Am slowly going through scads of Google Alerts and finding some good stuff.
Another good review of American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, edited by Bill McKibben (Library of America, April 2008). I’ve had this on my wish list for a few months since reading the Washington Post review by Gregory McNamee. The latest review is by Brian Sholis for Metro Times Detroit (the city’s “weekly alternative”), who writes that the new book
represents a Herculean effort on the part of author and activist Bill McKibben, its editor, to bring together the texts most relevant to an audience unfamiliar with the topic. It is matchless in its heft, generous in scope (included are Sierra Club founder John Muir and Marvin Gaye), and, with a detailed chronology in its back matter, serviceable in its depth. …
…nearly all of the writers we associate with the movement, from the middle of the 19th century to the present, appear here, including Henry David Thoreau, Muir, John Burroughs, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez and Michael Pollan. So do a handful of unexpected figures, from P.T. Barnum to Philip K. Dick to R. Crumb. A library that included this volume and Thomas J. Lyon’s utilitarian 2001 book This Incomparable Land: A Guide to American Nature Writing would offer fragments from or information about many of the books important to mainstream discourse on the topic.
Bill McKibben also has The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life out this Spring (Holt, March 2008).
More books on nature writing:
The Sierra Club Nature Writing Handbook: A Creative Guide by John A. Murray
Nature Writing: The Tradition in English, edited by Robert Finch and John Elder (which I believe is a hardbound, non-college text edition of the Norton Book of Nature Writing by Finch and Elder)
Writing About Nature: A Creative Guide by John A. Murray
Writing Naturally: A Down-To-Earth Guide to Nature Writing by David Petersen
The Alphabet Of The Trees: A Guide To Nature Writing, edited by Christian McEwen and Mark Statman
A Natural History of Nature Writing by Frank Stewart
A Crow Doesn’t Need A Shadow: A Guide to Writing Poetry from Nature by Lorraine Ferra, illustrated by Diane Boardman (unlike the other titles in this list, good to use with younger children)
The Library of Congress offers its science reference guide on Nature Study, Nature Writing: Past and Present
Advice on keeping a nature writing journal, with brief excerpts from The Sierra Club Nature Writing Handbook, via Cal Poly
Writing about Nature and Environmental Issues, from MIT OpenCourseWare
The state of nature writing in the UK, from Robert Macfarlane’s columns for The Guardian: “Upwardly mobile” (September 2007) and “Call of the wild” (December 2003) are two, and his “Common Ground” columns listed here. Mr. Macfarlane is author of the recent Wild Places and was interviewed for Bookslut in 2004 following publication of his Mountains of the Mind.