re Annie Dillard (4)

Annie Dillard:
Writer and poet Annie Dillard was born in 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Hollins College in Virginia, and in addition to authoring several books, has been a columnist for the Wilderness Society; has had her work appear in many magazines including The Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and Cosmopolitan; has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; and has received various awards including the Washington Governor's Award, the Connecticut Governor's Award, and the New York Press Club Award.
"I am no scientist," she says of herself.  "I am a wanderer with a background in theology and a penchant for quirky facts."  She adds, "As a thinker I keep discovering that beauty itself is as much a fact, and amystery...I consider nature's facts -- its beautiful and grotesque forms and events -- in terms of the import to thought and their impetus to the spirit.  In nature I find grace tangled in a rapture with violence; I find an intricate landscape whose forms are fringed in death; I find mystery, newness, and a kind of exuberant, spendthrift energy."

Environmentalists have compared Dillard to Thoreau, Dickinson, and Emerson.  Edward Abbey wrote this about Teaching a Stone to Talk: "This little book is haloed and informed throughout by Dillard's distinctive passion and intensity, a sort of intellectual radiance that reminds me of both Thoreau and Emily Dickinson."  Loren Eiseley, reviewing Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, says this about her: "She loves the country below. 
Like Emerson, she sees the virulence in nature as well as the beauty that entrances her.  Annie Dillard is a poet."