Richards Free Library Rotating Header Image

Bill McKibben Is the 2014 Hale Award Medalist


Photo by Steve Liptay

Photo by Steve Liptay

The Trustees of the Richards Free Library and the Judges of the Sarah Josepha Hale Award are pleased to announce that author and environmentalist Bill McKibben is the 2014 Hale Award Medalist.  He will accept the award on October 4, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at the Newport Opera House.

Bill McKibben is the founder of, the grassroots climate change movement. A Middlebury College professor, he is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies. In 2013 he won the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Award for his environmental activism.

In her nomination, Hale Award Judge Susan Kenney said:

Like Dr. Seuss’s Lorax who “speaks for the trees” Bill McKibben speaks for the earth.  Bill has been a public activist and relentless advocate for the care and preservation of our planet ever since 1989, when he sounded the alarm about the effects of climate change in his first book The End of Nature.  Subsequent books and articles, most recently his 2010 book Eaarth, have continued to bring to the forefront both the visible and yet-to-be seen effects of global warming, mainly due to the human race’s lack of awareness, even profligate disregard for the balance of nature. Unlike the Lorax, Bill has not yet resorted, in resignation or despair, to lifting himself up up and away by the seat of his pants, thus abandoning the rest of us to our scorched-earth fate.  He’s still here on earth, and his life’s work continues to sound the same big clarion call: UNLESS.

 McKibben is the author of several books including: The End of Nature (1989), Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007), Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (2010),  Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist (2013),   and his latest, Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America’s Most Hopeful Landscape (2014). His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of BooksNational Geographic, Harpers, Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone.

For over fifty years, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award has been given by the Trustees of the Richards Free Library in recognition of a distinguished body of written work in the field of literature and letters.  The award honors author, poet, and essayist, Sarah Josepha Hale, who as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Magazine shaped the opinion of nineteenth century American women.  The list of Hale Award winners includes the finest writers of our times from Robert Frost in 1956 to Richard Russo in 2013.

For more information about the Hale award please contact Andrea Thorpe, Director of the Richards Free Library at 603-863-3430 or


Comments are closed.