Kingsolver to receive LEAF Award

Author Barbara Kingsolver, who spoke at Duke’s commencement in 2008, will receive the Nicholas School’s 2011 LEAF Award in April.
Author Barbara Kingsolver, who spoke at Duke’s commencement in 2008, will receive the Nicholas School’s 2011 LEAF Award in April.

American author Barbara Kingsolver was announced as the 2011 recipient of the Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts in a Nicholas School of the Environment news release yesterday.

Kingsolver has authored seven books, including bestsellers such as “The Lacuna,” “Animal Dreams” and “The Poisonwood Bible.” She is also known for her poetry, essays and creative non-fiction works.

“Barbara Kingsolver’s work occupies a unique and important place in the world of literature,” said Nicholas School Dean Bill Chameides in the release. “Her ability to interweave themes of human struggle and the search for meaning with the larger, timeless drama of life and death in the natural world, remind us that we are but one facet of a complex, and extraordinary planetary system, a system whose trajectory will ultimately determine our own fate and thus one which we must value and steward.”

Chameides noted that the executive committee of the school’s Board of Visitors ultimately chose Kingsolver as the LEAF Award recipient because of the environmental themes in many of her non-fiction contributions and her long-standing advocacy for environmental issues.

Kingsolver grew up in rural Kentucky, later studying biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona. She has been working as a freelance writer and author for more than 25 years.

In 1998, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize for fiction and in 2000, was the awarded the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for service through the arts. Kingsolver’s books have also been widely circulated—her works have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have been frequently used in core high school literature curriculums.

Her accomplishments include being named one of the most important writers of the 20th century by Writer’s Digest, winning multiple awards such as the Orange Prize for Fiction and the James Beard Award and being an Oprah Book Club selection.

Kingsolver also delivered the 2008 commencement address and was a keynote for the North Carolina Festival of the Book held at Duke in 2006.

An award ceremony for Kingsolver will be held April 9 in Griffith Film Theater at 2 p.m. and will include a reading from the LEAF Award winner as well.

The award—established in 2009—honors artists whose works have been inspiring forces towards more sustainable environmental practices.


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