We are very happy to be moving along in the world of publishing as an indie press and trying our best to keep our voice alive and well during the pandemic. Many of our authors decided to delay their book launches during the onset of COVID-19 a year ago. We have a slew of books coming out this springâand what a great list! Â Click the link below to find out more!
At GWP, we celebrate International Womenâs Day by sharing with you some photos of women authors, who are strong, resilient, and who are advocating their dreams, their freedom, and their place in the world. For so much that women have already achieved in terms of gender equality, there is so much more still to do.
Top, left to right: Cassie Fancher, Sharyn Skeeter, Sarina Prabasi and daughters from a few years ago), Irene Skyriver, Madeleine Kunin
Middle row, left to right: Shabnam Samuel, Dana Simson, Christine Marie Eberle, Leslie Rivver, Keema Â Waterfield, Megan Baxter
Dr. M Â Jackson in Nat. Geo photo, middle right
Botton row, left to right: T Stores, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Jaime Scanlon and Ellen Tumavicus, Ha Kiet Chau, and (top) Shifra Malk with (bottom) Charity Gingerich
We have some exciting books by women coming out this spring and early summer!
FARM GIRL by MEGAN BAXTER
ELEVEN MILES TO JUNE by HA KIET CHAU
INSIDE PASSAGE by KEEMA WATERFIELD
RED KITE, BLUE SKY poems by MADELEINE KUNIN
Check our our Bookshop.org affiliate page to see more upcoming titles. . .Â
Thanks for the support and Â our amazing women writers!
Finding Environmental Unity in Simple Ways through Come Together: Handbook to Retool for the Future
Written By: Sydney Vincent Â | Â An Interview with GWP author Dana Simson
This word has become a daily occurrence in many young peopleâs lives, including my own. Between keeping an active and healthy lifestyle and understanding that our own Earth is under attack, threatening our future, it can be hard to ignore this word. We are constantly bombarded by products and technology that ensure a longer life or encourage a new way to live. In a sense, sustainability has become a weaponized word in our society, a constant, looming idea many young people shy away from. Weâve seen it tear our nation apart. However, in her newest book Come Together: Handbook to Retool for the Future, Dana Simson does not shy away from this word. Instead, she looks at it with a new refreshing and positive lens. She offers easy and environmentally sustainable ways to live, eat, clean, and create with common items in your home. She encourages each reader to take this handbook seriously as it is not just another gimmick to spend more money on supposedly âorganicâ products, but promotes a change in lifestyle for the betterment of our earth. With her handbook, Simson redefines what it means to be sustainable and how, as members of humankind, each of us can understand that we are the problem, but we are also the solution.
I got the opportunity to sit down (socially distanced, of course) with Dana Simson and talk about the beautiful change this book could create, even asking for some tips of my own about how to navigate the secret to simple living as a college student.
Sydney: Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to speak with me, Dana. I have read through this book and could not believe the amount of simple yet effective methods and recipes for products that I would normally purchase off of a shelf without a bat of my eye. How did you come across these tips and tricks? Were they self-taught or have you learned them from others over the years?
Dana: As an artist, I am trained to observe things on a variety of levels. This makes the world incredibly interesting and full of possibilities. When I walk into a building or pick up a product, the first thing I see is its design. Is it beautiful? Does it work well? How might it be improved? Invention is part of creativity. I have always loved the game of seeing alternatives and finding better ways to do things.
This guidebook contains beautiful illustrations that differentiate it from other handbooks I have read. What was your thought process in including these drawings and talk about your own style of art and why that helps you write about the earth.
My goal with the book is that the content gets out to as many folks as possible to start a bottom up movement that hopefully will grow to speed awareness and action, to stop the harmful practices currently hurting our planet and living things. I began my art career doing a comic strip for the Baltimore Sun and a few other newspapers, the illustrations lightened the message and also helped to deliver it. A bit of humor always helps. I want to encourage and create an atmosphere of joyful doing.
As I read this guidebook, I felt that I was being spoken to, my college self being able to resonate and become inspired through a lot of your tips and tricks. Why have you decided to gear your work towards younger audiences and how do you think that will help our world change for the better? Why not target the older generation, the generation in power now?
Iâm glad you felt engaged, and I do think the book may be especially potent as young people become the next wave of consumers and legislators. The book was written for all ages: older people that feel frustrated and want to change old habits, also families that can tackle the gaming aspect together (try to get groceries with no plastic, or think how to reuse packaging materials in other ways), or anyone really. We all can enjoy rethinking and retooling.
We all can save money and our environment.
Sample illustration from the book
When did you first become inspired by sustainability and discover your voice in advocating for a cleaner earth? What advice would you give to those struggling to speak up about climate change?
Funny, as a kid, when other kids were playing cops and robbers or the like, I wanted to play environmental activist. In the seventies, when I was growing up, there was a famous commercial that showed an Indigenous man paddling his canoe through garbage and litter. At the end he turns to the camera and a tear rolls down his cheek. People have lived in harmony with ecosystems- it can be done. The pandemic shows us we can get by with less driving, flying, we can find the joy of baking bread and eating from a garden we planted together. The commercial with the Indigenous man was actually sponsored by the plastics industry to promote recycling as a movement had started against plastic use. The problem with recycling is that it is more a concept than a working solution; it was better to limit/stop use of plastic and find alternatives.
The beauty in adapting the practices suggested in the book is that you are speaking most eloquently and clearly with the actions you live by. In my rural community on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I am one of the few people that takes market bags into the grocery store. I also reuse the netbags onions or limes come in for loose produce rather than taking the filmy plastic single use bags provided. People note this and we start a dialogue. People want to do the right thing. Seeing others doing it is what inspires change.
Now that President Biden and Madam Vice President Harris are in office, what are your hopes for Americaâs role in climate change and our activism with it?
I believe President Biden and VP Harris, along with other mindful politicians, understand the gravity of the foolish setbacks and careless legislation of the Trump years. There are many hard working environmental groups, scientists, and educators working for swift, wise legislation and we may see some important steps forward here. But the point of Come Together is not to wait for others to tell us what we should do. Democracy takes time, years, and can experience counterproductive derailment, like the four wasted years of inaction and slipping backward as we have just experienced. We are the change.
Hypothetically, if the entire world were to read your book and take action, what do you envision would happen in five years? Ten years? Even fifty years?
