Discussion:
Richard K. Nelson, 77, in Nov. 2019, anthropologist
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l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 04:36:20 UTC
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https://www.asle.org/stay-informed/asle-news/in-memoriam-richard-k-nelson-1941-2019/

First half or so:

By Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, ISLE Editor

Richard K. Nelson, known to his many friends in community of environmental writers as “Nels,” died on November 4, 2019, having asked that he spend his final minutes, after being taken off of life support, listening to the recorded sound of ravens. For those familiar with Nels’s life and work, such a request was fully in keeping with his tremendous passion for the natural world, especially for animals, and most especially for ravens and other animals he knew well from many decades of living in Sitka, Alaska. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 1, 1941, Nels earned his B.S. and M.S. in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nels first began to live among the Eskimo hunting communities in Alaska as a master’s student at Wisconsin in 1964, eventually producing the book Hunters of the Northern Ice (1969). He later published such works as Shadow of the Hunter: Stories of Eskimo Life (1980) and Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest (1983).

During the 1980s, Nels’s writing became increasingly literary, though it was always anchored in philosophical views he learned from his native teachers in Alaska, particularly the Koyukon people. I first became familiar with his work from the stunning essay titled “The Gifts,” which appeared in the Autumn 1986 issue of Antaeus, a volume that helped to inspire the nascent field of nature writing studies and contributed directly to the eventual founding of ASLE in 1992. “The Gifts,” which appeared again three years later as the chapter “The Gifts of Deer” in The Island Within (1989—winner of the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding natural history writing in 1991), is an essay about hunting, but it also reveals the author’s profound affinity for deer and his respect for their gifts on many other levels. After taking a deer, he writes beautifully of the “incompatible emotions” he feels: “It’s always this way: the sudden encounter with death, the shock that overrides the cushioning of the intellect. I force away the sadness and remember that death is the spark that keeps life itself aflame: these deer we eat from, and the fish, and the plants that die to feed us” (263). In a strange way, the news of the author’s own death comes as a shock to many of us who knew and loved him. He was a supremely energetic and joyful person, always punctuating his eloquent readings and lectures with tongue-twisting phrases in Koyukon and bursts of laughter...



WRITINGS:

Alaskan Eskimo Exploitation of the Sea Ice Environment, Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory, U.S. Air Force, 1966.
Hunters of the Northern Ice, University of Chicago Press, 1969.
Hunters of the Northern Forest, University of Chicago Press, 1973.
(Coauthor) Kuuvangmiit: Contemporary Subsistence Living in the Latter Twentieth Century, National Park Service, 1977.
(Coauthor) Tracks in the Wildland: A Portrayal of Koyukon and Nunamiut Subsistence, National Park Service, 1978.
Shadow of the Hunter: Stories of Eskimo Life, University of Chicago Press, 1980.
Harvest of the Sea: Coastal Subsistence in Modern Wainwright, North Slope Borough (Barrow, Alaska), 1982.
Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest, University of Chicago Press, 1983.
The Athapaskans: People of the Boreal Forest, University of Alaska Museum (Fairbanks), 1983.
(Coauthor) Interior Alaska: A Journey through Time, Alaska Northwest Publishing, 1986.
The Island Within, North Point Press, 1989.
Heart and Blood: Living with Deer in American, Knopf, 1997.



Lenona.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 04:41:54 UTC
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His most popular book seems to be "The Island Within."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nelson_(author)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/77789.Richard_K_Nelson
(reader reviews)

https://sitkasentinel.com/7/2012-05-10-22-08-43/obituaries/15683-richard-k-nelson-dies-led-life-full-of-nature
(another obit, with photos)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 04:45:43 UTC
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https://www.adn.com/opinions/2019/11/06/richard-nelson-elevated-alaska-with-love-and-respect/


Excerpt:

...Half wise elder and half wondrous child, Nels had little attraction to money and an infinite fascination with – and deep regard for – the natural world. He slept hundreds (if not thousands) of nights on the ground and greeted each new day as a gift. He was funny, compassionate, scholarly, culturally sensitive, deeply loved and widely admired.

Annie Dillard once said she didn’t care much for nature writing, but that she’d “crawl through broken glass” to read Nelson, a former Alaska state writer laureate, winner of the John Burroughs Medal and a Lannan Literary Award, among other prizes. He received the 2019 Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist Award.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, he first came to Alaska in the early 1960s. He lived the winter of 1964-65 in Wainwright, and apprenticed himself to the Inupiat Eskimos there, learning their language and ways; how to mush dogs and how to hunt caribou and seal. He kept meticulous notes and sent home a steady stream of letters and tape recordings. From those emerged his first book, “Hunters of the Northern Ice,” published by the prestigious University of Chicago Press when Nels was only 27....
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 04:52:31 UTC
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Forgot to say that last one included a photo of Nelson with a polar bear!

https://www.rasmuson.org/news/remembering-richard-nelson-author-soundscape-artist-cultural-anthropologist/
(another remembrance)

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/a/richard-k-nelson/hunters-of-the-northern-ice/
(Kirkus review)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 04:57:41 UTC
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https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/11/05/richard-nelson-sitka-based-writer-and-encounters-radio-host-has-died/
(another obit)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 05:00:21 UTC
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https://www.sitkawild.org/richard_nelson_memorial_cruise
(postponed memorial cruise)

https://richardnelson.eventcreate.com
(postponed celebration, with hikes)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 05:04:04 UTC
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He died in San Francisco.

https://www.kcaw.org/2019/11/05/richard-nelson-writer-who-shared-sounds-of-the-wilderness-has-died-at-77/
(another obit, with a short audio recording of Nelson)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 05:07:05 UTC
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https://www.kcaw.org/2019/05/16/author-radio-host-honored-as-alaskas-distinguished-artist-for-2019/
(long article from a year ago, in part about an honor he received)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 05:14:27 UTC
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(short video, narrated by Nelson)


(almost 18 minutes long- "Salmon-The Miracle")
l***@yahoo.com
2020-05-11 05:16:11 UTC
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(trailer on Alaska, almost 3 minutes)



Lenona.

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