Jerry Dennis
Award-winning Nature Writer

Jerry Dennis has earned his living as a freelance writer for more than 25 years. His essays on nature, culture, and the outdoors have appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon, Orion, National Geographic Traveler, and nearly 200 other publications, and are frequently anthologized and reprinted. His books have appeared on national bestseller lists, have been translated into five languages, and are frequently taught in universities and high schools. Among his many awards are the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Michigan Author of the Year Award, and the Great Lakes Culture Award. His award-winning and widely acclaimed book, The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, is in development as a national series for PBS television. Jerry and his wife, Gail, live in northern Michigan.


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The Living Great Lakes
Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books

If fresh water is to be treasured, the Great Lakes are the mother lode. No bodies of water can compare to them. One of them, Superior, is the largest lake on...

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From a Wooden Canoe
Reflections on Canoeing, Camping, and Classic Equipment
St. Martin's Griffin

Jerry Dennis has earned a reputation as one of the finest writers on nature and the outdoors in America today. Now in From a Wooden Canoe, he turns his...

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River Home
An Angler's Explorations
St. Martin's Griffin

In this remarkable collection of essays and stories, Jerry Dennis demonstrates why he has emerged as one of America's finest writers on nature and the...

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A Place on the WaterAn Angler's Reflections on Home
St. Martin's Griffin

More than a collection of fishing stories, A Place on the Water is a passionate and eloquent exploration of subjects with broad appeal: love of land and water,...

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Canadian Bicycle ToursTwelve Breathtaking Tours through Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
Holt Paperbacks

The Great Lakes: Of North America’s major natural features, the Great Lakes are the least understood and the least appreciated. Few people realize that if we could pour all the surface freshwater in North America into 100 buckets, the Great Lakes would fill 95 of them. Or that the Great Lakes contain one-fifth of the liquid freshwater on the surface of the planet. Or that if the Great Lakes watershed were a separate nation, it would be the third-largest economy on earth. In person, as in his book The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, Jerry Dennis’s stories of lake journeys, storms and shipwrecks, and human and natural history bring the lakes to life and demonstrate that they ar
The Wonders of Water: With a water crisis looming and global experts declaring water "the oil of the 21st century," Jerry Dennis reminds us of the wonders of this most astonishing compound on earth. His discussion of the physical qualities of water in all its forms, and the nature of rivers, lakes, and oceans, brings a fresh perspective to the challenges we face as clean water becomes scarcer and the threat of privatization more imminent.
Getting to the Heart of It: Jerry discusses his comical and sometimes hair-raising outdoor adventures as a veteran magazine writer and book author. His stories range from canoeing on whitewater rivers in the U.S. and Canada, to wilderness backpacking (with the inevitable bear encounters), to sailing 1,500 miles through the Great Lakes and up the East Coast in a concrete schooner with crumbling hull and no radio—and the storms and mishaps and colorful characters encountered along the way. He tells riveting stories of unforgettable people he has met, including a man who survived the 1975 storm on Lake Superior that sank the 729-foot-long Edmund Fitzgerald.
Nature in Our Lives: Jerry has spent much of his life in the natural world—canoeing and fishing, studying landscapes and wildlife, and investigating human responses to the wild—and has much to say about our complex and changing relationships with nature. He discusses our sense of place on earth—what it means to us as individuals and societies to be aware of the world in our immediate orbit—and why we have always cared enough to enrich our cities with parks, gardens, zoos, museums and other places where nature and culture intersect
Get the Kids Outdoors: For the first time in human history more people live in cities than in the country. As a result, our children have fewer opportunities than ever to encounter wild nature while still retaining their fascination with wildlife, weather, and natural landscapes. Jerry discusses the implications for these recent cultural changes and suggests ways we can help our kids receive an education outside of classrooms and away from electronic devices
CREATIVITY AND THE FREELANCE LIFE The Art of the Blind Leap: In the 25 years he has earned his living from his books, essays, short fiction, and poetry, Jerry has learned much about the importance of focus, discipline, hard work, humor, and play in cultivating creativity. His thoughts on risk-taking and working from the heart are an inspiration to anyone who dreams of living by their creative wits.

"One of our very best speakers ever . . . filled with passion and wisdom. . . . [Thanks] for inspiring many of our winners to quote your words during their acceptance speeches. The Awards Event last night was one of our best ever in 24 years."
—Greg Reisig, Executive Director, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Committee

"We really enjoyed having you speak to our students and faculty. You’re inspirational, entertaining, and a fantastic author. Thank you for joining us, and we sincerely hope to see you again."
—Students for a Sustainable Earth, Western Michigan University

"You continue to inspire us (and impress us) with your writing and your stewardship ethic for the Great Lakes. Thank you so much for your inspiring words in Chicago."
—Robyn Thorson, Director, Midwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

"Thank you for your wonderful program on the Great Lakes during the 2nd Annual Festival of Nature. I received a multitude of favorable comments on your presentation. Hopefully we can bring you back in the near future."
—Paul Regnier, Executive Director, The Ridges Sanctuary