The John Burroughs Association is pleased to announce the 2014 winner of the John Burroughs Medal is Kathleen Jamie for her book Sightlinespublished by The Experiment, New York, 2013.

Kathleen Jamie has been a longtime friend of the Centre for Medical Humanities, and we were delighted to support the publication of her most recent book Frissure with Brigid Collins.

The award will be presented on Monday, April 7, at the Annual Literary Awards ceremony of the John Burroughs Association during a celebratory luncheon at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Sightlines offers a landmark work about the natural world and our relationship to it.  Jamie explores her native Scottish surroundings, intermingling personal history with observations of the landscape. Her travels lead her to study whale bones in Norwegian museums, explore remote Scottish islands, and watch icebergs in the Arctic. Sightlines invites us to take a moment to pause and reconsider what nature gives us.

Jamie is the author of four books of poetry and three nonfiction titles, including Sightlines. In 2012 she won the Costa Book Award for Poetry and is one of the United Kingdom’s foremost poets. Jamie is the Chair of Poetry at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and lives with her family in Fife, Scotland.

The John Burroughs Medal was created in 1926 to recognize the best in nature writing and to honor the literary legacy of John Burroughs, who is credited with creating the modern nature essay. The Medal has been given annually to a distinguished book of nature writing that combines scientific accuracy, firsthand fieldwork, and excellent natural history writing.

Past Burroughs Medalists include Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Joseph Wood Krutch, Loren Eiseley, Paul Brooks, Roger Tory Peterson, John Hay, Peter Matthiessen, John McPhee, Ann Zwinger, Barry Lopez, Gary Nabhan, Robert Michael Pyle, Richard Nelson, Carl Safina, Jan DeBlieu, Ted Levin, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Julia Whitty, Franklin Burroughs, Michael Welland, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, Edward Hoagland, and Thor Hanson.

Jamie is lauded by the selection committee as one of our strongest recent winners for her excellence in the tradition of natural history writing. She resists the conventional poetics of nature writing, and is at the same time a powerfully lyrical writer. A member of the committee said of her work “I am so taken by the beauty of Kathleen Jamie’s writing, and the compassion and sophistication of her thought process…. In asking about little things she finds big things.”

“This intelligent collection of 14 essays, informed by science and myth, heightened attention, and cultural dreams, is written with Scots brogue, language, and attitude that will give American readers a fresh view of nature.” Publishers Weekly

We invite you to join us celebrate Sightlines and meet Kathleen Jamie on April 7at the American Museum of Natural History. Attendees will receive a copy of Sightlines. For more information and reservations visit our web site.


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