Writer Profile

Picture of Rick Van Noy

Rick Van Noy


Short Biography:
I grew up in Titusville, New Jersey, just up river from where Washington crossed on Christmas Eve. I went to college in Colorado (The Colorado College) and graduate schools in Bellingham, Washington, and Cleveland, Ohio. I worked for a time as a technical writer where I met the proprietor and sole-owner of A/E Marketeers, Catherine Copich. We moved to Radford, Virginia, for a position in the English Department at Radford University and have stayed for the clean waterways and lovely mountains, though I often wish they were the kind that held more snow. Telemark skiing is among my more feverish pursuits, but I also enjoy biking, canoeing and growing tomatoes. We live in an old bungalow of revived lath and plaster and odd angles with two children, Sam and Elliot, and a menagerie of animal dependents.

Critical Description of Work:
In the spirit of Rachel Carson?s The Sense of Wonder, Rick Van Noy journeys out of his suburban home with his children and describes the pleasures of walking in a creek, digging for salamanders, and learning to appreciate vultures. Through these and other ?walks to school,? the Van Noys discover what lives nearby, what nature has to teach, and why this matters. From the backyard to the hiking trail, in a tide pool and a tree house, in the wild and in town, these narrative essays explore the terrain of childhood threatened by the lure of computers and television, by fear and the loss of play habitat, showing how kids thrive in their special places. In chronicling one parent?s determination (and at times frustration) to get his kids outside, A Natural Sense of Wonder suggests ways kids both young and old can experience the wonder found only in the natural world.