazine Editor‘s award, for its ability to read like a novel but be packed with research. The story came to be thanks to a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Read the article

Conaway was also recently awarded a Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Fellowship from Moment Magazine.  He will be covering the genocidal conditions faced ...