Sunday, December 6, 2009


For December our primary reading selection is Diane Ackerman's The Moon By Whale Light, a collection of essays on her encounters with rare and endangered species, as she accompanied researchers seeking to understand and protect them. Members may read any of her works but note that some of her works are more focused on natural history than others.

From her website:
Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including A Natural History of the Senses -- a book beloved by millions of readers all over the world. Humans might luxuriate in the idea of being “in” nature, but Ms. Ackerman has taught generations that we are nature—for “no facet of nature is as unlikely as we, the tiny bipeds with the giant dreams.” In prose so rich and evocative that one can feel the earth turning beneath one’s feet as one reads, Ackerman’s thrilling observations—of things ranging from the cloud glories to the human brain to endangered whooping cranes—urge us to live in the moment, to wake up to nature’s everyday miracles.

Ms. Ackerman has received a D. Lit. from Kenyon College, Guggenheim Fellowship, Orion Book Award, John Burroughs Nature Award, and the Lavan Poetry Prize, as well as being honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her --dianeackerone. She has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia and Cornell. Her essays about nature and human nature have been appearing for decades in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Parade, The New Yorker, National Geographic and many other journals, where they have been the subject of much praise.

To learn more, click on Ms. Ackerman's photo above to visit her webpage.

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