This answer might surprise you. First off, we would be happier and healthier. I believe a feeling of being held-hostage by things we think are out of our control would be replaced by empowerment and clear direction. When people turn from toxic, over-processed, heavily packaged food or product, the companies producing such items will have to change to keep their market. If everyone today stopped buying/using plastic, the gushing faucet of manufacturing would turn off (plastic is fossil fuelâs Plan B). If people say we want to buy in bulk – weâd bring our own jars and bags – grocery stores would respond with this option. As consumers, we vote with our dollars. This is a numbers game; the more people that think about our future, the shorter the time frame to a smarter, safer one.
âI canât let you go without asking about some tips for young people like myself. Got any tricks for a college student wanting to make a change in their lives and environmentally?
So many of the things we buy over and over again in plastic can be made easily in a few moments. A few key items that are very inexpensive can take the place of a clutter of cleaning products (and their bulky containers): vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, Castile soap, etc.
When you buy hand soap sold in small plastic push bottles – and we need to wash our hands a lot these days – you are paying a lot for water and a teaspoon of Castile soap flakes with a drop or two of glycerin and 6 drops of Teatree essential oil. Why not reuse the containers and fill a bunch of them? They make great gifts for friends and for spreading a wise idea; even put the easy recipe on the bottle.
You can make your own cleaning and personal care products like conditioner, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Many of these are actually better for you than the commercial products, which can contain toxic ingredients that build up in your system and harm the water supply once it goes down the drain.
When I was just starting out with little money in my pocket, I used to make my own bread, yogurt, and other items that cost little in time and money to make. Making is grounding and strengthens your resolve that whatever it is you can do it. This mindset has served me well and led me to amazing experiences I might not have tackled, like using my skill set to write this book and do something positive for the future we all share.
Packaging doesn’t have to be waste!
Who needs a store when you can DIY?
Being environmentally conscious and still having fun donât have to be mutually exclusive. But donât take it from me, take it from Dana, who lives this life of simple sustainability everyday and has passed on her own tips to us in her book Come Together: Handbook to Retool for the Future. As a college student struggling to balance my own life, diet, the political climate, and my responsibility to Mother Earth, it can be difficult to find clarity in how to take care of myself and others. Fortunately, Dana was able to provide some guidance. With this knowledge, I now feel confident in my actions and hope to provide unity in this world through all facets of my life, no longer seeing sustainability as a weapon, but a tool for change.
Come Together: Handbook to Retool for the Future releases on February 23, 2021 through Green Writers Press in Brattleboro, Vermont. Please visit our website http://greenwriterspress.com/book/come-together/ for more details on the book and how to order.
OR CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ORDER TODAY FROM OUR FEATURED WEEKLY INDIE BOOKSTORE, EVERYONE’S BOOKS IN BRATTLEBORO, VT!
âStart with EASY BREAD RECIPE from Dana Simson:
You can put this together in the morning and let it rise all dayâbake it as you make dinner and have fresh bread! Great for breakfast in the morning with almond butter and honey, or peanut butter and banana.
3.5 cups of flour or bread flour (I sometimes do 2 cup flour, 1 cup whole wheat, .5 cup (half) of flax meal)
1 tsp sugar
.5 tsp salt
1.5 cup warm water
Mix it up in the bowl with a spoon till it forms a ballâ flour your hands and knead the dough a minute or two
Put a little cornmeal or flour in bottom of bowl so it doesn’t stick
Cover with a damp clean dish towel and have your day (you can also cook bread in a few hours if you want)
Around dinnertime….preheat the oven to 425 and put an empty metal bowl on the bottom rack.
Tip the bread out onto a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan
Push it into shapeâlightly score top
Put in oven
Take a half glass of water and pour into the heated bowl below the bread pan for steam (this will make a nice crunchy crust, European style)
Keep an eye on itâmaybe 25 minutesâ and test by pushing a silverware knife in- comes out clean
All done. Super yummy and hot with butterâbon appetit!
GWP Winter 2021 FWT Interns
This Â year, 2021 is off to a great start with this stellar group of Bennington College Field Work TermÂ interns and three other amazing interns. Dede is always impressedÂ with workingÂ with these smart, motivated young people, who take their internships seriously and really help run the press! Â
Daisy Billington is a first year student at Bennington College. She is interested in studying creative writing, the arts and education. In her free time, Daisy loves spending time outdoors, meeting new people, drawing, playing guitar and writing short stories. Lately, Daisy has enjoyed reading classic plays and poetry.
Iulia Butner is a Bennington College sophomore. “Being an English student, literature is a deep fascination of mine, and my ever-present love of reading and writing from a young age has lent to me an intrinsically keen eye for the fine details of spelling, grammar,Â punctuation, and structure.”
Kat LâEsperance-StokesÂ is a current sophomore at Bennington College studying Literature and Anthropology. She has publications with Gathering Storms, Wingless Dreamer, and Newfound Magazine. You can find her on instagram and twitter @katlstokes
Bernie Frishberg is a freshman at Bennington, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Her favorite books include One More Thing by BJ Novak and Room by Emma Donoghue; her favorite colors include #8500b5, #c787ff, and #ff69dd. In her free time, Bernie occasionally does things, such as sewing things onto her pants and writing weird prose.
Jasmine Groom is a second year at Bennington College, studying the cultural adaptation of mythology. She has a long-held interest in art, 19th century fiction and creative writing. From the suburbs of Chicago, in her spare time she likes to bake, take long walks and listen to music.
Emily GutierrezÂ is a first year student at Bennington, originally from Miami, Fl. She is a student of Philosophy with a love for writing. In her time left over, she loves music, meditation, and cooking.
Connie McClugage is a first year at Bennington College studyingÂ creative writing and linguistics. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, she’s still getting used to the cold weather but you can find her writing poetry, watching a Star Wars movie, or learning a new language.
Sofia Titina Salusso is always looking for a good book to read. She is a sophomore at Bennington College where she dedicates her time to writing, literature, theater, media studies, playing the violin, conversations with friends that make her think or laugh, running on back roads, mending all the little tears that clothes grow with wear, and watching the seasons go by, only to find herself constantly astounded at timeâs passing. She loves to be in the mountains and hopes to find, in her future, a balance between breadth of nature and the comfort of other curious souls.
Cassandra Taylor is a senior at Bennington college, studying literature and writing with a specific interest in using the medium of storytelling to help forge and strengthen communities. Raised by a family of avid storytellers herself, she loves to gather around family and friends to share tales old and new. In her spare time, Cassandra spends her time cozied up with her cats enjoying a nice cup of tea and working on her latest knitting project.
