Ackerman, Diane 1948–
Ackerman, Diane 1948–
∗ Indicates that a listing has been compiled from secondary sources believed to be reliable, but has not been personally verified for this edition by the author sketched.
PERSONAL: Born October 7, 1948, in Waukegan, IL; daughter of Sam (a restaurant owner) and Marcia (Tischler) Fink. Education: Attended Boston University, 1966–67; Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1970; Cornell University, M.F.A., 1973, M.A., 1976, Ph.D., 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, bicycling.
CAREER: Writer. Social worker in New York, NY, 1967; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, government researcher, 1968; Library Journal, New York, NY, editorial assistant, 1970; Epoch, Ithaca, NY, associate editor, 1971–77; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, teaching assistant, 1971–78, lecturer, 1978–79; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, assistant professor of English, 1980–83; Washington University, St. Louis, MO, director of writers program and writer-in-residence, 1984–86; New Yorker, New York, NY, staff writer, 1988–94. Host, Mystery of the Senses, Public Broadcasting System (PBS), 1995. Writer-in-residence, William and Mary College, Williamsburg, VA, 1983, Ohio University, Athens, 1983; visiting writer, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1986, New York University, New York, NY, 1986; Cornell University, visiting writer, 1987, visiting professor at Society for the Humanities, 1998–99; Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL, master artist-in-residence, 1988; University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Professor. Member of literature panels, including New York State Council on the Arts, 1980–83; member of advisory board, Planetary Society, Pasadena, CA, 1980–. Has participated in readings, residencies, and workshops. Produced the recordings The Naturalists, Gang of Seven Inc., 1992, and A Natural History of Love, 1994.
AWARDS, HONORS: Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets, Cornell University, 1972; Corson Bishop French Prize, Cornell University, 1972, 1977; Abbie Copps Prize, Olivet College, 1974; Rockefeller graduate fellowship, 1974–76; Heermans-McCalmon Playwriting Prize, Cornell University, 1976; National Endowment for the Arts, creative writing fellowships, 1976 and 1986; Creative Artists Public Service fellowship, 1980; Poetry Prize, Black Warrior Review, 1981; Associated Writing Programs, member of board of directors, 1982–85; Pushcart Prize VIII, 1984; Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poet Award, Academy of American Poets, 1985; Lowell Thomas Award, Society of American Travel Writers, 1990; National Endowment for the Arts, member of Poetry Panel, 1991; National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, 1991; Wordsmith Award, 1992; "New and Noteworthy Book of the Year," New York Times Book Review, for The Moon by Whale Light, 1992, and for Jaguar of Sweet Laughter, 1993; Golden Nose Award, Olfactory Research Fund, 1994; named a "Literary Lion" by the New York Public Library, 1994; Journalist-in-Space Project semifinalist; John Burroughs Nature Award, 1998; Guggenheim fellowship, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2003.
(With Jody Bolz and Nancy Steele) Poems: Ackerman, Bolz, and Steele (chapbook), Stone Marrow Press (Cincinnati, OH), 1973.
The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral, Morrow (New York, NY), 1976.
Wife of Light, Morrow (New York, NY), 1978.
Lady Faustus, Morrow (New York, NY), 1983.
Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.
(Editor, with Jeanne Mackin) The Book of Love, Norton (New York, NY), 1998.
I Praise My Destroyer, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.
Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.
Animal Sense (juvenile), illustrated by Peter Sís, Knopf (New York, NY), 2003.
Twilight of the Tenderfoot: A Western Memoir, Morrow (New York, NY), 1980.
On Extended Wings (memoir), Atheneum (New York, NY), 1985, published as On Extended Wings: An Adventure in Flight, Scribner (New York, NY), 1987.
A Natural History of the Senses, Random House (New York, NY), 1990.
The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.
A Natural History of Love, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.
The Rarest of the Rare: Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
Monk Seal Hideaway (juvenile), Crown (New York, NY), 1995.
Bats: Shadows in the Night (juvenile), photographs by Merlin Tuttle, Crown (New York, NY), 1997.
