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Home Ground, A Guide to the American Landscape

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Edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney (Trinity University Press, field edition 2013)   “What draws our attention?” Barry Lopez asks in his introduction of Home Ground, a surprisingly entertaining guide to the language of the American landscape. Humans are predisposed to pay attention to subtle changes in the natural world, harking back to our hunting/gathering […]

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Writing Process Blog Hop

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At every reading or workshop I give, a hand will raise and the question is asked: Where do I get my ideas from? And here’s the god’s honest truth: I don’t know! Who can keep track of what comes and goes through the labyrinth of flesh known as the brain? That’s not what I say […]

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Writing Wild

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Writing Wild Forming a Creative Partnership With Nature By Tina Welling New World Library, 2014   My favorite quote from Writing Wild is one Tina Welling borrows from Jesus, of all people: “If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you.” This comes from the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, which was […]

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Dorothy Addams Brown, 1923 – 2014

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This Saturday we said good by to Dotty Brown at the UU Church in Gloucester. Dotty was a friend to all, and benefactress to the city and beyond. She was in the first generation of American women to be college educated, and because of this, had high expectations placed upon them. Dotty showed us how […]

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The Human Shore, Seacoasts in History by John R. Gillis

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  The Human Shore, University of Chicago Press, 2012   The interior section of Cape Ann, which includes Gloucester and Rockport, is called Dogtown. It was the earliest part of the Cape to be settled, and was later abandoned, so that its only occupants for many years were dogs, witches, and other assorted outcasts. It is […]

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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee.Tim Folger, Series Editor. Science is a scary word. At least, it used to be for those of us who grew up messing around in the hazy world of literature and art, not empirical facts. Science was what made it possible to go to the moon, so science meant rocket science. […]

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The Greening of Literature

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Last week at the AWP conference in Seattle, I participated in a panel called The Greening of Literature: Eco-Fiction and Poetry to Enlighten and Inspire. The discussion was led by John Yunker of Ashland Creek, an environmentally conscious press in Oregon, (and publisher of Float). I was joined by poet Gretchen Primack, and fiction writers […]

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Winter Burial

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Two days before Christmas, Mr. Black Goat, of ancient years, had a stroke which left him unable to walk. I fed, watered, and cleaned his bedding three times a day, each day expecting it to be his last. His brother, Mr. White Goat, had died of a quick series of strokes the year before, and […]

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Stung!

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  I read an entire book on jellyfish, and it was worth every gelatinous minute. Here is my review, originally published on ecolitbooks.com.   Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean, by Lisa-ann Gershwin (The University of Chicago Press, 2013)   They’re here, and we’ve not just cleared out the guest room for […]

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New Fiction from Terrain

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This story was recently published in Terrain, A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments. I wrote it based on a real estate ad, so it leans very much towards the built environment, and was a finalist for their Elemental contest. Rare Offering. Paneled library, garden room, Sensational  distant views, historical landscape. Gated community. Great room with […]

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