Dylan Walawender is a freshman at Bennington College, studying literature/writing with supporting areas of media studies and psychology. He has an interest in Modernist literature and journalism, with a special affinity for contemporary essays, personal narratives, and poetry. Hailing from Cayuga, New York, in his free time Dylan enjoys hiking, writing, reading, and collecting plants.
Winter Interns outside of Bennington’s Field Work Term:
Sydney VincentÂ is currently a sophomore at Susquehanna University, studying Publishing/Editing and Creative Writing with a minor in International Studies. In her free time, she enjoys spending her days outside hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing in the Pocono Mountains, which she calls home. She hopes to open her own independent bookstore or press one day, hike the El Camino in its entirety before she turns thirty, and move to Colorado with her crazy cat, Shelby.
Aubergine Evans (O for short) is a recent alum of the late Marlboro College & an emerging poet out of Brattleboro, VT. They grew up in Louisiana, where they cultivated their passion for writing, asking questions, and spicy food. But this is where they choose to root themselfâin the Vermont soil where poetry grows thick as moss & tall as mountains. They are interested in the plurality & movement in language & form; this interest has led them to the edges of genre, to hybrid forms & hybrid ways of imagining language. They completed a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center for Vermont Artistsâ Week & have volunteered for & attended various writing programs through Stockton University. Though writing is their primary craft, they also delight in various 2DÂ & 3D visual arts, learning new skills, gardening, & flow arts.
Rosie Rudavsky is an artist and writer living in New York City. She is a recent graduate from Oberlin College, where she studied History and Religion and first developed an interest in writing creative non-fiction. These days, Rosie works at a cheese shop, tutors and reports for a local newspaper. Rosie loves to read short stories, dance, cook and visit museums.
Calling on Governments to Commit to Urgent Action on Climate and Environmental Literacy at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UKCombined with Civic Education, Climate Literacy will create jobs, build a green consumer market, and allow citizens to engage with their governments in a meaningful way to solve climate change
Dear Executive SecretaryÂ Patricia EspinosaÂ and Signatories to the Paris Agreement Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
We, the undersigned, call on governments to commit to taking bold action on climate and environmental literacy. The decades-long failure to provide quality and meaningful climate and environmental education and civic skills to primary and secondary students worldwide has undermined the effort to solve the climate crises and other critical environmental issues while hampering efforts to build a global green economy and to create the jobs of the future.
It has also impeded efforts to teach citizens the civic skills that they need to fully participate in their national, state, and local government decision-making process, undermining the rights of citizens to take action to protect themselves, their children, and the health of the planet.
Next year, governments will meet at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK to raise ambition under the UNâs Paris Climate Change Agreement. That stepped-up action must include climate and environmental literacy.
It is time for governments to show leadership by agreeing to ambitious plans that will equip primary and secondary students everywhere with the knowledge and the skills they need in a rapidly changing world.
â˘ In doing so, a new generation will be able to make the best and most environmentally informed choices on the way they live, work and participate in government while providing a climate literate workforce needed to build the new, stronger and sustainable economy vital in the 21st century.
â˘ In doing so, leaders can help ensure that the first generation of truly climate literate and civically active citizens will be able to hold governments, states, regions, cities, and businesses accountable for their actions.
We, the undersigned, urge governments at COP 26 to deliver an outcome that gives climate literacy the same importance as any other key subject by strengthening the aims, ambitions, and aspirations of Action for Climate Empowerment, Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.
â˘ We, the undersigned, request governments to make climate education compulsory, assessed and linked to civic engagement. By civic engagement we mean students will be taught the necessary skills to take an active role in shaping the future of their communities and our planet.
â˘ While every country must be free to choose their roadmap for implementing climate literacy, we believe that climate and environmental literacy requires that these subjects be fully integrated and embedded across all grade levels and disciplines.
â˘ We also urge governments to find ways and means to advance climate literacy at home, and support poorer countries’ efforts to meet their climate education goals.
The Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards are a series of Canadian literary awards, presented annually by the Quebec Writers’ Federation to the best works of literature in English by writers from Quebec. The A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry is one of seven categories in the annual awards.
CONGRATS to GWP poet, Sarah Wolfson!
The poems in A Common Name for Everything build idiosyncratic worlds around the themes of nature, home, parenting, and namingâworlds that are at once poignant and absurd: a professional namer of lakes explains his standards; the rural gods are given names; a study of sheep results in loneliness. Steeped in sound play and borrowing academic language to create a specimen lens, these poems bask in the local as they seek to name even the commonest earthly things.
Advance Praise for A Common Name for Everything
âIn her stunning first book of poems, Sarah Wolfson drives a team of spirited horses into rural landscapes, many of which she interiorizes figuratively in ways that are wonderfully strange. In one keenly intelligent, musical poem after another, Wolfson instills her lyrical narratives about motherhood, environmental crisis, the inherent elegy of words, natural history, and poetry itself with chthonic imagery, risible asides, empirical logic, and academic nomenclature. For her, poetry itself is âthe common name of everything,â and from her âplaceâ she serves her reader âsoup and small/ theories of holinessâ in evocatively specific, sublime ways. By writing from the ground and body up, Wolfson surprises herself first and then her reader with language that soars with verbal music . . . A Common Name for Everything marks the debut of an enormously talented, wise, and timely new voice. â
âChard deNiord, Poet Laureate of Vermont
âInÂ A Common Name for EverythingÂ Sarah Wolfson demonstrates, again and again, an entirely uncommon talent for precise and defamiliarizing observation. At times declarative and deceptively plain, and at others more fractured and gestural, the poems in this formidable first collection are informed by a lyric sensibility that is authentic, playful, and unflinchingly direct.â
âPhillip Crymble, Poetry Editor atÂ The Fiddlehead; author ofÂ Not Even LaughterÂ
âI canât remember when I last read a book of poems that provided such varied pleasures . . . But the gorgeous surfaces of Sarah Wolfsonâs workâthe poetâs intelligence and curiosityÂ and witâare not ends in themselves, but a way to get at what seems essential in the self and the world. So we learn the poet is skeptical of god âthough not of souls,â become acquainted with a daughterâs âneed to wonder,â and waken with the poet to marvel at August âwith its great star events.âÂ In short,Â A Common Name for EverythingÂ is anything but common.Â Iâm already eager to hear more from this poet, to be swept away again.â
âClare Rossini, author of Lingo and Winter Morning with Crow
“. . . Humane and full of wonder even as it resists all that is inflated by romanticism, A Common Name for Everythingâs insistence on Earthâs ordinary orderings doesnât efface the deep reverence the speaker has for the same. If thereâs a divine in Wolfsonâs world, itâs this world itself and all thatâs passing through it. In her poemsâ radical adjustment of scale back to something earthly and earthy, thereâs more than enough.” âLetitia Montgomery-Rodgers, review excerpt from Orion
About the Author
Sarah Wolfsonâs poems have appeared in Canadian and American journals including The Fiddlehead, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, PRISM international, and TriQuarterlyâand they have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. Originally from Vermont, she now lives in Montreal, where she teaches at McGill University.