A Slender Thread: Crisis, Healing, and Nature, Random House (New York, NY), 1997.
Deep Play, illustrated by Peter Sís, Random House (New York, NY), 1999.
Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain, Scribner (New York, NY), 2004.
Reverse Thunder: A Dramatic Poem (play; produced in New Brunswick, NJ, 1982), Lumen (Cambridge, MA), 1988.
Ideas (television documentary), 1990.
Mystery of the Senses (television documentary), Public Broadcasting System, 1995.
Also author of the play All Seasons Are Weather, in Texas Arts Journal (Dallas, TX), fall, 1979. Contributor to books and anthologies, including The Morrow Anthology of Younger Poets, edited by Dave Smith and David Bottoms, Morrow, 1985; Norton Introduction to Literature, edited by Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter, 4th edition, Norton, 1986; Norton Introduction to Poetry, edited by Hunter, 3rd edition, Norton, 1986; The Paris Review Anthology, edited by George Plimpton, Norton, 1989; Beyond the Map, ELM Press, 1995; Going on Faith: Writing as a Spiritual Quest, edited by William Zinsser, Marlowe, 1999; (with others) Food and Faith: Justice, Joy, and Daily Bread, edited by Michael Schut, 2002; Within the Stone, 2004; and numerous other poetry and prose anthologies.
Contributor of poems and nonfiction to literary journals, periodicals, and newspapers, including New Yorker, Poetry, Life, Omni, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, Parnassus, Michigan Quarterly Review, Paris Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Discover, World Magazine, and New York Times. Contributor of reviews to New York Times Book Review.
ADAPTATIONS: On Extended Wings: An Adventure in Flight was adapted for the stage in 1987 by Norma Jean Griffin.
SIDELIGHTS: Diane Ackerman has been hailed by several critics not only for her poetry but for her prose explorations into the world of science and natural history. She once said in Contemporary Poets: "People sometimes ask me about all of the science in my work, thinking it odd that I should wish to combine science and art, and assuming that I must have some inner pledge or outer maxim I follow. But the hardest job for me is trying to keep science out of my writing. We live in a world where amino acids, viruses, airfoils, and such are common ingredients in our daily sense of Nature. Not to write about Nature in its widest sense, because quasars or corpuscles are not 'the proper realm of poetry,' as a critic once said to me, is not only irresponsible and philistine, it bankrupts the experience of living, it ignores much of life's fascination and variety."
Ackerman's voracious appetite for knowledge and her eager appreciation of the natural world are evident in Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems, according to New York Times Book Review contributor David Kirby. He asserted, "Diane Ackerman's poems not only operate in the present but press toward the future…. Just about everything Ms. Ackerman writes, prose or poetry, is exploratory…. [Her] speakers push ahead; they probe, open, take off lids, peel back covers, inspect, taste, sniff." Her constant sense of wonder is the key to the appeal of her work, concluded Kirby: "Ms. Ackerman trains her telescope on the bend in the river, all but pitching over the rail as she strains toward the next surprise."
In his essay in Parnassus, Mark Doty compared Ackerman's work to that of another, more "metaphysical" nature poet, Mary Oliver, whose poetic quest remains a search for meaning in what she finds in the natural world. In contrast, Doty maintained, Ackerman "does not look for an overarching metaphysic, a coherence, because she fundamentally doesn't believe there is such a thing…. Where Darwin amassed a lifetime's worth of observed detail in order to generalize and arrive at evolutionary patterns, Ackerman prefers the sensuous, puzzling, intractable particular."
