The Etiquette of Freedom: Gary Snyder, Jim Harrison, and The Practice of the Wild


Gary Snyder - 2010
    Set amidst the natural beauty of the Santa Lucia Mountains, their conversations—harnessing their ideas of all that is wild, sacred and intimate in this world—move from the admission that Snyder’s mother was a devout atheist to his personal accounts of his initiation into Zen Buddhist culture, being literally dangled by the ankles over a cliff. After years of living in Japan, Snyder returns to the States to build a farmhouse in the remote foothills of the Sierras, a homestead he calls Kitkitdizze.For all of the depth in these conversations, Jim Harrison and Gary Snyder are humorous and friendly, and with the artfully interspersed dialogue from old friends and loves like Scott Slovic, Michael McClure, Jack Shoemaker, and Joanne Kyger, the discussion reaches a level of not only the personal, but the global, redefining our idea of the Beat Generation and challenging the future directions of the environmental movement and its association with “Deep Ecology.”The Etiquette of Freedom is an all-encompassing companion to the film The Practice of the Wild. A DVD is included which contains the film together with more than an hour of out-takes and expanded interviews, as well as an extended reading by Gary Snyder. The whole offers a rare glimpse of their extended discussion of life and what it means to be wild and alive.

The Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes


Jerry Dennis - 2011
    A conservationist with the soul of a poet whose beat is Wild Michigan, Dennis is a kindred spirit of Aldo Leopold and Sigurd Olson. The Windward Shore---his newest effort---is a beautifully written and elegiac memoir of outdoor discovery. Highly recommended!" ---Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America   "Come for a journey; stay for an awakening. Jerry Dennis loves the Great Lakes, the swell of every wave, the curve of every rock. He wants you to love them too before our collective trashing of them wipes out all traces of their original character. Through his eyes, you will treasure the hidden secrets that reveal themselves only to those who linger and long. Elegant and sad at the same time, The Windward Shore is a love song for the Great Lakes and a gentle call to action to save them." ---Maude Barlow, author of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water"In prose as clear as the lines in a Dürer etching, Jerry Dennis maps his home ground, which ranges outward from the back door of his farmhouse to encompass the region of vast inland seas at the heart of our continent. Along the way, inspired by the company of water in all its guises---ice, snow, frost, clouds, rain, shore-lapping waves---he meditates on the ancient questions about mind and matter, time and attention, wildness and wonder. As in the best American nature writing---a tradition that Dennis knows well---here the place and the explorer come together in brilliant conversation." ---Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Conservationist Manifesto If you have been enchanted by Jerry Dennis’s earlier work on sailing the Great Lakes, canoeing, angling, and the natural wonders of water and sky—or you have not yet been lucky enough to enjoy his engaging prose—you will want to immerse yourself in his powerful and insightful new book on winter in Great Lakes country.Grounded by a knee injury, Dennis learns to live at a slower pace while staying in houses ranging from a log cabin on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Peninsula to a $20 million mansion on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. While walking on beaches and exploring nearby woods and villages, he muses on the nature of time, weather, waves, agates, books, words for snow and ice, our complex relationship with nature, and much more.From the introduction: “I wanted to present a true picture of a complex region, part of my continuing project to learn at least one place on earth reasonably well, and trusted that it would appear gradually and accumulatively—and not as a conventional portrait, but as a mosaic that included the sounds and scents and textures of the place and some of the plants, animals, and its inhabitants. Bolstered by the notion that a book is a journey that author and reader walk together, I would search for promising trails and follow them as far as my reconstructed knee would allow.”

No Evil Star: Selected Essays, Interviews, and Prose


Anne Sexton - 1985
    Collects the best of Anne Sexton's memoirs and prose reflections on her development as a poet

The Lonely Land


Sigurd F. Olson - 1961
    The Lonely Land is a tribute to the unspoiled beauty of the deep wilderness and the rugged individuals past and present who take up a canoe paddle to explore it.

