Sightlines offers a landmark work about the natural world and our relationship to it. Jamie explores her native Scottish surroundings, intermingling personal history with observations of the landscape. Her travels lead her to study whale bones in Norwegian museums, explore remote Scottish islands, and watch icebergs in the Arctic. Sightlines invites us to take a moment to pause and reconsider what nature gives us.
Jamie is the author of four books of poetry and three nonfiction titles, including Sightlines. In 2012 she won the Costa Book Award for Poetry and is one of the United Kingdom's foremost poets. Jamie is the Chair of Poetry at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and lives with her family in Fife, Scotland.
The John Burroughs Medal was created in 1926 to recognize the best in nature writing and to honor the literary legacy of John Burroughs, who is credited with creating the modern nature essay. The Medal has been given annually to a distinguished book of nature writing that combines scientific accuracy, firsthand fieldwork, and excellent natural history writing.
Past Burroughs Medalists include Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Joseph Wood Krutch, Loren Eiseley, Paul Brooks, Roger Tory Peterson, John Hay, Peter Matthiessen, John McPhee, Ann Zwinger, Barry Lopez, Gary Nabhan, Robert Michael Pyle, Richard Nelson, Carl Safina, Jan DeBlieu, Ted Levin, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Julia Whitty, Franklin Burroughs, Michael Welland, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, Edward Hoagland, and Thor Hanson.
Jamie is lauded by the selection committee as one of our strongest recent winners for her excellence in the tradition of natural history writing. She resists the conventional poetics of nature writing, and is at the same time a powerfully lyrical writer. A member of the committee said of her work "I am so taken by the beauty of Kathleen Jamie's writing, and the compassion and sophistication of her thought process.... In asking about little things she finds big things."
"This intelligent collection of 14 essays, informed by science and myth, heightened attention, and cultural dreams, is written with Scots brogue, language, and attitude that will give American readers a fresh view of nature." Publishers Weekly
We invite you to join us celebrate Sightlines and meet Kathleen Jamie on April 7at the American Museum of Natural History. Attendees will receive a copy of Sightlines. For more information and reservations visit us at http://www.johnburroughsassociation.org/, or call Lisa Breslof at 212-769-5169.
2/27/14 Click here for a PDF of this announcement
John Burroughs Nature Essay Award for 2013 to Robin Wall Kimmerer:
The John Burroughs Association is pleased to announce the 2013 winner of the John Burroughs Nature Essay Award is Robin Wall Kimmerer for "Council of the Pecans," published by Orion Magazine in its September/October 2013 issue.
The award will be presented on Monday, April 7, at the Annual Literary Awards ceremony of the John Burroughs Association during a celebratory luncheon at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
In "Council of the Pecans" Kimmerer writes with a naturalist’s knowledge, a poet’s imagination, and the narrative grace of a fine storyteller. She effortlessly weaves the social history of the Potawatomi Native Americans with detailed biological information about pecans, especially their abundance during mast fruiting, thereby giving substance to the value of sacred land. Not only are the pecan trees a model for human behavior, but they are a symbol for the resilience of Kimmerer’s Potawatomi peoples. She writes with a sensitive descriptive hand, knowing the effectiveness of varying sentence rhythms along with an awareness of concrete verbs in telling her informative and moving story of the metaphorically expressive “Council of the Pecans.”
"Orion is thrilled that Robin Wall Kimmerer’s essay ‘Council of the Pecans’ has won the John Burroughs Nature Essay Award. The gracefulness of Robin’s prose, combined with her unique ability to bring multiple ways of knowing to bear on her subject matter, made this a standout piece for Orion. We are so proud to see it honored in this way.” Orion Magazine
Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her first book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for distinguished nature writing in 2005. Her writings have appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She lives in Fabius, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.
The John Burroughs Association first gave a distinguished published nature essay an award in 1993 to recognize exceptional nature writing in essay form, and to honor the literary legacy of naturalist John Burroughs, who is credited with creating the modern nature essay. The Award is given annually to a published essay that is scientifically accurate, yet does more by using a personal point of view to present material in vivid writing.
Past winners of the John Burroughs Nature Essay Award included John Hanson Mitchell, John Daniel, Gary Noel Ross, Geerat Vermeij, Michael Pollan, Kenneth Brower, Richard Conniff, Barbara Smuts, Jeff Lockwood, Freeman House, Edward Kanze, Judith Lowry, David Gessner, Christopher Cokinos, Mark A. Smith, Jill Sisson Quinn, Brian Doyle, and Rick Bass. Scott Russell Sanders has the distinction of receiving the award twice.
The John Burroughs Association brings to life the legacy, writing, and natural world of John Burroughs, one of the nation's first literary naturalists, by making his historic property "Slabsides" and surrounding land with hiking trails available to the public, and by recognizing distinguished nature writing through its annual literary awards; the John Burroughs Medal, the John Burroughs Essay Award, and the Riverby Award for nature books for young readers.
The John Burroughs Association invites you to join the celebration of "Council of the Pecans" and meet Robin Wall Kimmerer on April 7, at the American Museum of Natural History. Attendees will receive a copy Orion containing the winning essay, as well as a set of this year's John Burroughs Medal and Riverby Award winning-books. For more information and reservations visit us at www.johnburroughsassociation.org, or call Lisa Breslof at 212-769-5169.