Ackerman has also been praised for her skill at observing and then eloquently describing the details of the natural world, and nowhere is that more evident than in The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, a collection of four essays expanded from articles previously published in the New Yorker. Allying herself with experts on each species, Ackerman went into the field to gain firsthand experience with these animals. She recorded her observations in detail, along with her thoughts on the folklore of each animal. Fraser Harrison noted in New Statesman and Society: "Ackerman … is a hands-on journalist in a very literal sense, for, as befits the author of A Natural History of the Senses, she always insists on touching her subjects, even the whales. Especially vivid is her account of sitting astride an alligator, its mouth bound with tape, and feeling her way round its 'beautiful, undulating skin.'" Harrison found Ackerman's portrayal of penguins "shamelessly anthropomorphic" yet justifiable. Her depiction of their habitat, he added, is poetic, "and it is this quality that makes her a considerable nature writer as well as an intrepid, sharp-eyed journalist, for she has the imaginative gift to identify with the character of her animals and the intelligence to keep them in their ecological place."
Michiko Kakutani, writing in the New York Times, offered similar praise, writing that Ackerman "has a gift for sparkling, resonant language, and her descriptions of various animals and their habitats are alive with verbal energy and delight. She describes bats as delicately assembled packages of 'fur and appetite' and characterizes their high-pitched cries as 'vocal Braille.'" Kakutani further praised the author for providing a great deal of "fascinating" information about the lives of each species. In addition, Franklin Burroughs, writing in the Southern Review, enthusiastically endorsed Ackerman's "fine eye for detail, her adventurousness, and her humor" and noted: "When these essays first appeared in the familiar milieu of the New Yorker, they seemed to fall within its civilized, flexible conception of an American middle voice: informative, engaging, modest, witty, and thoroughly professional, not subject to the enthusiasms, large claims, and idiosyncrasies of the writer for whom writing itself remains the central, animating adventure."
Ackerman shifted her focus from the animal world to the human province of romantic love with her 1994 collection of essays A Natural History of Love. Washington Post Book World contributor Barbara Raskin characterized this volume as "an audaciously brilliant romp…. Using an evolutionary history as her launchpad, Ackerman takes off on a space flight in which she describes, defines, theorizes, analyzes, analogizes, apologizes, generalizes, explains, philosophizes, embellishes, codifies, classifies, confesses, compares, contrasts, speculates, hypothesizes and generally carries on like a hooligan about amatory love. It's a blast." Ackerman follows a quick survey of two thousand years of love with an analysis of famous literary passages on romance, the chemistry of love, the effects of lovelessness on children and cultures, and many more subjects. Some critics believed that she included too many topics in the collection and used too many different writing styles. Chris Goodrich, writing in the Los Angeles Times, praised A Natural History of Love as an enjoyable read but found it "surprisingly shapeless," with contents "that vary between the arresting and the superficial, the illuminating and the irksome. Reading the book, you spend half your time wishing it were better, and the other half captivated by those passages in which Ackerman … has found a particularly good lens through which to view her subject." Still, he acknowledged that the book was "a pleasure" and described Ackerman as "a beguiling, even seductive writer." Raskin also emphasized the author's power with words, stating: "Of all the loves Ackerman describes, none is greater than her own love of language…. She produces hard-hitting metaphors and sweet constellations of similes that are like confectionery recipes for fresh insights."
In the mid-1990s Ackerman wrote up her observations from two research expeditions to produce her first books for children: Monk Seal Hideaway, about monk seals at the Hawaiian Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Bats: Shadows in the Night, an account of her trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas accompanied by Merlin Tuttle, a bat expert and photographer. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books contributor Roger Sutton found the tone of Monk Seal Hideaway to be "amiable and engaging" and noted that "budding naturalists will appreciate the eyewitness report." Bats also won praise as "natural history writing at its best," in the words of Sally Estes in Booklist.
Even as Ackerman has branched out into writing children's books, she continues to write poetry. Without the guidance and comfort of religious dogma, Ackerman asks in I Praise My Destroyer, how does an agnostic face up to the "horror lesson" of death? As John Taylor points out in his Poetry review, the agnostic's "only certitude is eschatological uncertainty." He praised Ackerman for the "precision and enthusiasm" with which she confronts this dilemma by "exalting the organic processes whereby entities such as ourselves come into existence, exist, then perish." Moreover, the "gently erotic love poems" included in this collection, Taylor observed, "show that we must come to terms not only with our demise, but also sometimes—and no less intensely—with the lover who fled 'the love-brightened room.'… We also die … several times in the midst of life through amorous leave-takings and unrequited attractions."