Good news can be hard to come by these days, but if you’re an emerging poet â or eager to emerge â here’s a welcome opportunity: The Johnson-based Sundog Poetry Center has just announced a brand-new First or Second Book Award for poetry. And there’s a reason for that slightly awkward-sounding name.
“Sometimes a first book is heavily collaborative,” explains Neil Shepard, a veteran poet, the founder of Green Mountains Review and a Sundog board member. “The second is usually post-MFA â really the first book. That’s still relatively an emerging poet.”
In other words, writers who vie for this award might already have an extant book or chapbook, or they might just have a bursting-with-promise manuscript. Either way, the winning entry will be designed, printed and distributed by Sundog collaborator Green Writers Press in Brattleboro.
Tamra Higgins and Mary Jane Dickerson founded Sundog in 2014 with the mission to “promote poetry for the enrichment of our cultural lives,” according to its website. The nonprofit has fulfilled that promise with publications, workshops, retreats, readings and other events. For the most part, Shepard points out, these ventures have featured established poets. For example, when Sundog began collaborating with Green Writers Press, his own book Vermont Exit Ramps II was the first to be published.
But, after Sundog and the press released the 2019 volume Vermont Poets and Their Craft, edited by Shepard and Higgins, “we decided to do something for emerging poets,” Shepard says.
The competition is open only to Vermonters, defined as residents of the state a minimum of six months of the year. The submission deadline is October 31 and must include proof of residency and a $20 application fee. Manuscripts should be 48 to 64 pages long.
Shepard notes that he and other board members â Dickerson, former Vermont poet laureate Chard DeNiord, Rebecca Starks and Bill Drislane â and managing director Sarah Audsley will “each choose two or three manuscripts by the end of November and send them to our final judge, Mary Ruefle.” Vermont’s current poet laureate, Ruefle will make her decision by December 31. The winner will receive $500 and 50 copies of the published book.
Eyes on the prize, poets.
The final judge is Vermont Poet Laureate, and award-winning poet, Mary Ruefle.Â
This contest is open to all Vermont-based poets. Submissions of manuscripts of a first or second book, by a Vermont poet, will open on September 1st and close on October 31st, 2020. A cash prize of $500 will be awarded along with 50 copies. Sundog Poetry will provide assistance with promotion through a featured book launch and readings scheduled throughout the state. Manuscripts should be between 48 and 64 pages. All submissions must be authored by a poet who resides in Vermont; proof of residency will be requested along with a $20 application fee online via Submittable.
Submissions open September 1, 2020 and close at midnight on October 31, 2020
In related news, Sundog/Green Writers Press-affiliated poet Stephen Cramer has launched the recently published Turn It Up! Music in Poetry From Jazz to Hip-Hop.
ORIGINALLY FROM SEVEN DAYS ARTICLE.
Earth Day 2020 is Wednesday, April 22! This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversaryÂ of this day. Think about how to serve the planet this weekâcleaning up some litter on your walk or around your house, planting a tree, or simply enjoying companionship with nature.
Every year the Earth Day Network, as organizers of the original Earth Day, selects an environmental priority to engage the global public.
The enormous challenges â but also the vast opportunities â of acting on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary year. At the end of 2020, nations will be expected to increase their national commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, so the time is now for citizens to call for greater global ambition to tackle our climate crisis.
Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. Unless every country in the world steps up â and steps up with urgency and ambition â we are consigning current and future generations to a dangerous future.
Earth Day 2020 will be far more than a day. It must be an historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.
Green Writers Press is celebrating Earth Day 2020 by releasing a brand new e-book called COME TOGETHER by Dana Simson (link to buy).Â This is an engaging handbook to launch a movement of individuals to tackle global warming by simply retooling our daily actions. Easy proactive steps develop a long term perspective based in civility, integrity and an invigorating love for our earth. Save money, lose clutter, live well, feel happy and healthier as you pull for the planet.Â Make smart changes through a bottoms up strategy for now where each of us is empowered to make a difference in little ways that trend to big solutions.The Movement of One is both the individual and all of us connected in this common goal. Pass this book on. We are the change.
This is the book we should all be reading right now to empower each of us in the movement for bottom-up change.
âPamela South, facilitator of Green Engineers, middle school media specialist
Come Together goes beyond tackling climate change with a call to build respectful community to honor all living things and earth. It is truly a handbook for all of our futures.
âHeidi Thompson, Sacred Soul Gathering of Women founder
Great guide for those who are choosing to be mindful of choices affecting the environment!
Excellent information to help decrease your enviromental impact!
Assembling this anthology of poems about kindness and connection was a work almost entirely of intuition. I somehow just knew that I wanted to arrange the poems alphabetically, and quite early on, I had a sense that I wanted to begin the book with Ellery Akersâs ‘The Word That Is a Prayer,’ about the use of the word Please, and that I wanted to end the anthology with Miller Williamsâs shorter piece, ‘Compassion,’ which seemed to encompass exactly whatÂ Healing the DivideÂ was trying to sayâthat itâs best to be kind and compassionate to others, since we have no idea what unseen battles they might still be fighting deep inside. Even though the poems were arranged alphabetically, however, I do feel thereâs a rhythm to the book, and each poem feeds fairly logically into the next. As with my own creative work, Iâm always trying to achieve a kind of narrative and flow, and how I go about this is not entirely explainable, but readers do seem to pick up on it.â from an interview with James by Nicholas Jamesthat appeared in our literary magazineÂ The Hopper
GWP encourages our writers, artists, freelance staff, readers, and interns to send us their writing so we can put it out on our blog and publish it there for all the world to see (and our legions of followers!) Here is a powerful poem by GWP author, Irene Skyriver:
(I named this poem after one of the few modern movements that made sense to me)
What will we do for the love of our Mother Earth?
I say it is not the time for silent retreats and meditations
Did, or do the victims of:
The Klu Klux Klan
Did they have time to meditate on ensuing chaos or demise?
Did they have time to understand
Just before they were swinging from the limb of a tree?
