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Creative Nonfiction #61 // Fall 2016
"Learning from Nature"

Finding inspiration in the world around us.


In this issue, we seek inspiration from the natural world. Deer antlers help surgeons build better prostheses, and scientists studying hibernation in arctic ground squirrels find a possible key to understanding Alzheimer’s disease. Biomimicry visionary Janine Benyus fights to restore natural balance on a parcel of land in Montana, and in Oregon, naturalists grapple with the ethics of killing one species of owl to protect another owl’s habitat.

Plus, how essay structures work on the human brain; 50 years of women writers exploring wilderness; hermit-crab essays; Thoreau’s remarkably elaborate journaling process; tiny truths; and more.

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Wendy Bone // Suzanne Cope // Jonita Davis // Evan Edwards // Adelheid Fisher // Debra Gwartney // Dave Madden // Catherine Musemeche // Mary Heather Noble // Yelizaveta Renfro // 
Thérèse d'Auria Ryley // Jim Schneider // Vivian Wagner


Quotes from the issue

Writers, in a way, look at their essays and articles from a designer’s or architect’s perspective. They first sit at their keyboards or yellow pads, following their research and their notes and their creative intuition, but then they write and revise, and then finally edit.
-Lee Gutkind

Like the scientist scrutinizing a slice of squirrel brain through a microscope, what I perceive is but a thin shaving of the unknowable whole.
-Yelizaveta Renfro

If I was waiting for some message about the nobility of endurance, the essential nature of hope, this bird was not about to deliver it to me.
-Debra Gwartney

If there’s anything we have learned from nature, it’s that we are both the owl and the clear-cut forest, the dinosaur and the asteroid.
-Mary Heather Noble