Death plays an altogether different role in A Slender Thread: Crisis, Healing, and Nature, Ackerman's account of working the night shift of a suicide prevention hotline for one year. Antoinette Brinkman described the book in the Library Journal as "intensely interdisciplinary," noting that Ackerman "deftly interweaves moving stories of battered women, the lonely middle-aged, and suicidal teens with observations of nature by day and human nature in the later hours." New York Times Book Review critic Kate Jennings noted that the author comes across "as a thoroughly nice person," but pointed out that sentimentality can be "an occupational hazard" among those who write in the first person. In this regard, Jennings cited May Sarton, M.F.K. Fisher, and Annie Dillard, all critically acclaimed authors whose first-person writings nonetheless, like Ackerman's, "walk a fine line, risking self-regard and preciousness as well as sentimentality."
Ackerman's 1999 title, Deep Play, deals with transcendence of the daily norm through forms of "play" such as art, religion, and other human practices that lead to a heightened state of being. Winifred Gallagher observed in the New York Times Book Review that Ackerman "writes best when she balances her impressions with objective knowledge, like research on the functions of play in various species or the utility of color in nature." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that Ackerman's best writing emerges when her subject is "something observable" and she "beguile[s] readers with fine turns of phrase." The Publishers Weekly reviewer was less impressed when Ackerman "indulges her weakness for abstraction," but Booklist contributor Donna Seaman found that "the very act of reading this original, exultant, sage, poetic, and generous meditation on the importance of enchantment is deep play."
In Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden, Ackerman takes the reader on a philosophical jaunt through the four seasons as observed in her own backyard landscape. This book is not a gardening manual; Ackerman's interest is not so much in how things grow as in what the natural world does for the human soul and spirit. From this perspective, "Ackerman buzzes productively from idea to revelation to insight," a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, as she "reprises her role as an enchanting intellectual sensualist."
Ackerman's Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire documents a year and a half of psychoanalysis with an analyst the poems refer to as "Dr. B." Written in free verse and loose rhyme, the poems are divided into four sections. Christina Pugh, a contributor to Poetry magazine, reported that in the introduction to the collection, Ackerman explains that the book was written to "corral the unruly emotions that arose during intense psychotherapy." Pugh also suggested that good literature "ultimately has to separate from its therapeutic origins in order to stand as viable art. This separation is not quite achieved in Origami Bridges." Interestingly, no clear reason for the psychotherapy is revealed. As a result, Pugh cited "an uncomfortable combination of exhibition and withholding." However, in a review for the Library Journal, Barbara Hoffert commented on the book's "down to the essence" diction.
One year after Origami Bridges was released, Ackerman published Animal Sense, a collection of poetry for children. Animal Sense contains fifteen poems in five sections, each section focusing on a certain sense, each poem focusing on a different animal. In this collection, Ackerman intertwines her poetry with scientific facts about animals. A Publishers Weekly critic noted the beauty of the artwork, but had some reservations regarding the poetry, calling the book "a beautifully designed but unfortunately flawed collection." However, Lauralyn Persson, writing in the School Library Journal, noted that "readers who want to go beyond the obvious will savor it."
Published in 2004, An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain employs Ackerman's flair for metaphor to explain the complex workings of the brain. One Publishers Weekly contributor acknowledged, "Even brain buffs used to a more detached approach should be won over by her uniquely personal perspective." Combining experience, history, literature, and science, Ackerman produces a new sort of study on how and why we think by infusing her trademark poetic language into scientific writing. Booklist critic Donna Seaman called the writing "agile, involving and uniquely far-ranging and insightful." On the other hand, the differences between the book and most scientific writing are also what might discourage some readers. "Ackerman has a tendency to wander, dazed and marveling," wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews, who continued, "this is at once her greatest strength and besetting weakness … her reveries can seem like extended diary entries, or plain old wheelspinning."