Or just before their children were gunned-down or forced to cross barren deserts
Did they have time to contemplate
those âleadersâ, or soldiers, or white supremacists
as perhaps being their miss-guided but lovable brothers?
Our Earth Mother is Black, she is Wounded Knee, she is a child gunned down in Viet Nam
She is a rape victim
Now is not the time to tread gently or to tippy toe
Now is not the time to try to understand the Hitlerâs or the orange ones of our species
We need to be as unapologetic and powerful as the Earth herself
We need to be as relentless as the grind of a glacier
We need to be an earthquake to tumble the fortresses of greed
We need hurricane force winds of change
We need to be flooded with purpose
We need to be like the blaze of an incoming comet to turn this tide of suicide
We will recharge in the serenity of the Sunâs dip and rise
We will carry on with the knowing that others are dying for rhinos, elephants, butterflies, treesâŚ
And by knowing there is too little time for meditation and silent retreats Â
Irene Skyriver, Pacific NW Coast author/grandmother/farmer/activist
Because of the good life I live on my farm in the San Juan Islands, I must convince myself as much asÂ anyone, to leave the comforts of our homes, families and life as we know it, to RIZE UP and fight for theÂ Earth and Sky. Even our children know, we humans have our heads in the sand, as we blithely carry on inÂ our consumptive, unsustainable lifestyles, leaving them to the wreckage of our defeatist inaction.
Although I am not a hardcore activist, Iâve taken action at important events and Iâm readying myself forÂ deeper involvement in our local environmental issues (which are profound) as we prepare to fight hugeÂ increases of Canadian tar-sand tanker shipments through our already decimated Salish Seas. With ourÂ local Orca whale population on the brink of extinction and salmon runs failing catastrophically, I see myÂ life as a grandmother, best spent fighting, and dying if needed, for the dream that perhaps a seaÂ swelling of hearts and minds will awaken and turn the tide. We need to step out of our comfort zonesÂ and fight for the environmental health of every biome of this planet and sky. â˘
You can order Irene’s book at your favorite, local independent bookstore, or here at Indieboud!
For our series “A Poem a Day,” we are honored to publish a sequence of poems from the editor of our climate change anthology, So Little Time: Words and Images for a World in Climate Crisis, Greg Delanty. About his upcoming poetry collection No More Time (due from LSU Press next August/September) where this sequence is taken from:
Â No More Time as a whole, is showing, at the start of the 21st century, how we are all connected in so many ways.Â The sequence âThe Field Guide to Peopleâ is arranged alphabetically and is a kind of integrated earthly heaven (thriving flora and fauna), purgatory (declining flora and fauna) and hell (extinct flora and fauna). The decline of the creatures and plants of the latter two is due in every case mainly to humans. The form of the poems in this sequence is the terza rimasonnet, both poems of the underworld and love poems to the natural world, connecting the past with the present in form and content. Since one of the greatest poems to portray humans in the Christian world is Danteâs underworld, Delanty has created a representative underworld for plants and creatures, rectifying the general centuries-old western attitude that humans are not apart, but part of the environment.
As a chimp, usually the adult male,
approaches and the roar of the
water booms louder, you see him,
speed up. His demeanor starts to
alter, hair bristling. Arriving at the
he stands, sways from one foot to the other,
bows, genuflects. Answering some call,
he dips his hand as if in holy water, splashes
himself along the tassel border of the silk
climbs the bell ropes of draping vines,
lashes his body to several, takes flight
over the deafening water as it crashes.
He swings like a thurible above that veil of
white; the spray is the incense of the
monkeyâs water rite.
Sometimes you see something so
dreadful that the mindÂ snaps a shot
or shoots a video of the scenario,
lasers it into your retina onÂ the spot,Â
impaled in you for as long as you live:
Â a teacher thrashing a pupil â a crying tot â
or the elephant Dan and I saw given a
sedative so she could rest, sleep, that time
in Dublin Zoo. The aged female was
trapped in a repetitive
back and forth on her haunches,
unable to stop herself, a tormented
beast of Orcus.
Her attendant explained, feeding her bamboo,
âTwas her one way to move, trapped in the van of a circus
so long. Rescuing her was our onus and bittersweet bonus.â
I feel like a student in my Environment
101, crushed by daily news: creatures
going or gone, the changing climate, the
planet under the gun.
In teacher mode I tell them: âFor yourselves you
press on, your own wellbeing. Youâre entitled to be
Action makes life fun. Good news: the CafĂŠ Marron
and sage grouse are savedâ. I say nothing of the scurfpea,
Orbexilum stipulatum? Its modest flower
blending with white-bearded cascades. A
or more and not a single sighting along the
river at Rock Island. It relied too much on
the bison. You know how one thing depends
with the jowled ones diminished, so went this
âun; finally condemned with the building of US
In January 2000, the Pyrenean ibex (Spanish common name âbucardoâ)
became extinct. Scientists cloned DNA from a last female.
In the end, no cliff or impossible
crag could save them from
plantation or gun. Their heads hang
on walls. Hunters brag.
Many were taken down for sheer fun.
The king pucks — their antler plumes
rising magisterially — plugged one by none.
Gone the clash of horn scimitars,
grooms battling to mate, the
bucardo of lore.
White-coated gods in lab rooms
summoned one back from the dark shore
of the underworld. They should have
known from the ancient myths what was
She returned after seven minutes, lone
clone, relieved to be back among the herds
of her own.
Â Jellyfish Tree
Imagine a place, a zone, an
underworld which includes more
than our own kind:
the green and moving ones: ferns with curled
violin necks, gloaming players who
grind their wings together. And listen,
the music, the strain of this bird
lingers in the wind.
What flute-like notes, what warbling, what
a lick of trills and whistles. Can you hear
Heard melodies are sometimes sweeter. A trick
of the breeze, zephyr? Things went
wrong with land clearing. Hurricane
season intensified, uprooted trees, and
mosquitoes multiplied in rain-storm
stagnation. The song: a figment of my
Northern Gastric Frog
This creatureâs extinction is attributable to the human introduction
of pathogenic fungi into their native range.
This one was a bit of an artist,
especially the female, so oddly
At home in backwater rocky
cascades and riffles. Hard to
find, to spot even when
Its stone-hued skin and sepia behind
blending in. After the female
laid eggs, in vitro fertilized by her
groom, she swallowed them whole,
turned her stomach into a burgeoning
womb. Six weeks later she gave birth
and out of her own mouth. No more room
for lungs, she breathed through her own skin,Â
spewed up her mites, each wearing a clown-
Something to behold, how this crop
succeeds in such diverse moraine. Best
of all, see row after row descend
gradually from the gods
down mountainsides to the valleys
below, tiers of a great amphitheater,
their heads craning to watch the show:
the traffic, rickshaws, the general
theater of our priceless world. On the
slow train to Kandy I was a passing
watched locals kneeling to the god of
rain, lay offerings to the assisting
oxen and ant, petition the god of rice
for healthy grain.
