Thanks for dropping by. My first full-length collection of poems, A Fine Canopy, is available now, and while I can’t throw the huge in-person party I’d like to celebrate, Literati Bookstore hosted me for a virtual one. More virtual events are in the works. Vermont poet laureate and finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Mary Ruefle, sent this blurb: “These poems offer us acts of attention and tenderness, two things we need now more than ever.” Hearing praise from some of my heroes about my work has been priceless.
Attention and tenderness–yes! And a bit of anger and grief along the way, too. I’m a poet and writer who’s rattled by our apparent disregard for the “fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals.” That’s Aldo Leopold’s definition of land, as laid out in his clarion call to protect all of nature: A Sand County Almanac. I was the child who headed to the lake or into the woods with a bag of books and notebooks. For me, however beleaguered they may be, land and the water that turns it into watersheds remain inexhaustible sources of ongoingness.
But I’m also the adult who’s happy to visit—online—the drawings of a young Irish artist whose work I discovered at one of my favorite bookstores, or to click through to a friend’s newly published poem. That sort of immediate access to another kind of inspiration can be breathtaking for those of us who grew up without computers.
Reading and writing, especially the creative kind, liberate our imaginations from what-is and nudge us—or shove us—toward what-could-be. In these times, imagination, so long as it is coupled with a land ethic which does not disregard humans, seems more important than ever.
I’m based in Ann Arbor, Michigan–where I get to host Eco Book Club at another one of my favorite bookstores, Literati. But I live in both the Huron River and Kalamazoo River watersheds, which are dear to me.
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