3/13/14 Click here for a PDF of this announcement
John Burroughs Riverby Awards for 2013 Announced:
The John Burroughs Association is pleased to announce the results of its twenty-fourth annual Riverby Award competition for excellent natural history books for young readers. The four books on the 2013 list contain rewarding observations that come to naturalists, authors and illustrators after patient hours of personal observation. The awards will be presented on Monday, April 7, at the Annual Literary Awards ceremony of the John Burroughs Association during a celebratory luncheon at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Books selected to receive the Riverby Award include:
The Animal Book, Steve Jenkins, author, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, (2013).
The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog, Marty Crump, author, Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriquez, illustrators, Boyds Mills Press, (2013).
Parrots Over Puerto Rico, Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore, authors, Susan L. Roth, collages, Lee & Low Books, Inc., (2013).
The Secret Pool, Kimberly Ridley, author, and Rebekah Raye, illustrator, Tilbury House Nature Book, (2013).
The John Burroughs Riverby Award was established in 1988 and is named for the home of John Burroughs (1837-1921), the Hudson River Valley naturalist and essayist. A pioneer of nature study, Burroughs was one of America’s most widely read authors at the turn of the 20th century. A hundred years ago, his nature essays for children were published in special school editions and inspired the study of nature in classrooms all over America. In recognizing his efforts to awaken interest in young naturalists, the Association has selected books that present perceptive and artistic accounts of direct experiences in the world of nature. As one juror describes it “...as a result, the John Burroughs Riverby award-winning books demonstrate a respect for nature, accuracy of information, and quality of prose and illustrations that make them stand out from other books.”
The John Burroughs Association gives the award to encourage writing in the tradition of John Burroughs. The association also maintains “Slabsides,” in West Park, NY where Burroughs wrote many of his most famous nature essays published in the elite journals of his day. We invite you to join us and celebrate the John Burroughs Riverby Award and meet the authors on April 7 at the American Museum of Natural History. Luncheon guests will receive copies of the winning books. For more information and reservations call Lisa Breslof at 212-769-5169 or visit us at http://www.johnburroughsassociation.org.
(The Mystery of Darwin's Frog by Martha L. Crump. Copyright © 2013 by Martha L. Crump. Published by Boyds Mills Press, Inc. Used by permission.)
# 3/13/14 Click here for a PDF of this announcement
Riverby Award Judges Confer Honorable Mention for 2013:
||Ellie's Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell, Judith Li, author, M. L. Herring, illustrator, Oregon State University Press; 1 edition (2013)
The John Burroughs Association is pleased to announce the Riverby Award judges have conferred an unprecedented Honorable Mention Commendation at their April 7th Literary Awards Ceremony.
The book selected for Honorable Mention is: Ellie's Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell, Judith L. Li, author, M.L. Herring, illustrator, Oregon University Press.
The John Burroughs Riverby Award is the only one of its kind and for almost thirty years has honored John Burroughs by recognizing excellence in non fiction, natural history writing for children. In an unprecedented move, the jury was so impressed by a work of fiction that so clearly embodies all of the principles of excellent natural history writing exemplified by John Burroughs that they decided a commendation was in order.
The books receiving the Riverby Award and the book selected for Honorable Mention were announced on April 7 at the American Museum of Natural History at an awards ceremony for authors, illustrators, and publishers, AMNH staff, Burroughs Association members and their guests.
The John Burroughs Association brings to life the legacy, writing, and natural world of John Burroughs, one of the nation's first literary naturalists, by making his historic property "Slabsides" and surrounding land with hiking trails available to the public, and by recognizing distinguished nature writing. The Association encourages writing in the tradition of John Burroughs, through its annual literary awards; the John Burroughs Medal, the John Burroughs Essay Award, and the Riverby Award for nature books for young readers.
For more information call Lisa Breslof at 212-769-5169 or visit us at
Last Year's Awardees:
JOHN BURROUGHS 2013 MEDAL
For Distinguished Natural History Book
Awarded to Thor Hanson,
New York, NY: Basic Books/Perseus Books Group (2011)
Read the full Press Release.
JOHN BURROUGHS AWARD for an Outstanding Published Nature Essay
Awareded to Rick Bass,
Orion, September/October 2012
Read the full Press Release.
Plus the 2012 additions to
THE RIVERBY AWARD LIST OF NATURE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
Read the full Press Release.
A Leaf Can Be, Laura Purdie Salas, author, and Violeta Dabija, illustrator, Lerner
Publishing Group/Millbrook Press, (2012).
Moonbird, Phillip Hoose, author, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/FSG, (2012).
Rachael Carson and Her Book That Changed the World, Laurie Lawlor, author, and Laura Beingessner, Illustrator, Holiday House, (2012).
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed The Seas, Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm,
authors, Molly Bang, illustrator, Scholastic Inc./The Blue Sky Press, (2012).
Wild Horse Scientists, Kay Frydenborg, author, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, (2012).
For the list of past awardees click on the following links:
Nature Essay Awards
Young Readers Awards