I wanted to join them, genuflect, pray, chant
praise to the plant thatâs half the worldâs
This chimeric beast, part zebra, part donkey,
âits name the phantom sound
of its supposed callâenjoyed the society
of ostrich and gnu, foraged remote grassland.
So comically mythical: the striped head
a kind of convictâs shirt, each band
fading until mid-body it bled
into a rufus rear, and on to a white tail.
(the last sad male to be found was bred
with a flummoxed horse, producing a female
striped in reverse, from waist to rear).
Itâs as if a circus clown ran out of a final pail
of white paint. The only photoâd quagga, a mare,Â
stares back from behind bars with an accusing glare.
The corpse flower, a flower straight out of hell
on earth, not one to give your wife or mother
come Valentineâs Day, or wear on your lapel.
Though the sight of this particular
flowerâs measled, fleshy-skinned,
monstrous petal wouldnât help you
any, what overpowers
is the stench of rotting flesh and organs:
Chanel de Cadaver, Bouquet Putrid,
Essence de Carcass, Versense Pew, Allure Impossible,
luring every bug in the vicinity to the
reek, unable to resist entering the
of this hotty, and presto, another sprouts in a week.
Meanwhile, the forests of Sumatra and
Borneo are being cleared. Ergo the corpse
Saint Helenaâs Olive
Far-fetched that plants feel pain,
but thereâs evidence, the experts
say they can learn, process and
that theyâve intelligence in some
way. This oneâs had it: St.
As soon as people settled to stay,
spread, this plant gave up the will toÂ survive.
Natural. But natural also that planters cut
all before them, needing somewhere to live,
to settle themselves. Too lateÂ
by the time anybody got it together,Â
grappled to keep the native alive, bust a
The seeds of this tree refused to flower,
their act of civil disobedience, flower
Tarantula Hawk Wasp
Give us a break, man, you with your
inventory of whales crooning to one
the society of bees, the scratched history
of bears, elephants mourning a dead
mother, the varying duet of the
the Saint Helena olivesâ flower power.
You elect them denizens of a kind of
Paradiso. But consider the likes of a
the Tarantula Hawk, straight out of the Inferno.
This one would make Hannibal Lecter gasp.
The waspâs sting turns the tarantula into a
zombie, drugs and drags the spider off in its
lays an egg in the spiderâs belly; the larva
methodically eats the host alive; more natureâs
norm than oddity.
You never saw anything like this
bird, black from coif to claw, with
looks to kill
(though ungainly in flight). But, whatâs absurd
isnât so much the unusual
hairstyle, which is less like a
manâs umbrella than an Elvis
quiff, driving many a girl
out of her tree, screeching for her fella,
nor is it his Elvis song, the testosterone
bass crooning longingly for his Priscilla.
But the instrument, and not just that, but the
place it arises from, his throat, a back-to-f
that opens into a feather duster when he plays
his well-endowed come-on, larger in the male,
a kind of didgeridoo, moaning, enticing the female.
The VoilĂĄ Grouse
âIâm pleased that we collectively continue to make great progress
on addressing threats to this bird, conserving the sagebrush habitat
and providing a path forward for sustainable economic development.â
âUS Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, Sep 21st, 2016
You should see their fancy
costumes: white ruffs, spectacular
fanned tails. And o-la-la, watch the
strut their stuff, the puffed-up lek males
performing their version of a pole dance,
tucking in their bills, vying for the
eyeing up their prospects, their chance
of a future. The future has some hope
now, thanks to Secretary Jewell taking
The grouse is saved, the end of a protracted
row. The whole sage-swaying sea is singing
Hallelujah, along with the elk, pronghorn,
mule deer, sparrow.
Good news for all sheltered under this
umbrella, been blown inside out. Folks
spoke up and voilĂ !
The old gods are defunct, but not the old
necessity to give thanks. This god spread
from the Levant forgotten religions ago,
He is goodness incarnate, the Midas
plant without the Midas curse, t
urning a field
into plains of swaying gold. He is our constant
from dawn to dawn, strength
concealed within burnished stalks
of energy, grounded goodness
This great shape-changer: the deity
of cereal, pasta, bread, the English
taco has more lives than Buddha. We
become him, where he grows we
grow, rising each morning,
Surely there are others in your life who
make you feel worthwhile, are a safe
haven. I am lucky enough to have a
And now this other, a befriending
dolphin I swam out deep again to
meet. I canât tell
even myself what I felt when I first saw the fin
slice through the surface, the swell,
then to see this undine, stock-still at my feet.
We looked each other in the eyes for well
over ten seconds (nay, millennia). Such a
sweet, kind gaze. I wonder what he made
in only my pelt and goggles. What a treat
to be allowed kiss his grinning forehead before he
undulated back across Dingle Bay, the channelâs
is the divining stick, wishbone, questionÂ
why one y rather than another why:
the yak, the y tree, the yellow-eyed penguin
or the myriad y insects who crawl
and fly we know nothing of, nor will
ever know? The links break from
alpha, beyond why.
You mention the Yaque chub, a
minnow, or Yaque catfish sporting
Chinese whiskers, both Yaques
depending on the slow flow
of Yaque River. According to Surem elders
–the last to speak Yaque, Yoeme Niki,
(And where do languages go when they die, others
on the brink?)– the Suremâs goddess, Yumululi,
speaks for The Great Tree, divines our future
The descriptions of the leopard and its habits are characterized by the widespread notion that wavyale (witches) sent them to harm villagers and were thus killed on sight. After the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964 there was a leopard-cleansing campaign which sealed the leopardâs extinction.Â
Kill Evil incatinate. Kill kill kill
the Zanzibar Leopard, this island devil,
this vampire vermin, obeying witch-will,
dispatched by the wavyaleÂ to bedevil
villages. You know the old strategy:
demonize and the demonizer will revel
in playing God, the paw of the Almighty.
This leopard survived since the ice age,
slowly shrunk itself into dwarf-cat royalty,
even changed its spots, but couldnât manage
to outwit human categorizing. Yes, it is daft,
but this catâs hardly likely to be found in cage
or ruling the night-forest now. When statecraft
bands with religion thereâs no better witchcraft.
