Beyond the Oiled Pelican

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), publisher of ISLE and host of a biennial conference for writers, publishers, and educators, recently gave its annual book award to Orion friend and contributor David Gessner.

David received the award for The Tarball Chronicles: A Journey Beyond the Oiled Pelican and Into the Heart of the Gulf Oil Spill, published in 2011 by Milkweed Editions. The book, which explores the myriad impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities, also frames a discussion of the meaning of man-made disasters in terms of our relationship with the natural world.

“This is a book about connections,” David says, “and never have we needed to make connections like we do right now.”

He couldn’t make it to this year’s conference, but another Orion author, Michael P. Branch, read David’s acceptance speech aloud.