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 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.
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.
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 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!
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.”
“A Gathering of Elk” in City Creatures reflects on what it means to direct the destiny of animals, sparked by a surreal experience with a herd of elk in gated community.
“A Riffle in Time” in City Creatures describes how the places of our childhoods imprint us, long after they’ve changed or vanished.
I’ll be speaking about the Apollo era in Phoenix and Tucson this July, to celebrate its 50th anniversary! Stay tuned for details.
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).
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).
“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