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:
• Jessa Crispin, the editor and founder of the litblog and webzine Bookslut.com.
• Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, the author of many award-winning books, including, most recently, The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories.
• Erik Reece, a contributing editor to Orion, and author of An American Gospel: On Family, History, and the Kingdom of God and Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness.
• Luis Alberto Urrea, an Orion columnist and best-selling author of thirteen books, including, most recently, Into the Beautiful North.
• And Hannah Fries, associate editor and poetry editor of Orion.
Five finalists for the 2013 Orion Book Award will be announced later this month, and the winning title will be announced in April. Keep an eye on the Orion blog for more information about the award and the books the Selection Committee is looking at.