The Southern Environmental Law Center announced today the winners of the 2018 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards.
J. Drew Lanham, an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, was selected the winner of the 2018 Reed Award for literary nonfiction for The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature. By turns wise, funny, heartbreaking, and beautiful, The Home Place is a groundbreaking meditation on family, race, and the American landscape. Lanham’s essay, “The Lay of the Land” is a good introduction to his work and the themes that run through the chapters of The Home Place.
Ken Fine and Erica Hellerstein’s piece “Hogwashed” was selected for this year’s environmental journalism award. The three-part investigation is an in-depth look at the impact of industrial hog operations on the communities of eastern North Carolina. Fine and Hellerstein’s series, published in the North Carolina Triangle area's Indy Week, is a portrait of the environmental and social costs of “Big Pork” and its reckless mishandling of millions of tons of toxic hog waste.
This year’s Reed Awards will be presented during the Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 24th, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at Meade Hall, Christ Episcopal Church, 120 High Street, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The award event includes J. Drew Lanham’s keynote address, a talk by Ken Fine and Erica Hellerstein on the evolution of “Hogwashed,” and a conversation between the award-winners on the power of words to enhance public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the South’s natural heritage.
Selected by a distinguished panel of judges, the Reed Awards celebrate outstanding writing on the southern environment in honor of the late Phillip D. Reed, an eminent attorney, committed environmental activist, and a founding trustee of SELC.
This year’s winners join an exceptional group of writers recognized by the Reed Awards, including E.O. Wilson, the “father of biodiversity” and a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner; veteran environmental journalists Charles Seabrook, a longtime contributor to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ben Raines, an award-winning reporter on the Gulf Coast; and science writer Deborah Cramer, a visiting scholar at M.I.T. whose books on the sea have won awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Academy of Sciences.