Sigurd Olsen Writing Awards
This year we have had the distinct honor and pleasure of serving on the juries which determined the winning books in both the adult and children’s categories. The winners have just been announced. In the adult category, the prize goes to Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Dr. Kimmerer has her PhD in plant ecology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is currently Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY. She beautifully blends the indigenous wisdom of her Native American roots with the rigor of her scientific knowledge to create a work of rare grace and inspiration. Braiding Sweetgrass weaves its way toward her central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.
The children’s award goes to A Place for Turtles written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Higgins Bond. This book simply and beautifully introduces young readers to ways human action or inaction can have a direct impact on the creatures that share our world, and opens children’s minds to a wide range of interrelated ecological issues.