"If you read only one book about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill this year, it should be this one. If you plan not to read any books about it, make an exception for this blunt, funny, eye-opening quest to find the real stories behind the Gulf crisis."
—Shelf Awareness

For those interested in putting the Gulf crisis in perspective, there can be no better guide than this funny, often uncertain, frank, opinionated, always curious, informed and awestruck accounting of how we’ve gone wrong and could go right, a full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and human ignorance. --Atlanta Journal Constitution

“[The Tarball Chronicles] offers compelling images and vivid descriptions of the Gulf. Anyone who wanted a first-hand look at the Gulf after the news cycle ended will find it here, but this brilliant, thoughtful book will leave them disquieted.”
—Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

“Expressive and adventurous. A profoundly personal inquiry into the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe unique in its hands-on immediacy and far-ranging ruminations.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist

"For nature writing enthusiasts, Gessner needs no introduction. His books and essays have in many ways redefined what it means to write about the natural world, coaxing the genre from a staid, sometimes wonky practice to one that is lively and often raucous." The Washington Post on My Green Manifesto

This summer Milkweed Editions will publish my next two books. First up, in July, is My Green Manifesto, which melds a trip down the Charles River with my cry for a new, wilder (and funnier) environmentalism.

In September, Milkweed will launch The Tarball Chronicles, which follows my journey through the oily Gulf during the height of the Deepwater Spill last summer. The book was built, in part out of my Gulf blogs,which have been compiled by Onearth Magazine here.

Come join Bill Roorbach and me for a drink at: Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour.

Meanwhile, Poets & Writers magazine just chose UNCW as the second best nonfiction program in the country. Which aint bad.

Magazine Work:

In August OnEarth published my thoughts on birds and the Gulf Oil Spill as Nature and Adaptation.

My Green Manifesto focuses on my trip down the Charles River with eco-planner Dan Driscoll, who helped green the river. To read "Riding the Wild Charles," published in OnEarth magazine, click here.

My essay on the competing demands of writing and teaching, "Those Who Write, Teach," appeared in The New York Times Magazine. (To see more on my pedagogical split personality, watch my video The Professor Transforms.)

Soaring with Fidel is out in paperback.

My essay "The Dreamer Did Not Exist," which originally appeared in The Oxford American, has been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008.

Listen to my essay on wildness for This I Believe on NPR's All Things Considered. The essay will be published as part of the next This I Believe collection this fall.

The essay, "Learning to Surf," originally published in Orion, won the 2006 John Burroughs Award for Best Essay.

The Tarball Chronicles is the winner of 2012 Reed Award for best book on the southern environment and now is the winner of the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment's Best Book of Creative Writing for the years 2011-2012.

The ASLE judges write: "David Gessner's The Tarball Chronicles takes the lyrical tradition of nature writing, adds a bit of a badass persona reminiscent of Edward Abbey, and brings both into the blighted Gulf of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Along the way, Gessner cultivates relationships that allow people across cultural, geographic, and political gaps to recognize their common interest in saving what is left in the world. Gessner doesn't hide from the damage, even as he asserts that there is a profound beauty still in nature, and that, if the future may not offer much hope, there's still, as Thoreau might say, a world out there to be lived in. And good lives--both human and not--still being led. This book is edgy, dynamic, darkly humorous, and engaging, with lyrical fireworks, evocatively rendered landscapes, and unflinching but sensitive portrayals of people, places and the damage done, and Gessner's own distinctive and convincing voice rings out from the center of the action."

"A full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and human ignorance."
Atlanta Journal Constitution on The Tarball Chronicles

Watch "Transformation," my new YouTube Movie

And: Skiing the Beach

David Gessner is the author of eight books, including Sick of Nature, The Prophet of Dry Hill, and Return of the Osprey, which was chosen by the Boston Globe as one of the top ten nonfiction books of the year and the Book-of-the-Month club as one of its top books of the year. The Globe called it a "classic of American Nature Writing." In 2006 he won a Pushcart Prize; in 2007 he won the John Burroughs Award for Best Natural History Essay; and in 2008 his essay, "The Dreamer Does Not exist," was chosen for The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His work has appeared in many magazines and journals including The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, Outside, The Georgia Review, The Harvard Review, and Orion. He has taught environmental writing at Harvard, and is currently an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the national literary journal, Ecotone.

This summer he has two books coming out: My Green Manifesto in July and The Tarball Chronicles in September, both from Milkweed. Together they both describe and embody a new way of writing about nature and place, full of humor and strangeness, stripped of the old pastoral cliches, and focused on a more "limited" nature, the only nature left to most of us. This nature may involve kayaking up to have dinner and drinks at the Irish Ale House in Boston or may involve watching birds near Haliburton Road in southern Lousiana during the height of the BP oil spill. But while the nature may be less pure, it is still full of wildness and joy.

My Books

My Descent into the Oily Gulf. Coming Next September.
Down the Charles River in Pursuit of a New Environmentalism
My story of following the osprey migration from Cape Cod to Cuba and Venezuela and back
"This book is an enormous gift, an act of preservation as important as any chunk of land purchased by The Nature Conservancy. John Hay's stature cannot be overestimated, and David Gessner has done him great justice."—Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home: A Long Walk Through America’s Most Hopeful Landscape
“A classic of American nature writing.”
--The Boston Globe
"Not since the diatribes from Edward Abbey has anyone in this field come out and made such a sacrilege of our holy texts."
--John Hanson Mitchell
“A highly readable, disarmingly self-conscious meditation on nature, ancestry, and mortality."
The Boston Globe
"Gessner's essays are on fire. He shows us that we can have delightful, imaginative and creative lives by becoming more rooted and connected to the place where we are...Wise and enlivening, provoking us into a higher understanding of both nature and ourselves."
--Rocky Mountain News

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