According to Ackerman An Alchemy of Mind is the natural next step following her previous work. In an interview with Ron Hogan of Publishers Weekly, she maintained: "All of my books are an effort to discover a little better what it once was like to be alive on the planet: what the passions felt like, what it tasted like, what it smelt like, the whole experience of being alive." Ackerman's wonder at every aspect of life makes up the thread that runs through all of her work. In an interview with Barbara Adams of Writer's Digest, Ackerman reflected, "Sometimes people think that I write different kinds of books—some about animals and some about people. But to my mind, it's all part of the same quest, to understand the human condition and what life on Earth feels like."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ackerman, Diane, Twilight of the Tenderfoot: A Western Memoir, Morrow (New York, NY), 1980.
Ackerman, Diane, On Extended Wings, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1985.
Contemporary Poets, 6th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Contemporary Women Poets, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 120: American Poets since World War II, Third Series, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.
Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, summer, 1998, Catherine Hiersteiner, review of A Slender Thread: Crisis, Healing, and Nature, pp. 255-256.
American Biology Teacher, May, 1992, Rita Hoots, The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, pp. 314-315.
Appraisal: Science Books for Young People, fall, 1998, review of Bats: Shadows in the Night, p. 5.
Book, May, 1999, review of Deep Play, p. 82; November-December, 2002, Stephen Whited, review of Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire, p. 89.
Booklist, October 1, 1997, Sally Estes, review of Bats, p. 320; March 15, 1998, Donna Seaman, review of I Praise My Destroyer, p. 1197; March 1, 1999, Donna Seaman, review of Deep Play, p. 1099; September 1, 2001, Donna Seaman, review of Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden, p. 26; September 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Origami Bridges, p. 48; February 15, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Animal Sense, p. 1068; April 1, 2003, review of Animal Sense, p. 1407; May 1, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain, p. 1533; January 1, 2005, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 768.
BookPage, October, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 4; April, 2003, review of Animal Sense, p. 28.
Bookworld, July, 18, 1999, review of Deep Play, p. 7; October 7, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 13; April 27, 2003, review of Animal Sense, p. 12; June 13, 2004, Carl Zimmer, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 13.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June, 1995, Roger Sutton, review of Monk Seal Hideaway, p. 337; September, 1997, review of Bats, p. 4.
Catholic Library World, February 23, 1998, review of I Praise My Destroyer, p. 70.
Choice, October, 1997, review of A Slender Thread, p. 327.
Christian Science Monitor, October 24, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 19.
Discover, May, 2002, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 76; March, 2003, review of Animal Sense, p. 73.
Entertainment Weekly, January 17, 1997, Vanessa V. Friedman, review of A Slender Thread, p. 58; June 11, 2004, Tina Jordan, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 128.
Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), June 12, 1999, review of Deep Play, p. D11; December 1, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 1.
Good Housekeeping, December, 1999, Kathleen Powers, "Lovers: Great Romances of Our Time through the Eyes of Legendary Writers," p. BIH8.
Horn Book Magazine, January, 2003, review of Animal Sense, p. 88.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1998, review of I Praise My Destroyer, p. 441; April 1, 1999, review of Deep Play, p. 497; August 1, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 1077; December 15, 2002, review of Animal Sense, p. 1844; February 15, 2004, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 161.
Library Bookwatch, November, 2004, review of An Alchemy of Mind.
Library Journal, January, 1997, Antoinette Brinkman, review of A Slender Thread, p. 125; February 1, 1998, Richard K. Burns, review of The Book of Love, p. 84; March 15, 1998, Ann Van Buren review of I Praise My Destroyer, p. 67; June 1, 1998, review of A Slender Thread, p. 75; September 1, 2001, Daniel Starr, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 215; October 15, 2002, Barbara Hoffert, review of Origami Bridges, p. 77; April 15, 2003, Barbara Hoffert, review of Origami Bridges, p. 90; March 15, 2004, Laurie Bartolini, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 103.
Library Media Connection, October, 2003, Judith Beavers, review of Animal Sense, p. 63.
Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1994, Chris Goodrich, review of A Natural History of Love, p. E8; October 30, 2001, Michael Harris; review of Cultivating Delight, p. E3.
Michigan Quarterly Review, winter, 2000, Carolyn Kizer, "Four Smart Poets," pp. 167-172; winter, 2004, "The Personal Lyric and the Physical World," review of Origami Bridges, pp. 117-132.
New Leader, September, 2002, review of Origami Bridges, p. 33.
New Statesman and Society, May 21, 1993, Fraser Harrison, review of The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, p. 35.
Newsweek, February 10, 1997, Jeff Giles, review of A Slender Thread, p. 66.
New Yorker, March 24, 1997, review of A Slender Thread, p. 83.
New York Times Book Review, November 3, 1991, David Kirby, review of Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems, p. 14; December 29, 1991, Michiko Kakutani, review of The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, p. 7; February 16, 1997, review of The Rarest of the Rare: Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds, p. 32; March 2, 1997, Kate Jennings, "Calling out for Help," p. 11; December 7, 1997, review of A Slender Thread, p. 76; April 19, 1998, review of A Slender Thread, p. 40; June 20, 1999, Winifred Gallagher, "May the Force Be with You," p. 10; October 21, 2001, Miranda Seymour, "A Poet's Green Plot," review of Cultivating Delight, p. 17; October 28, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 30; November 4, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 34; December 2, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 68; October 13, 2002, Scott Veale, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 32; December 8, 2002, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 32; June 1, 2003, review of Animal Sense, p. 24; August 29, 2004, Marina Warner, "Circuits," p. 15.
North American Review, November-December, 2003, Vincent F. Gotera, review of Animal Sense, p. 58.
Parnassus, fall, 1995, Mark Doty, "Horsehair Sofas of the Antarctic: Diane Ackerman's Natural Histories."
People, March 10, 1997, Thomas Curwin, review of A Slender Thread, p. 31; October 29, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 56; July 12, 2004, Moira Bailey, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 46.
Poetry, December, 1998, John Taylor, review of I Praise My Destroyer, p. 182; August, 2003, Christina Pugh, review of Origami Bridges, p. 291.
Psychology Today, May-June, 2004, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 82.
Publishers Weekly, December 15, 1997, review of The Book of Love, p. 51; March 1, 1999, review of Deep Play, p. 47; July 23, 2001, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 58; September 23, 2002, review of Origami Bridges, p. 68; December 16, 2002, review of Animal Sense, p. 67; May 31, 2004, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 68.
Reference and Research Book News, November, 2004, review of Within the Stone, p. 249.
Roundup Magazine, April, 2003, review of Twilight of the Tenderfoot, p. 23.
School Library Journal, October, 1997, Patricia Manning, review of Bats, p. 141; February, 2003, Lauralyn Persson, review of Animal Sense, p. 126.
Science Books and Films, January, 1998, review of Bats, p. 20; May-June, 2004, Nancy A. Ridenour, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 117; May-June, 2005, review of An Alchemy of Mind, p. 95.
Science News, March 16, 2002, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 175.
Smithsonian, October, 2001, Kathryn Brown, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 138.
Southern Review, October, 1992, Franklin Burroughs, review of The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, p. 928.
Tribune Books, December 1, 2002, review of Cultivating Delight, p. 6.
Underwater Naturalist, 2002, review of The Moon by Whale Light and Other Adventures among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, p. 47.
Washington Post Book World, Barbara Raskin, review of A Natural History of Love, June 19, 1994, p. 2; October 7, 2001, "As Someone Who Has Yet to Be …," p. T13.
Women's Review of Books, December, 2004, Peg Aloi, review of An Alchemy of Mind, pp. 11-12.
Writer's Digest, September, 1997, Barbara Adams, "Diane Ackerman: Tight Focus in Small Spaces," author interview, p. 29.
Diane Ackerman Home Page, http://www.dianeackerman.com (October 17, 2005).
HarperCollins Web site, http://www.harpercollins.com/ (October 17, 2005).