David Gessner

David Gessner is the author of thirteen books that blend a love of nature, humor, memoir, and environmentalism, including the New York Times bestselling All the Wild That RemainsReturn of the OspreySick of Nature and Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness. He has published essays in many magazines, including Outside Magazine and the New York Times Magazine, and has won the John Burroughs Award for best nature essay, a Pushcart Prize, inclusion in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011–2012. At UNCW Gessner founded the department’s award-winning literary journal, Ecotone. And in January 2016 he served as the host of the National Geographic Explorer television show, Call of the Wild, which explored how our constant use of screens is damaging our brains and how nature can be restorative. Find him online at davidgessner.net.

A Hard Patience

“Pick an animal. Any animal.” The words came, not from a magician, but from Linda Hogan, a Native American writer of the Chickasaw Nation, who was my teacher in a creative writing class at the University of Colorado.

The Dead Writers’ Society (Transcription)

Page 1 Title: The Dead Writers’ Society Below, author and illustrator David Gessner writes in parentheses: “Trigger Warning: Morbidity Ahead.” In small font he adds, “One day I hope to join.” Below the title, an illustration shows five men.…

Oceans Away

The dolphins cut back and forth in front of our bow, rolling and jumping and twisting. They spotted our boat and began to chase it as we chased false albacore. . . .

Safe Places

My younger brother doesn’t recognize me when I walk into the Staples where he works in Hyannis on Cape Cod. “Can I help you?” he asks as I stand in front of his register. I just stare at him for a second. “My name is David Gessner,” I say, hoping this will clear things up. “Oh my God, you look so old,” he says.

Losing Everything

It is a writer’s worst nightmare. True, it is a human nightmare as well, but it resonates especially with those scribblers of words, keepers of journals, and hoarders of paper who call themselves writers.

Walden, and Beyond

This pandemic summer of 2020, while trying to know my backyard better, I began to write a book about a man who spent his life getting to know his backyard.