"The Family at the End of the World." Photo by Michael O. Snyder, included in Summer 2020 issue.

Best of Orion 2020

THE YEAR OF 2020 will be one that none of us are likely to forget. At the year’s end, we are grateful for our readers, donors, and partners for supporting Orion as we continue to publish the world’s most important writing, photography, and art at the intersection of ecology, justice, and culture.

Whenever things become uncertain, it’s only natural that we look to our people, our communities, and the land, air, and water that sustains us, for guidance and support. And there you were, every step of the way. In gratitude, please enjoy this selection of our most-read Orion articles in 2020, a combination of print and web features, set in chronological order. Thank you, see you on the other side, and goodnight, 2020.

  Recommended Reading: Essential Books on Mexican Americans and the Environment by Priscilla Solis Ybarra

This list accompanies “The Land Has Memory,” in the Winter 2019 issue.

January 20, 2020

  Why David Quammen Is Not Surprised

An interview about infectious diseases with the author of Spillover.

March 17, 2020

  To Live and Love With a Dying World

Tim DeChristopher sits down with Wendell Berry.

Spring 2020 Issue

  Swimming With Crocodiles by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing and Nils Bubant

Nature is avenged by a prehistoric animal.

Spring 2020 Issue

  Earth Day at 50 Special Feature

For the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, we asked ten authors one question: “What earthly thing gives you hope at this point in history?”

Spring 2020 Issue

  Five Poems to Celebrate National Poetry Month by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Orion‘s former poetry editor hand-selects five of her favorite poems. 

April 1, 2020

  Views on the Pandemic by Lisa Wells

This essay is a follow-up to the author’s “Views of the Apocalypse,” a feature in the Winter 2019 issue.

May 6, 2020

  Mother Culture by Carl Safina

For sperm whales, family is paramount.

Summer 2020 Issue

  The Fragrance of Prayer by John Landretti

The divinity of presence.

Summer 2020 Issue

  Brilliant Forests, Burning by Becca Rose Hall

There is no line, now, if there ever was, between there and here, between burning and breathing.

Summer 2020 Issue

  Together Apart: Letters from Isolation

Together Apart is a Orion web series of letters exchanged between authors and thinkers from lockdown.

Spring/Summer 2020

  The View From a Desert Ridge

Kathleen Dean Moore wrote to Ben Ehrenreich, author of Desert Notebooks, about creosote-time, the end of endings, and the paradoxical role of writers during these unstable times.  

June 13, 2020

  Op-ed: We Are Still Here. John Muir is Not by Rebecca Tortes, Jennifer Malone, Leah Mata Fragua, Hillary Renick, A-dae Briones, and Fred Briones

A special message on environmental racism from Tribal leaders.

August 19, 2020

  19 Women on the 19th Amendment

To honor the 100th anniversary of the U.S ratification of the 19th Amendment—which guaranteed some women the right to vote—we’ve curated 19 of our favorite Orion articles written by women. 

August 19, 2020

  The Shadow of Humanity and the Spirit of Animals 

A conversation between Jane Goodall and Krista Tippett.

Autumn 2020 Issue

  Hand in Glove by David Farrier

The author navigates a new world defined by physical separation and the false promise of plastics.

Autumn 2020 Issue

  Between Earth and Sky, Choices Remain by Leah Tyus

A follow-up web exclusive to the author’s “One but Not the Same,” on experiencing racial microaggressions in the backcountry. 

September 15, 2020

  Rebecca Solnit & Terry Tempest Williams Post-Election Live Conversation

A discussion between Orion advisor Rebecca Solnit and contributing editor Terry Tempest Williams the day after Election Day.

November 5, 2020

  9 Rules for the Woke Birdwatcher by J. Drew Lanham

A follow-up Enumeration to the author’s “9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher.”

Winter 2020 Issue

  Plastics in the Gut by Max Liboiron

A search for sand on a rocky shoreline upends colonial science.

Winter 2020 Issue

  Brittle Stars by Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams

Life emerges from deep seas and new fires. Audio version available. 

Winter 2020 Issue


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