Thereâs something off about talk of the land
as a person. Itâs more a moody personality
that you insecurely sense, project,
via the osmosis of yourself, your
to shape change, the abracadabra
matching outside to within. Take Zayante,
home of the slender gilia, Bonny Doon mazanita,Â
coast-horned lizard, band-winged grasshopper,
Ben Lomond spine flower, June beetle, ponderosa,
everlasting, kangaroo rat, all going without a
Folksâ needs, comforts, fears up the ante.
The development night by day grows grimmer.
Which ciao âhi or bye– will it be on Planet
Enough Gregorian cant. We are done. Adelante.
Happy Mother’s Day from all of the women and mothers at Green Writers Press, Green Place Books, Green Sprouts, and our literary magazine, The Hopper! Here are some books, for moms of all ages, that will make perfect gifts for the mother in your life . . . Enjoy!
A perfect Mother’s Day gift . . .Â
A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life
Written for the overwhelmed Mom whoâs looking for more joy, playfulness, and serenity in her life, A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life is like a GPS for your soul. This book is full of simple, easy-to-use tools to help you feel more grounded within yourself, and more patient and present with your family and everyone else you meet throughout your days. Itâs also an invitation to come back home to yourself and remember all the things you used to love before becoming so busy taking care of everyone else. Beyond a manicure, pedicure, or even a massage, A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life encourages self-care for the soul, teaching and empowering Moms to learn and know that we really do have the ability to create the life of our dreams.
There were uncertain, gloomy days when I thought they might be rightâthat maybe we were cursed. Inevitably, though, Iâd step back and lookÂ with clearer eyes, allowing myself to see all the incredible gifts that hadÂ emerged as a result of what weâd been through. I came to see, know, andÂ understand that in the midst of times of ease or diffi culty, there is soÂ much opportunity to allow in the magic that is available to us all.
KASEY MATHEWS lives in Wilton, New Hampshire, with husband, two children and their rescue dog, Ed. She is a coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life: 8 Steps to Feel Happier, Inspired and More Relaxed and Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood, which won the New Hampshire Writerâs Project Readerâs Choice award and was a featured book on the Random House book site Bibliophile.
Visit the author’s website to order:Â www.kaseymathews.com
Watch the author’s beautiful book trailer here . . . (her first book was agented by Dede!):
The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times
by Sarina Prabasi
Reviewed by Rachael Peretic
âWhat a difference we can make, understanding our neighborhoods as we do, and having a real relationship with people in our communities. What could we accomplish if we could make the coffeehouse politically relevant again? Not partisan, but politically engaged and active.â – Sarina Prabasi,Â The Coffeehouse Resistance
No stranger to immigration, Sarina Prabasi was born in the Netherlands, raised in Nepal, and educated in Massachusetts before settling for years in Ethiopia, where she fell in love with the culture of coffee, the community surrounding it, and a man who would later become her husband and business partner. When political unrest brought her back to America with her husband and young daughter, the relief was short-lived. In the wake of the 2016 presidential elections, they and much of the nation were left shocked, bereft, and seemingly powerless in a situation that few had prepared for. Suddenly, the future of the nation and of her family was undefined.
Through small acts, her mindset shifted from that post-electoral fog to that of an active citizen. She started using her voice, her vote, and even her dining room table, where she and her children wrote to their local representatives, to better embody her ideals. After getting her feet wet by phone banking for Alexandria Ocasio Cortezâs campaign, she was struck by her ability to promote change both at the government level and right within her own community. It wasnât long before this passion flowed over into Buunni, the coffeehouse founded by Prabasi and her husband, Elias. With the government officials, she wrote postcards, made phone calls, and attended rallies. With her customer, she shared a love of coffee, a safe space for their voices to be heard, and connections with friends and strangers alike. Eventually, she found a balance, dismantling the isolating issues she sawâracism, gun violence, and corporate greedâfrom both ends of the spectrum.
In an effort to bring the coffeehouse back to its original status of communal hub and a place of enlightenment, free thinking, and debate, Prabasi has written a book detailing her experiences as a New York immigrant-turned-U.S. citizen, a small business owner, a mother, and a political activist pining for representation in Trumpâs America.
The Coffeehouse Resistance is a forward-thinking memoir, told in an empathetic voice, that shines light not only on the harsh realities of recent years but, more importantly, onto the bright future which is made possible when one acts in accordance with their ethics toward a true democracy. Despite such divisive times as these, the bookâs power to resonate is palpable; its ability to motivate as pervasive as the morningâs first cup of coffee. This book is for everyone, but especially for those who have felt themselves unrepresented, unaccepted, or even unwelcome in the place that they themselves call home, this is a must read.
Visit the author’s website here: https://www.sarinaprabasi.net
Watch the book trailer here and help us spread the word! #thecoffeehouseresistance
Breakfast Memories: A Dementia Love Story (Coming Fall 2019!)
by Kate Hanley
For anyone caring for someone with dementia, this book is a bridge of hope. Kate Hanley takes us on a journey where we witness her caring for her aging parents, while trying to balance the demands of her own busy work and family life. At times, full of frustration and despair, Kate wanted to give up, but knew that was never a choice. As her story progressed, along with her motherâs dementia, Kate discovered a cache of daily love devotionals her dad had penned to her mother every morning on a paper napkin.
The discovery of these love sonnets was the key to unlocking the window into her motherâs soul, and gave Kate glimpses back into the world of who her mother once was. A beautiful story full of love, laughter, and possibility, Kate inspires others walking this path to know and believe that even in the darkest times of despair, there is reason to hope and remember that love is never forgotten.
Kate Hanleyâs discovery of her parentâs unique love language set her on a path she never anticipatedâwriting a book. Yet these beautiful âpaper napkin sonnets,â and the story that surrounds them, were too precious and inspiring not to share, as they offer hope for anyone in the throes of caring for someone with dementia. Kate lives in Old Forge, New York, with her husband and two dogs. Her two grown sons come home as often as possible to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Adirondack Mountains.
Visit the author’s website and to preorder this special book: http://breakfastmemories.com
~~~Â Other Mother’s Day books, newly released just in time for Mother’s Day! ~~~
How to Survive a Brazilian Betrayal: A Mother-Daughter Memoir
By Ehris Urban and Velya Janez-Urban
A kooky, gregarious mother and perceptive, poised daughter introduce readers to their offbeat Connecticut family, who follow their hearts to rural Brazil. Broke and broken, theyâre forced to return to the United States, and navigate their rebirth in a foreclosed 1770 New England farmhouse. Hilariously honest and heart-wrenching.
