Rising Waters: writings in Guernica and Creative Nonfiction

Hi All,


It has been a busy summer here at Rush-basecamp. I am putting the spit shine on my manuscript, Rising: The Unsettling of the American Shore, due out next summer with Milkweed Editions. Also a number of my pieces have appeared in various media. Check out my journey into the heart of a rotting tidal wetland in “The Marsh at the End of the World” published in Guernica Magazine, and also my piece on the disorientation that comes with sea level rise “Something Like Vertigo” published in the summer edition of Creative Nonfiction. And in the meantime, try to keep you head above water in the flurry of storms that are descending upon our imperiled coasts.

Invited Panelist at the Happold Foundation Annual Lecture: Join me on April 5th 2017 info below


Rebuilding or Relocating: How to Respond to Climate Change

Join me Wednesday, April 5th, at 6pm for a lively discussion followed by a reception with drinks and hous d’oeuvres.

Tickets available here. 


Our coasts are vulnerable, now more than ever. Rising sea levels are jeopardizing coastal communities, forcing them to rebuild after flooding. But a question looms: Is rebuilding the answer? In the United States, we are witnessing the first efforts to resettle populations due to climate change. The Native American community on the Isle de Jean Charles in south-eastern Louisiana will move in its entirety with the help of a climate resilience grant from the federal government. Similar efforts are currently under way in Newtok, Alaska. Yet, cities in the northeast of the country continue to grow and build along their waterfronts. The 2017 Happold Foundation Lecture, presented in partnership with the New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center and the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility explores the physical and social consequences of climate change and compares the community responses in Louisiana or Alaska with those in the northeast.

Keynote speaker Harriet Tregoning, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will introduce the topic and provide an overview of the impacts of climate change on the social and physical fabric of our towns and cities. She will talk about her experience working with communities across the country and share ideas to address their challenges. Following her lecture, Kate Ascher, Milstein Professor of Urban Development at Columbia University and partner at BuroHappold, will moderate a panel discussion addressing economic, social, and physical implications of climate change. Joining Kate and Harriet will be panelists Elizabeth Rush, the Andrew Mellon Fellow for Pedagogical Innovation at Bates College who has dedicated her work to climate change and its effects on populations, and David Waggonner, president of Waggonner and Ball Architects, a firm that has worked extensively in post Katrina New Orleans.

The Happold Foundation
The Happold Foundation, founded in 1995 and financed by the partners of the engineering firm BuroHappold, is a charity dedicated to using engineering skills and experience to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Working in the areas of human development and education, the foundation helps students to take the next step in their education, and engineers to work in some of the most challenging environments. As part of its mission, it hosts a series of events, among them an annual lecture on a topic that the foundation considers to be vital to the development of the engineering industry and society as a whole.


Book Deal!

Hi All,


I could not be more pleased to announce that I just signed a book deal with Milkweed Editions for the publication of my latest essay collection, Rising: Essays from America’s Disappearing Shore. It will hit bookshelves in early 2018! Until then you can follow me on Twitter to get all the latest updates @elizabetharush.

Science in Society Award

It is an honor to have been selected by the National Association of Science Writers for their Science in Society Award for my Urban Omnibus article on managed retreat in Staten Island.


Below is an excerpt from the press release:


“Leaving the Sea: Staten Islanders Experiment with Managed Retreat” was published Feb. 11, 2015, in the online Urban Omnibus. In the article, Rush covers the debate in Staten Island communities over whether to stay put or retreat from the shoreline, in the face of sea-level rise and stronger storms arising from climate change. She explores the costs and benefits of the strategy of “managed retreat,” whereby homeowner buyouts address the realities of climate change in vulnerable coastal communities. The judges commented, “Truly local reporting is crucial not just during natural disasters, when the national media may be present, but during the long, often painful and messy aftermath. That’s when decisions are made, too often without scrutiny, that can shape the nature of a town and the fates of its residents for generations to come. In her article, Rush follows one such set of decisions, made after Hurricane Sandy’s floodwaters receded. She does so with tenacity, commitment, and empathy. Her richly reported feature sheds light on the tough choices and many policy and administrative complexities impacting one flooded neighborhood. In so doing, the piece provides a clarifying look at unresolved facets of local-scale resilience and recovery that small communities around the world are likely to encounter as the impacts of climate change intensify in the coming years.”


Honored to be named the Howard Foundation Fellow in Creative Nonfiction

The Howard Foundation awards a limited number of fellowships each year for independent projects in selected fields, targeting its support specifically to early mid-career individuals, those who have achieved recognition for at least one major project. Nine  fellowships of $33,000 were awarded in April 2016 for 2016-2017 in the fields of Creative Non-Fiction, Literary Translation into English, Film Studies, and Literary StudiesI am honored to announce that I have been granted a Howard Foundation Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction to aid in the completion of my book Something Like Vertigo: Essays from the American Shore.

The George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation was established in 1952 by Nicea Howard in memory of her grandparents. Miss Howard had a special interest in furthering the personal development of promising individuals at the crucial middle stages of their careers in the liberal and creative arts.