Latest News

February 2021 Notable Maryland Author Rachel Carson

“It is not half so important to know as to feel.” – Rachel Carson

Rachel Loiuse Carson (1907 – 1964) was born in SpringDale, PA, graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) in 1929, studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and received her MA in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932. She began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, supplemented her income writing feature articles on natural history for the Baltimore Sun, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. She is most famous for having written Silent Spring, which focused on the danger pesticides presented to the environment.

As a child, Carson was an avid reader and writer. She began writing stories, often involving animals, at age eight and had her first story published in St. Nicholas Magazine at age ten. Her favorite literature included the natural world, particularly the ocean. As a resullt, she read Beatrix Potter and Gene Stratton-Porter and, in high school, enjoyed Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Carson published The Sea Around Us in 1951 which became a bestseller, won her a U.S. National Book Award, demonstrated she was a gifted writer, and gave her financial security. Her next books, The Edge of the Sea, and Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This Sea Trilogy explored the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.

With the success of her Sea Trilogy, Carson turned her attention to conservation and became very interested in problems she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. She published Silent Spring in 1962 whose impact was to awaken the interest of many Americans in environmental issues. This book inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Carson’s posthumous award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Carson never married, but throughout her life cared for several family members that had need. Carson died of complications from breast cancer at age 56 and is buried in Silver Spring, MD. Learn more at:

Genre: Nature Writing

Nature writing is a form of creative nonfiction in which the natural environment or a narrator's encounter with the natural environment serves as the dominant subject.

Sample Reading List: Silent Spring; Under the Sea Wind; The Edge of the Sea; The Sense of Wonder

Writer's Prompt - Fun With Words

MWA invites you to have fun writing about nature like Rachel Carson. Using up to 100 words write about the natural environment or your encounter with the natural environment.

Submit your 100 words by the 25th of the month and receive an MWA Fun With Words Submission Certificate.  

Submit Your FUN WITH WORDS Prompt

Return to list