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University of Iowa News Release


July 27, 2007

UI Press Reintroduces Nature Writing Of John Hay For A New Generation

The University of Iowa Press will republish John Hay's "In Defense of Nature," a classic of American nature writing first published in 1969, making the work of one of the country's greatest nature writers available to a new generation of readers.

The book, which will become available on Aug. 20, is available directly from the UI Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at In the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, contact Eurospan by phone, +44 (0) 1767 604972, by fax +44 (0) 1767 601640, or online at

Wendell Berry has called John Hay a "carrier of light and wisdom." "In Defense of Nature" eerily presages the tenuous state of our environment and the fragility of our place in it. "What we call natural resources cannot be limited to gas, oil, pulpwood, or uranium," he wrote. "We are starving the natural resources in ourselves. The soul needs to stretch; being needs to exercise."

Hay is the author of more than 15 books, including "The Great Beach," which won the John Burroughs Medal in 1964. He is a former professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.

"In Defense of Nature" is part of the UI Press Sightline Book series, edited by Patricia Hampl and Carl H. Klaus. Titles in this nonfiction series range from cultural commentary, nature writing and historical inquiry to meditation, memoir and the personal essay. In Klaus's words, "Sightline Books is a series of works that embody the richly varied knowledge, artfully crafted prose, and compelling authorial presence that characterize the most engaging contemporary nonfiction."

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