Wednesday, November 10, 2021

April Pulley Sayre: Her Work Lives On

I am still reeling from the news of the recent death of April Pulley Sayre. April was a brilliant author and photo-illustrator, and an incredibly generous friend. She published over 70 books for young readers and adults, many of them nonfiction, nature-themed books. I wouldn't know where to begin to write a tribute that would do April justice. Instead, I'm writing this post to let everyone know that April's work in support of nature lives on, not only through her books, but also through the Fund for Nature she created with her husband, Jeff Sayre. You can learn more about their conservation foundation's goals on their GoFundMe page.  

April epitomized what it means to be a TeachingAuthor, which is evident in the Guest TeachingAuthor interview JoAnn Early Macken posted here in 2010. That post includes a writing exercise from April's book Unfold Your Brain: Deepen Your Creativity, Expand into New Arts, and Prosper as a Writer, Musician, or Visual Artist. I just discovered that the book was recently re-released on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

I know April had other books in the pipeline, including Happy Sloth Day!, due out in 2022. You can get a sneak peak at the book's amazing photos and lyrical text on the Simon & Schuster website. There are also links to similar previews for some of April's other books at the bottom of that page.

This morning, I learned that we can still hear April's voice, too. In the video below, she reads Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet. Listening to it is both consoling and heartbreaking for me. 

(If the video doesn't work for you, you can watch it online here.)

At the beginning of this post, I described April as an incredibly generous friend. I mentioned in this blog post that we graduated together from Vermont College back in 2000. That post also includes a photo of our graduating class, known as the Hive. In many ways, April was our Queen Bee. She often provided insightful feedback on our works-in-progress. But even more, she encouraged and inspired us to be bold and brave in our writing and in our lives. 

We will miss her terribly. 

Carmela

17 comments:

April Halprin Wayland said...

I have always secretly delighted in sharing her first name.

April Pulley Sayre was a breathe of fresh air, an energetic advocate for all things on our earth, a brilliant writer.

Linda B said...

I am sad, too, for having this goodbye, Carmela, but saddest for all her close family and friends like you. I loved her books & just pulled out the fall book to read again. Thanks for your loving post.

Carol Coven Grannick said...

Thank you for this, Carmela...April's and Jeff's gorgeous books were staples during my time at the early childhood center I loved, and they sparked my love of combining photographs with poetry. Her brilliance will shine on.

Carmela Martino said...

How lovely that you enjoy sharing her name, April. :-)

Carmela Martino said...

Thank you, Linda, for your kind words.

Carmela Martino said...

Yes, Carol, her photographs were just as stunning as her lyrical texts.

Teresa Robeson said...

April was one of a kind, always making time for encouraging others and promoting the wonders of nature through her unique talents. My condolences to you and all her closest friends. I, too, will miss her and wish I got to spend more time with her post-pandemic like I had planned to do. This is a beautiful tribute to her!

jan godown annino said...

O, no! Dear Carmela &all CloseHearts to April & TA. Now I too & reeling from this new-to-me sadness. So many smiles when I think of the KindHeart & UnlinitedTalent & HardWork for Peace & Justice that defines our April. Embraces to us all of her followers & Family.

Jan

Patricia Toht said...

Thank you for this lovely tribute to April, Carmela. I especially appreciate hearing her gentle voice reading Thank You, Earth.

Carmela Martino said...

Teresa, you are so right about April. We're all wishing we'd been able to spend more time with her.

Carmela Martino said...

Sorry you had to hear the news from me, Jan. Thanks for your kind words.

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, Patti. Listening to April's voice is both consoling and heartbreaking for me.

Shirin said...

Thank you Carmela for this beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul.

Carmela Martino said...

Shirin, thanks much.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I feel so very, very lucky to have known April, thanks to you and the Hive, Carmela!
Our Children's Book World - and readers of ALL ages - are so lucky to have known her, too, via her beautiful, engaging books.
She clearly loved our World, natural and otherwise.
Honestly?
One such as April never leaves us.

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

This is a lovely tribute to a lovely lady and wonderful writer.

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, Esther. That's a comforting thought.
Yes, Carla, April was both!