Mothers


Rachel Zucker - 2013
    "MOTHERs is a howling storm of a book. In this desperately digressive essay, the poet Rachel Zucker narrates her complicated path to becoming and not becoming her mother, the storyteller Diane Wolkstein. Zucker turns her intelligent eye outward and inward, including everything she knows about mothers, stories, poems, and consequence itself. In mythic terms, the essay is about a poet who doesn't want to turn into a storyteller. But as in all myths of avoidance, Zucker must eventually tell a terrifyingly inevitable story."—Sarah Manguso

Poverty Creek Journal


Thomas Gardner - 2014
    Knowing its edge like your own pulse and breathing. As I knew them this morning, racing a 10K in late-spring heat, the taste of panic in the last two miles as everything slipped away, losing time and barely finishing. A tingling in my limbs as if I were driving on ice, the road beneath me suddenly gone, the feeling of that in my hands. Deeper than words, being lost for a moment and then being done. Left with a pounding, stiff-legged stagger."Spiritual improvisations, radiant acts of attention: echoing Thoreau's Walden, the meditations of Guy Davenport, and Kenny Moore's groundbreaking articles for Sports Illustrated, Thomas Gardner strides through inner and outer landscapes. Freed by disciplined effort, the runner's mind here roams and mourns and remembers.

Walking Light: Memoirs and Essays on Poetry


Stephen Dunn - 1993
    W. Norton in 1993, now out of print. In Walking Light, Dunn discusses the relationship between art and sport, the role of imagination in writing poetry, and the necessity for surprise and discovery when writing a poem. Humorous, intelligent and accessible, Walking Light is a book that will appeal to writers, readers, and teachers of poetry.Stephen Dunn is the author of eleven collection of poetry. He teaches writing and literature at the Richard Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey, and lives in Port Republic, New Jersey.

Dances With Trout


John Gierach - 1994
    In this new collection of essays on fishing —and hunting—Gierach discusses fishing for trout in Alaska, for salmon in Scotland and for almost anything in Texas. He offers his perceptive observations on the subject of ice-fishing, getting lost, fishing at night, tournaments and the fine art of tying flies. Gierach also shares his hunting technique, which involves reading a good book and looking up occasionally to see if any deer have wandered by. Always entertaining, often irreverent and illuminating, Gierach invites readers into his enviable way of life, and effortlessly sweeps them along. As he writes in Dances with Trout, “Fly-fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations. It’s not even clear if catching fish is actually the point.”

Coyote's Canyon


Terry Tempest Williams - 1989
    This is Coyote's country--a landscape of the imagination, where nothing is as it appears.

Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace and War


William Stafford - 2003
    Throughout a century of conflict he remained convinced that wars simply don’t work. In his writings, Stafford showed it is possible—and crucial—to think independently when fanatics act, and to speak for reconciliation when nations take sides. He believed it was a failure of imagination to only see two options: to fight or to run away.This book gathers the evidence of a lifetime’s commitment to nonviolence, including an account of Stafford’s near-hanging at the hands of American patriots. In excerpts from his daily journal from 1951-1991, Stafford uses questions, alternative views of history, lyric invitations, and direct assessments of our political habits to suggest another way than war. Many of these statements are published here for the first time, together with a generous selection of Stafford’s pacifist poems and interviews from elusive sources.Stafford provides an alternative approach to a nation’s military habit, our current administration’s aggressive instincts, and our legacy of armed ventures in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and beyond.

The Farm


Wendell Berry - 1995
    

Blue Pastures


Mary Oliver - 1995
    She praises Whitman, denounces cuteness, notes where to find the extraordinary, and extols solitude.

Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid


Nikki Giovanni - 2013
    There are stories, imaginings, whimsy, and startling images which prove the poet’s power and her command of language . . . Anyone with a love of language will be delighted with this book and the continuing publication of America’s treasured poet.”—San Francisco Book ReviewThe poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. She's been hailed as a healer and as a national treasure. But Giovanni's heart resides in the everyday, where family and lovers gather, friends commune, and those no longer with us are remembered. And at every gathering there is food—food as sustenance, food as aphrodisiac, food as memory. A pot of beans is flavored with her mother's sighs—this sigh part cardamom, that one the essence of clove; a lover requests a banquet as an affirmation of ongoing passion; homage is paid to the most time-honored appetizer: soup.With Chasing Utopia, Giovanni demands that the prosaic—flowers, birdsong, winter—be seen as poetic, and reaffirms once again why she is as energetic, "remarkable" (Gwendolyn Brooks), "wonderful" (Marian Wright Edelman),"outspoken, prolific, energetic" (New York Times), and relevant as ever.

If I Had My Life to Live Over I Would Pick More Daisies


Sandra Martz - 1992
    Vintage softcover

Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life


Jenny Boully - 2018
    Literary theory, philosophy, and linguistics rub up against memory, dreamscapes, and fancy, making the practice of writing a metaphor for the illusory nature of experience. Betwixt and Between is, in many ways, simply a book about how to live.