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Melissa L. Sevigny

Science Writer

Latest News

Under Desert Skies acknowledged in media surrounding Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, such as this post from the University of Arizona Special Collections and this video from Active Galactic’s YouTube channel

Under Desert Skies is listed on this summer reading challenge list

“A Gathering of Elk” is named on this list of Best Shortform Science Writing

My radio story “Can Beer Help Save the Verde River?” wins a regional Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing

Listen to me discuss science communication on a radio show, This Is The Colorado Plateau

Check out this excellent list of women writing the west from LitHub!

More news and reviews

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Latest Writing

Teaching to Protect the Hopi Language” aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Read my interview with Nicole Walker in Terrain.org about sustainability and the writing life.

Young Moons,” according to the editors of River Teeth‘s series Beautiful Things, “is a great reminder of the amazing women that have come before us.”

More writing

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Upcoming Events

Wednesday September 11 – Biennial Conference on the Colorado Plateau, speaking on a science communication panel with Nancy Baron (“Thinking Story Like a Journalist.”) Conference registration required.

Saturday September 14, 10am at Firecreek Coffee – Northern Arizona Book Festival – Editing the Environment Panel.

 

Thank you to the hosts of past readings & events: The Bluff Creek Arts Festival, Sky Island Alliance, Tucson Festival of Books, AWP 2016, Tohono Chul Park, UA Special Collections, Barefoot Cowgirl Books/Bright Side Books, NoAZ Book Festival, The Learning Curve,  Narrow Chimney Reading Series, Western National Parks Association, KAWC, Iowa State University and Ames Public Library, American Planning Association, Southwest Festival of the Written Word, One Book Yuma (hosted by Arizona Western College and Yuma Public Library), the Gila River Festival, St. Michael’s College (Vermont), the Flandrau Planetarium, and the Arizona Author Series hosted by the State of Arizona Research Library.

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New writing in Desert Leaf

Check out the March 2017 issue of Desert Leaf for my story on Messier Marathons. These all-night star parties honor 18th century astronomer Charles Messier, whose catalog includes 110 deep-sky objects, which you can see in a single night in March!

Mythical River recognized by John Burroughs Association

Mythical River was named a “Nature Book of Uncommon Merit” by the John Burroughs Association, which honors the best published nature writing. This year’s John Burroughs Medal went to Brian Doyle’s novel Martin Marten. Other medal finalists, in addition to Mythical River, were John Lane’s Coyote Settles the South, Nick Neely’s Coast Range, and J. Drew Lanham’s The Home Place. Learn more about the award.

2017 Artists Research and Development Grant

The Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded Melissa Sevigny a 2017 Artists Research and Development Grant, in addition to the Bill Desmond Writing Award, for a nonfiction book project. It explores what it means to make a home in a world defined and reshaped by catastrophic events. She will rely on interviews with scientists and local experts, as well as her own observations, to explore the science of planetary catastrophe and how it relates to our most intimate choices about home and family.

Mythical River named top Southwest Book of the Year

The Pima County Public Library named Mythical River as a top pick for the 2016 Southwest Books of the Year. Reviewer Vicki Ann Duraine wrote:

Imagine a world in which a river’s conservation was as important as the community it supports. With the insight of a hydrologist and the heart of a poet, Sevigny champions this ideal in her lyrical and exhaustively-researched science journal cum memoir, interweaving the centuries-old paradigm of unlimited natural resources with the facts as she knows them: the Southwest is running out of water and rain does not follow the plow.It is a call to arms: Mythical River may be the most important book you read all year.

Reviewer Bill Broyles said:

She’s balanced, funny, and perceptive… [and] brings a youthful exuberance to her alluring narrative.

Under Desert Skies was also nominated. Learn about all the titles chosen on the Pima County Public Library website or read the Arizona Daily Star’s article.

1st place award

My article A River’s Return, published in Edible Baja Arizona, wins first place for environmental/science writing from the Arizona Press Club! The article describes how the Colorado River’s experimental pulse flow restored water, and hope, to the Delta. (Photo courtesy of Seth Cothrun, with aerial support from LightHawk).

Advance Praise for Mythical River

Mythical River is an excellent read and an important contribution to the literature of the Southwest, especially that which focuses on water. The book’s scope moves from the micro to the human-scaled to the planetary, but it is all tied together to give a complete picture of the southwestern environment and the vital part water plays within it.”

—Christopher Cokinos, author, Bodies, of the Holocene

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