Meet the Selection Committee for the 2012 Orion Book Award

We receive a lot of books at the Orion office, and for years we lamented that so few of them received the attention they deserve—especially those books that work in the Orion-ish vein of rebuilding an emotional, personal connection between people and nature.

And so in 2007 we inaugurated the Orion Book Award, which recognizes five books—a winner and four finalists—that stand out among the many books about nature and environment published each year.

The selection of the winner and finalists is overseen by a five-person committee that changes annually and is made up of people known for their work in the world of literature and communicating about nature. This year’s Selection Committee consists of:

Steve Curwood, Executive Producer and Host of Living on Earth.

Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe.

• Rob Spillman, Editor of Tin House and the Executive Editor of Tin House Books.

Cheryl Strayed, author of a novel, Torch. Her memoir, Wild, will be published in 2012.

• And me, Orion’s Editor-in-Chief.

Five finalists for the 2012 Orion Book Award will be announced in March, and the winning title will be announced in April. Keep an eye on this blog for more information about the award and the books the Selection Committee is looking at.


  1. Good committee, I’ll be interested in your results.

  2. It is now March 29, with only two days left in the month.

    Where are the listings of the five finalists and the books that the Selection
    Committee is looking at?

    Thank you.

  3. Looking forward to finding out which books are selected by this Intriguing committee…

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