The Second Annual Orion Book Award

Orion Editor Jennifer Sahn writes:

Magazines and books are close cousins, and at Orion we keep one eye focused on the book world at all times. The Orion Book Award, conferred annually to an outstanding, literary, book-length work that is ecological in context and has as its foundation the human relationship with the natural world, is the programmatic outgrowth of the relationship between Orion and its relatives in book publishing.

This year’s call for nominations went out in mid-December to the Orion Society Board of Advisors, the Contributing Editors of Orion, and a select number of colleagues. The nomination process is now closed, and we have 43 contenders for the 2008 award (which goes to a 2007 book).

Many of these books were either excerpted or reviewed in the magazine over the past year or more, while others we have only just heard about for the first time. The 2008 Orion Book Award selection committee will identify five finalists by late March, and then a winning book and four honorable mentions by early April.

This year’s selection committee is comprised of Linda Hogan, Mark Kurlansky, Kathleen Dean Moore, David Rothenberg, and myself.

To learn more about the Orion Book Award, go here. An Orion Readers’ Choice Award will run parallel to the juried award, allowing readers to vote online for their favorite book.

In a time of pulp nonfiction and an endless stream of lifestyle books, it’s heartening to see how many new books are deserving of recognition from Orion. Thanks go out to everyone who played a role in the making of these books.

Jennifer Sahn
Editor, Orion