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Diane Ackerman

Diane Ackerman was born in Waukegan, Illinois. She received an M.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Her works of nonfiction include, most recently, AN ALCHEMY OF MIND, a poetics of the brain based on the latest neuroscience; CULTIVATING DELIGHT: A NATURAL HISTORY OF MY GARDEN; DEEP PLAY, which considers play, creativity, and our need for transcendence;A SLENDER THREAD, about her work as a crisisline counselor; THE RAREST OF THE RARE and THE MOON BY WHALE LIGHT, in which she explores the plight and fascination of endangered animals;A NATURAL HISTORY OF LOVE; ON EXTENDED WINGS, her memoir of flying; and the bestseller A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES.

Her poetry has been published in leading literary journals, and in the books ORIGAMI BRIDGES: POEMS OF PSYCHOANALYSIS AND FIRE; I PRAISE MY DESTROYER; JAGUAR OF SWEET LAUGHTER: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS; LADY FASUTUS; REVERSE THUNDER: A Dramatic Poem;WIFE OF LIGHT; THE PLANETS: A COSMIC PASTORAL. She also writes nature books for children: ANIMAL SENSE; MONK SEAL HIDEAWAY; and BATS: SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT. She is co-editor (with Jeanne Mackin) of a Norton anthology, THE BOOK OF LOVE.

Ms. Ackerman has received many prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Burroughs Nature Award, and the Lavan Poetry Prize, as well as being honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her --dianeackerone. She has taught at a variety of universities, including Columbia, the University of Richmond, and Cornell. Her essays about nature and human nature have appeared in The New York Times, Parade, The New Yorker, National Geographic, and many other journals, where they have been the subject of much praise. She hosted a five-hour PBS television series inspired by A Natural History of the Senses.

AN ALCHEMY OF MIND, Scribner, 2004; paperback October 2005
ANIMAL SENSE, illus. by Peter Sis, (children’s poetry), Random House, 2003
ORIGAMI BRIDGES: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire (poetry), HarperCollins, 2002
CULTIVATING DELIGHT:A Natural History of My Garden (nonfiction), HarperCollins, 2001
DEEP PLAY (nonfiction), Random House, 1999
I PRAISE MY DESTROYER (poetry), Random House, 1998
THE BOOK OF LOVE (anthology), ed. with Jeanne Mackin, Norton, 1998
A SLENDER THREAD (nonfiction), Random House, 1997
BATS: SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT (children’s nonfiction), photogs by Merlin Tuttle, Crown, 1997
THE RAREST OF THE RARE (nonfiction), Random House, 1995
MONK SEAL HIDEAWAY (children’s nonfiction), photogs by William Curtsinger, Crown, 1995
A NATURAL HISTORY OF LOVE (nonfiction), Random House, 1994
A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES (nonfiction), Random House, 1990
THE MOON BY WHALE LIGHT, (nonfiction), Random House, 1991
REVERSE THUNDER (dramatic poem), Lumen Books, New York, 1988
ON EXTENDED WINGS (nonfiction), Atheneum, New York, 1985
LADY FAUSTUS (poems), William Morrow, New York, 1983
WIFE OF LIGHT (poems), William Morrow, New York, 1978
TWILIGHT OF THE TENDERFOOT (nonfiction), Morrow, New York, 1980
reissued by Fulcrum, 2002
THE PLANETS: A COSMIC PASTORAL (poems), William Morrow, 1976

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