John Elder is known for his wonderful teaching and for his critical work on nature writing. He is the author most recently of Reading the Mountains of Home and has edited an encyclopedia, American Nature Writers, and (with Robert Finch) The Norton Anthology of Nature Writing. Elder lives in the Green Mountain village of Bristol with his wife Rita. He retired from Middlebury College after teaching English and Environmental Studies there for 37 years. While continuing to sugar in the nearby uplands of Starksboro, he has recently begun to write about the landscape and history of Ireland and about their affinities with those of Vermont.