Author to read from new book at Fayetteville Library on Sunday, March 26.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Ozark Society has selected Letters to Dan: A Philosophical Guide to the Ozarks by Fayetteville, Arkansas-based writer, and photographer Don House as the recipient of the Sassafras Award for Excellence in Environmental Writing. The award was established to encourage innovative writing and new perspectives on conservation by empowering new voices and expressions of contemporary experiences with the natural world we inhabit. The award includes a $3,000 prize and the publication of the new book.
A public reception, author reading, and book signing will be conducted on Sunday, March 26 from 2:00–4:00 p.m. at the Fayetteville Public Library, 401 W. Mountain Street.
Letters To Dan: A Philosophical Guide to the Ozarks is a collection of essays and photos that reflect the Ozark region’s heritage and modern culture. The book describes the region’s rivers, hills, forests and vibrant wildflowers. In personal essays and photographs, House describes old cemeteries, abandoned buildings and highway memorial crosses. He introduces us to a neighbor skilled at dowsing, to local cafe owners and river guides. The essays express a love of the region’s heritage and its modern culture by creating a sense of place and showing us how to live in harmony with the natural world.
Finalist judge for the award, Davis McCombs, called Letters to Dan “a rare and remarkable book.” McCombs, director of the program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas and a former park ranger at Mammoth Cave National Park, described Letters to Dan:
“Like the lens of the author’s camera, the writing throughout this extraordinary book is trained unwaveringly and lovingly on the hills, rivers, cemeteries, old churches, small-town diners, people, plants and animals of the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Each essay—in its understated, eloquent way—speaks to the wonder and complexity of the natural world and to the interconnectedness of all life. The authenticity and urgency of this message is woven deep into the fibers of the writing. Behind each word lies the authority of a lifetime of observation and insight.”
The Ozark Society established the Sassafras Award to encourage innovative writing and new perspectives of nature and conservation as well as new voices and the expression of contemporary environmental experiences. House’s book is the first to receive the prize. The book is available to the public through The Ozark Society, the University of Arkansas Press, and other booksellers.
More information on the Sassafras Award and the Ozark Society is available at www.ozarksociety.net.