W&L Visiting Professor Featured in Orion Magazine Leah Naomi Green’s essay titled “Mourning Songs Are Love Songs” was excerpted from the anthology “Solastalgia: An Anthology of Emotion in a Disappearing World.”
Leah Naomi Green, visiting assistant professor of English and environmental studies at Washington and Lee University, saw one of her essays recently featured in Orion Magazine, a nationally recognized publication about “Nature and Culture” known for publishing leading environmental writers.
Green’s essay “Mourning Songs Are Long Songs” was excerpted from the anthology “Solastalgia: An Anthology of Emotion in a Disappearing World” which was released in February 2023 from UVA Press. Solastalgia is a term that has been adopted by the environmental humanities to refer to the psychological effects of environmental destruction and climate change. Derived from “nostalgia,” it refers to “homesickness while still at home.” Green’s essay “delineates between death and destruction,” writes Orion, noting that Green “mourns disappearance even as she waits for regrowth.”
“It is a special joy to be published in Orion,” said Green. “Orion has been a crucial part of my own education since a college mentor subscribed me to the magazine as a graduation gift.” Green, whose poem “The Age of Gratitude” appeared in Orion’s 40th-anniversary issue, says “it is always astonishing,” and noted that there is nothing like “getting to see your own thoughts next to the work of your idols.” This spring, Green will also offer an online Orion Creative Writing Workshop for the magazine.
Green has been published and anthologized frequently over the years. She is the author of the book “The More Extravagant Feast,” which was selected by Li-Young Lee for the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and was hailed as one of the best books of 2020 by the Boston Globe. Recently, Green was also presented with a Treehouse Climate Action Poetry Prize and the 2021 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award. This spring, she was honored as the distinguished speaker at the Elizabeth Michael Boyle Poetry Celebration at Caldwell University.
A visiting member of the W&L faculty since 2009, Green earned a Master of Fine Arts in English from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Earlham College.
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