The 2017 Wilderness Writing Award goes to American Gretel Ehrlich who has had some incredible life experiences, including being struck by lightening, that she wrote about in A Match to the Heart. She has written about her travels and experiences and is passionately supportive of the environment. The Wilderness Writing Award is bestowed every two years to a living writer for a Lifetime Achievement of work that is meaningful and about wild nature, the environment, or the land. The award is co-sponsored by The Wild Foundation, Fulcrum Publishing, and the International League of Conservation Writers.
Ehrlich was born on a horse ranch in California and was educated at Bennington College (Vermont) and the UCLA film school (California). She began writing fulltime in 1978. Annie Dillard who praised Ehrlich’s 1985 book, The Solace of Open, said: “Wyoming has found its Whitman.” Ehrlich has written several other books including Heart Mountain; Islands, the Universe, and Home; Yellowstone: Land of Fire and Ice; John Muir, Nature’s Visionary; In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape; and Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami. Ehrlich has also written essays, short stories, and poems. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, the Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Life, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, and Audubon, among others.