Lia Purpura, writer-in-residence at Loyola University, has won a Guggenheim fellowship to support work on a new book of essays, which, according to her proposal, will be about the ways people relate to and form relationships with the natural world. That’s great news, because Purpura’s books are gems. I especially liked On Looking, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2006. NBCC board member Kevin Prufer noted that “Purpura brings a nuanced, highly intelligent, critical eye to our most casual moments of perception,” and that pretty much nails what makes her writing so special. Hats off to the Guggenheim folks for helping bring this next book to fruition.