The John Burroughs Association has announced that Portland Magazine editor and novelist Brian Doyle has been selected as the winner of the 2017 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing for his book, Martin Marten, published by Macmillan Publishers in 2015. The John Burroughs Medal will be presented, and the finalists recognized, on April 3 at the Annual Literary Awards ceremony of the John Burroughs Association during a luncheon at the Yale Club of New York City. John Burroughs (1837-1921) was one of the most popular authors of his day and is credited with creating the modern nature essay; formed shortly after his death, the John Burroughs Society recognizes excellence in nature writing through its Literary Awards program. The organization enriches lives through nature by celebrating the legacy, writing, and natural world of one of the great American nature writers.
Doyle’s Martin Marten, only the second work of fiction to be awarded the Medal in its 90-year history, is an engaging novel about the relationship between a boy and a pine marten, the home they share in the forest near Mt. Hood, Oregon, and the other lives going on around them, human and other. The judges felt the way he combined an acute sense of human behavior with a wild natural setting and the life of a native denizen of the forest showed uncommon breadth, depth, and originality of insight.
Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine and is well known to contemporary readers of environmental literature. His essays have appeared in Orion, The Atlantic Monthly, American Scholar, The New York Times, and other periodicals around the world, and have been reprinted in the annual anthologies Best American Essays, Best American Science and Nature Writing, and Best American Spiritual Writing. He has also edited several anthologies. His many books include the critically acclaimed Mink River, The Plover, and Children and other Wild Animals. His awards include the John Burroughs Nature Essay Award, 2000, Oregon Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2008. He will also be presented with an honorary doctorate at the University’s commencement on May 7.
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