I had the singularly dis/en-couraging experience of getting well into writing an essay in the wee hours of the morning and then, at lunch, opening up the 4th chapter of Elvia Wilk's Death by Landscape: Essays and reading nearly what I had written. Different anecdotes, different style, exact same message. Even many of the same… Continue reading Quandary

Blinkered: On Time and Being

There are not merely seven colors in the rainbow. Have you noticed? Of course, you have in some sense. But have you really noticed. If so, if this is generally noticed, then why do we require every school child to learn this easily disprovable “fact”? We can all see it has no basis. Even its… Continue reading Blinkered: On Time and Being

Two Restoratives

How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) Barbara Kingsolver Harper, 2020 Dearly Margaret Atwood Ecco, 2020 It’s been a rough few years. The roughest bit may be that it’s not likely to be un-roughed. Maybe ever, but certainly not within my lifetime. We’ve lost loved ones to COVID, to violence, to depression. We’ve lost… Continue reading Two Restoratives

The Radiant Lives of Animals

The Radiant Lives of Animals Linda Hogan Beacon Press, 2020 This small book of poetry and prose is a love letter to Linda Hogan’s home. It is a narrative of recovery. Hogan must come back to health and strength after a severe horse-riding accident. The Depression-era cottage she buys to hide away and live quietly… Continue reading The Radiant Lives of Animals

Musing on Sparrow Envy

Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts J. Drew Lanham Hub City Press, 2021 There are at least 94 reasons to fall in love with this 94-page chapbook of poetry and poetic observations by J. Drew Lanham (one of the two black birders at any given birding festival). This singular collection deserves permanent… Continue reading Musing on Sparrow Envy

The Bright Ages: Review

The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe Matthew Gabriele and David Perry 2021, Harper To understand racism and misogyny — or any kind of thing-ness — and the violence entrained in these ideas, you must understand the history of the Middle Ages, what we pejoratively label the Dark Ages and what Matthew Gabriele… Continue reading The Bright Ages: Review

A Meditation on The Overstory

The Overstory Richard Powers 2018, W. W. Norton & Company What makes some people so utterly convinced that the only living being with awareness and will is humanity? I understand that many of these people have spent millennia believing in deities that placed humans above the rest of creation, but this seems to me to… Continue reading A Meditation on The Overstory

The Nutmeg’s Curse: Review

The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis Amitav Ghosh University of Chicago Press, 2021 In the The Nutmeg’s Curse, Amitav Ghosh presents a sweeping historical perspective of the interwoven crises of our times, showing us that our problems are structural, global and deeply rooted. We can’t say “It’s just capitalism” or “It’s patriarchy”… Continue reading The Nutmeg’s Curse: Review