The Presence of Whales: Contemporary Writings on the Whale

Front Cover
Frank Stewart
Alaska Northwest Books, 1995 - Nature - 319 pages
Frank Stewart, an observer, writer, storyteller, and lover of whales gathers the most compelling contemporary essays on cetaceans in the first anthology to bring together many of the foremost marine scientists and nature writers, including Diane Ackerman, Barry Lopez, Farley Mowat, Faith McNulty, and Jonathan White.

The essays are organized in five sections that celebrates our ongoing fascination with these fragile giants.

Sharing the World of Giants

contains essays inspired by being in the presence of whales,

Songs from the Deep

concentrates on whale vocalizations,

Sightings of the Leviathan

are compelling accounts of personal observations of whale behavior,

Death at Sea and On Shore

touch on the mystery of whale groundings and other violent encounters, and

A Splendid but Uncertain Company

explores teh privilege humans sense when near whales and the compact human contact has had on these glorious but gentle beasts.

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Diane Ackerman The Moon by Whale Light
Kenneth Brower Wake of the Whale

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About the author (1995)

Frank Stewart has been editor of Manoa: a Pacific Journal of International Writing since 1989 and is the author of four books of poetry, the editor of eight anthologies, an essayist, and a translator. For his first three books of poetry, he was awarded the prestigious Whiting Writers' Award in New York in 1986. His latest collection, By All Means, was published in 2003 by El Léon of Berkeley, California. He has also edited eight anthologies on the contemporary literature and environment of Hawai'i, Asia, and the Pacific. In 1978, he co-edited Talk Story: An Anthology of Hawaii's Local Writers, and in 2004, the anthology The Poem Behind the Poem: Translating Asian Poetry into English was published by Copper Canyon Press. His books of environmental writing include A Natural History of Nature Writing and such edited works as The Presence of Whales published by Alaska Northwest Books (1995) and Wao Akua: The Sacred Source, which came out in 2003. His essays have been widely anthologized, most recently in Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World, published by University of Iowa Press in 2003.

In 2002, Stewart represented American writers at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Indigenous and Contemporary Poetry, held in Manila; and in 2003 he was a U.S. representative to the Taipei International Poetry Festival, held in the Taiwan capital. He is a member of the board of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, headquartered at the University of San Francisco's Center for the Pacific Rim, and an editorial advisor to the journal Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, published by the University of Nevada.

Stewart is a graduate of the University of Hawai'i, where he has taught since 1974. In 1998, he received an excellence-in-teaching award, given by the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, and the George Lucas Award, which recognized him for his service to student publications. He is also a recipient of the Elliott Cades Award for Literature and the Hawai'i Award for Literature, which is given by the Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the Hawai'i Literary Arts Council to a resident of Hawai'i for outstanding achievement in the field of literature.

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