The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World

The Colors of Nature, edited by Lauret Savoy


Milkweed Editions

Learn more about The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, expanded and revised in 2011) by following a link below or scrolling down for all information:


Book Overview

The provocative essays in The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World, which Lauret co-edited with poet and essayist Alison Hawthorne Deming, explore the intersections of cultural identity and ecological awareness. The book features original work from more than thirty contributors of color, including Jamaica Kincaid, Joseph Bruchac, Yusef Komunyakaa, Nikky Finney, Kimiko Hahn, Robin Wall Kimmerer, bell hooks, Gary Nabhan, and Francisco X. Alarcón, among others.


Praise for The Colors of Nature

The Colors of Nature taps into the prose of writers of color in the largely white world of nature writing.”
Publishers Weekly

“An illuminating read for anyone interested in the future of American nature and environmental journalism.”
Bloomsbury Review

Oliver de la Paz,, “Redefining Terms, Reclaiming Place”

Gabrielle David, phati’tude Literary Magazine Vol. 2, No. 3

Booklist, (Donna Seaman), 9/15/2002, v. 99, n. 2, p. 187: “Our perception of nature is a cultural construct formed in part by nature writing, which has long been dominated by Euro-American voices. The exclusion of writings by people of color about place, nature’s wonders, and our species’ uncanny ability to wreak havoc on the natural world has skewed and limited the genre, and cheated society out of a fuller understanding of the connection between social injustice and environmental destruction. Coeditors Deming, a poet and nature writer, and Savoy, a geologist, begin to remedy this omission with their unprecedented and invaluable collection of forthright and bracing essays by writers of ‘diverse cultural origins and disciplinary backgrounds.’ Jamaica Kincaid and Francisco X. Alarcon write about nature and imperialism in the ‘New’ World. American Indian writer Joseph Bruchac writes about owls, turkeys, turtles, and protecting his ancestors’ burial grounds from developers. Memories of her Kentucky hill childhood inspire bell hooks to portray nature-wise ‘country black folks,’ while poets and scientists ardently and knowledgeably discuss everything from parrots to ethnobotany, and environmental racism. A salient contribution to the increasingly important nature-writing canon.”

Southwest Research and Information Center, Frances Ortega

Saving the, “Recommended Books on Nature, Global Warming and the Environment


Teachers’ Guide to The Colors of Nature

The Teacher’s Guide offers class ideas, questions, prompts, and resources that teachers of literature, environmental studies, multicultural studies, or other pertinent fields can use. Lauret’s hope is that classroom groups will use the guide as a place to keep the conversation begun in the book dynamic over time.

  • Write to Lauret at for a digital copy of the Teacher’s Guide


Contact Lauret for more information.