David Gessner (pictured at right with a bottle of Pennsylvania's oldest beer), an award winning nature writer best known for his edgy and humorous style and interest in ospreys and Ultimate Frisbee, will read from his work in the Foster Auditorium in the Paterno Library on the campus of Penn State, University Park, at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 20. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Gessner’s most acclaimed work is the book Return of the Osprey (2001) and a sequel about following osprey migration to Cuba and South America, Soaring with Fidel (2007). His work is also closely associated with Cape Cod, including a memoir of his father’s death from cancer, A Wild, Rank Place (1997) and his account of his experiences with the Cape Cod naturalist and writer, John Hay, The Prophet of Dry Hill (2005). Gessner has also published an account of his experiences as a student writer in Boulder, Colorado, in Under the Devil’s Thumb (1999), and a collection of essays, Sick of Nature (2004), in which he tangles with such topics as the influence of Thoreau on his writing and thinking; his relationship with his teacher, the literary biographer Walter Jackson Bate; and his long quest to win an Ultimate Frisbee national championship. Gessner’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Orion, OnEarth, The New York Times Magazine and American Scholar. His essay about pelicans, “Learning to Surf,” won a John Burroughs Award in 2007 for the best natural history essay of the year. One Orion reviewer characterized Gessner’s writing as “Comical, energetic, and reverentially irreverent.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution called The Tarball Chronicles “a a full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and ignorance,” and Publisher’s Weekly dubbed it “Brilliant.”
Get a sense of his style here. You won't be disappointed.