2023 Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency

Jenna Butler in a puffy black coat in the forest

We’re excited to announce that Oregon Wild and the Spring Creek Project have awarded Jenna Butler the 2023 Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency on the theme of Oregon's Climate Forests. 

Jenna Butler (she/her) is an award-winning BIPOC writer, teacher, and editor. She is the author of six books of poetry and essays about the land, particularly the northern boreal forest of Treaty 6 territory in Alberta, Canada, where she lives and farms off the grid. Her latest books include A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail, winner of the Canadian Authors' Association Exporting Alberta Award, and Revery: A Year of Bees, a finalist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and longlisted title for CBC Canada Reads 2023. Jenna's land-based research has taken her around the globe, from Ireland's Ring of Kerry to Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean aboard an ice-class sailing ship, chronicling our stories of the places we call home.

During her year-long fellowship, Jenna's writing project will seek to draw together diverse communities living and working in Oregon's climate forests and link them with communities living and working in Alberta's boreal forests, providing opportunities for the people from each of these incredible ecosystems to share their stories of place and of the climate crisis. Oregon's climate forests and pockets of Alberta's boreal forest act as refugia for diverse species during this time of accelerated climate change; however, these areas are not entirely immune to change (as we have seen lately with the advent of catastrophic fires throughout the northern boreal). As we live with, observe, and adapt to climatic shifts in these forest ecosystems, we also acknowledge a growing need to share our lived experiences and our research with the larger world. Jenna's writing and storytelling project holds connective space for these communities by weaving together narratives of these magnificent forests and providing opportunities for communities to hear and connect with one another across borders.

We are delighted to note the overwhelming interest in this opportunity with the Spring Creek Project. Seeing so many individuals inspired to write and work on behalf of Oregon's forests is heartening. We express our gratitude to Luhui Whitebear, A.E. Copenhaver, and Chandra LeGue, Oregon Wild's Senior Conservation Advocate, for their valuable contributions as members of the review committee for this fellowship.

And, of course, we send big congratulations to Jenna! We look forward to supporting your research and storytelling in the year ahead!