2010 John Burroughs Award Winner: Scott Russell Sanders

We are thrilled that Scott Russell Sanders has won this year’s John Burroughs Award for an Outstanding Published Nature Essay, an annual award.

The award announcement says in part: “Drawn to all trees, but especially to ancient ones, Scott Russell Sanders, in his essay “Mind in the Forest” (Orion, Nov./Dec. 2009), based on time spent on the western slope of the Cascade Mountains, in Oregon, finds himself meditating by an old Douglas fir, “reclaiming,” as he says, even if momentarily, “the full powers of mind.” He also provides a detailed sense impression of place, with reflections on his — and our — role in the natural world, both as despoiler and co-inhabitant with trees, animals, earth, the universe itself.”


  1. Portland, Oregon 2 August 2010

    I am truly pleased to find that Prof. Sanders has been honored by such a prestigious award. I continue to think, as I tried to articulate in a comment I posted after reading his piece, that he possesses a magnificent combination of writing skills and a sensibility which responds deeply to a natural setting. If more people here and abroad had even a modest portion of that combination, this planet would not be confronted with the towering disaster described in “Calling All Fanatics” in the July-August issue of ORION and the sequence of candid comments Mr. Jensen provoked.

    Incidentally, I take additional satisfaction in sharing with Mr. Sanders and ORION readers the fact that I earned my doctorate in world literature at Indiana U. Bloomington and live within a fairly short distance from the grand trees described.

    It almost goes without saying that both the publication of Prof. Sanders’ piece and the John Burroughs award say much about the quality and stature of ORION. May it prosper and continue to serve as a beacon in the so often turbulent world so many humans abuse and misunderstand.

    Frederick G. Rodgers

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