Introducing the January/February 2014 Issue

In a world that measures success in terms of dollars exchanged, the small Asian nation of Bhutan is an anomaly: in recent years, the country has experimented with an alternative measure of progress called Gross National Happiness. In the new issue of Orion, we’re excited to bring you Gretchen Legler’s report from Bhutan, where she traveled to learn more about this bold new effort from the Bhutanese themselves.

Also in the January/February issue is a conversation with British journalist George Monbiot, whose new book, Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding, proposes the reintroduction of keystone species like wolves, bears, and elephants to land currently settled by humans.

For those in the mood for a story of real, concrete change, don’t miss “Greening Greensburg,” which tells of the incredible transformation of Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was decimated by a 2007 tornado. And for the gardeners among us, we bring you “Letters from Two Gardens,” a delightful correspondence between two poets that captures the changing seasons.

The January/February issue also marks the debut of Orion’s brand-new department, Lay of the Land, featuring reports from a revolving cast of writers about the mysterious and beautiful world around us. Also online from this issue is poetry from Ursula Le Guin and Andrea Cohen; a dispatch from a famous musical performance that’s really an environmental fable; plus ten sounds to make you feel more alive.

Of course, to really curl up with the new issue, we hope you’ll pick up a copy of Orion in print. There you’ll find all of the above, plus new fiction from Luis Alberto Urrea, a walk on Mars with author/adventurer Craig Childs, and lots more.

To hear more about the issue, listen to the newest installment of the Editors Out Loud podcast, which features Orion’s editor, Jennifer Sahn, and managing editor, Andrew Blechman.



  1. Greetings Good People of Orion,
    Please note that I have been a subscriber to Orion for many years. It is the only magazine I read cover to cover and I am currently giving three gift subscriptions and about to add a fourth. All to say that I am not much of a critic but rather a fan. Thus, I hope you will take this feedback to heart. I am disturbed by the article about Bhutan in the current issue. I have the honor of founding and directing a Poetry Project with high school age refugees,from many places of violent conflict around the globe, among them are many Nepalese who have experienced a tremendous amount of suffering and loss at the hand of the Bhutanese government. I will follow up with a letter to the editor, but for now just wanted to send my response to the article. If you are inclined please go to these websites: and perpahoay and ewirte iebeen reghter a fan. fo a ca ruth. Athe

    Thank you for your careful attention to my comments and for your inspiring work.
    Merna Ann Hecht

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