âBeautifully written and full of love, honesty, and humor. Almost all daughters adore their mothers and make fun of them at the same time! There is no more powerful (or fraught) relationship in the world than this one. I love this relationship. Brava, you two!â ~Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author, Womenâs Bodies,Womenâs Wisdom and Goddesses Never Age
Ehris Urban is an herbalist, holistic nutritionist, and flower essence practitioner. Velya Jancz-Urban is a zany teacher, history nut, and expert on “herstory unsanitized.” As Grounded Goodwife (groundedgoodwife.com),this funny and frank mother/daughter duo believe in taking inner responsibility for one’s wellness, and share their “recipe” for wholeness through holistic workshops and “gal power” presentations.
Visit the authors’ website here: groundedgoodwife.com
Today My Name is Billie, a novel
By Neile Parisi
Coming out just in time for Mother’s Day, this page-turning novel is about a dedicated teacher who loses her job due to a student covering up getting into a fight by saying she punched him (he got his friends who where there to lie on his behalf)…. Every Year thousands of educators are accused of physical abuse. Some are guilty and are prosecuted, but hundreds who are innocent are forced to surrender their licenses. This is what happened to Billie. Deceit and betrayal threatened her survival, extinguishedÂ her lifeâs dream, andÂ erased her sense of self worth. She wondered if she could ever trust again. Rejected by family and friends, she was forced to reinvent every aspect of her entire life. When a catastrophic fire crippled her community, and individuals grappled with personal tragedy, she gained a deeper understanding of the gift of forgiveness and the power of hope. Her brave struggles saved not only her life but also the lives of others. At times brutally painful, at other times hugely positive, Today My Name Is BillieÂ reveals how a single lie can spread like fire and destroy all that it touches.
Neile Parisi taught for 18 glorious years in public schools. She experienced both joy and tragedy in her classroom, but continually loved her students. Today My Name Is Billie is based upon an incident in her life as an eighth grade teacher, where she lost her job and her career. Following this, she became a Registered Sanitarian. Having a Masters Degree in Health Education, she was able to use her teaching skills to help educate workers in the restaurant world, teaching proper food-handling skills; provide knowledge about radon, asbestos, and lead poisoning to home owners; investigate food poisoning; test beach water and pools for bacteria levels; inspect restaurants, day cares, schools, and hospitals; and at times even trap rats and other rodents. Currently she is a Realtor, who by the way won Second Place in The Womanâs Arm Wrestling competition in Las Vegas, and promises she wonât let anyone âtwist your arm.â She is also a stand-up comic on the weekends, drawing from her varied background of jobs. This is her first novel.
Order at the author’s “adopted local bookstore” RJ JULIA!
Paddling With Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey
by Irene Skyriver
Inspired partly by her own spirit of adventure, and partly by the stories of her native coastal ancestors, Irene Skyriver celebrated her fortieth year of life with a solo kayak voyage, paddling from Alaska to her home in Washington Stateâs San Juan Islands. Paddling with Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey interweaves the true account of her journey with generational stories handed down and vividly reimagined. Beginning with her great-grandmotherâs seduction of an Indian fighter turned trader, and following her ancestors on both sides through oil booms, orphanages, wartime romances, dance halls and cattle ranches, Paddling with Spirits dips like a paddle itself between the stories of those who inspired her, and Ireneâs own journey down a lonely coast. As she encounters harsh weather, wolves, bears, whales, and the wild beauty of the coastal waters, she reflects upon her own life and the lives of the many people she meets along the way before her final, triumphant return home. Paddling with Spirits is a wild, brave, and thrillingly original adventure.
âIn this book the long, restless boundary between ocean and land becomes a road of discovery for an intrepid paddler traversing the liminal space between present and past, between the visible world and the unseen resonance of her ancestry. With âevery stroke of the paddle away from shore,â Skyriver plunges deeper into telling the legacy of her familial links to this coast. Her account alternates between stages in her pilgrimage through the water, and fictionalized stories from her kin. In prose that sparkles with bold strokes, this story is told as the journey is taken: with every splash of Skyriverâs muscular observation, story, and thought, the reader glides forward over glittering waters.âÂ âKim Stafford, author of Having Everything Right: Essays of Place
A Washington native, Irene Skyriver was born in Port Townsend and raised in the country. She moved with her children and horses to Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands, thirty-eight years ago. On the island she lived off-the-grid and as a single parent, spending most of her early years growing a garden and letting the outdoors and beaches be her familyâs sanctuary, inspiration and teacher. Skyriver organized parades for Earth Days, International Womenâs Days, and was one of the early founders and shapers of the Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations, as well as Passage Rites ceremonies for the youth. A poet, dancer, and a singer of traditional âEarth Circle Songs,â writing came later for her, mostly because one has to sit down to do it! Irene received a full fellowship to Fishtrap Writers Conference based on a submission from Paddling With Spirits. This was followed by a grant to finish the work. In between involvement in community, her market garden, and milking goats, she plans to sit down and accomplish these new writing endeavors and is at work on a novel.
Visit the author’s website: https://www.ireneskyriver.com
Watch the wonderful book trailer (starring her daughter, Summer!):
Clothesline Religion, poemsÂ
by Megan Buchanan
Clothesline Religion chronicles twenty years worth of adventures in the life of an artist as young single mother.
Megan Buchanan, a poet and professional dancer, gave birth to a daughter at 22, lived abroad in Ireland and France, and came back home again to Southern California and the mountains of the Southwest. This debut poetry collection spans wild open roads, backyard vegetable gardens, Irish pubs, country dance halls, Vermont screen-porches, midnight river valleys, artist studios, and the world of waking dreams. Buchanan’s poems offer fierce evidence of what she calls “ordinary magic” âand what others might call mindfulnessâdiscovering gratitude, the path of recovery, and a mother’s deep joy.
Megan Buchanan is a teaching artist, performer, and dancemaker. A graduate of Occidental College, Megan studied urban and environmental policy before earning her graduate degree in English at Northern Arizona University. Born in California in 1973, she has lived for long stretches in Ireland, the mountains of the southwest, and New England. Her work has been supported the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems have been published in The Sun Magazine, A Womanâs Thing, make/shift, Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space (Secretary Press), Eating Her Wedding Dress: An Anthology of Poems About Clothing (Ragged Sky Press), and other journals. She lives in southern Vermont with her two children.
Visit the authorâs website at www.meganbuchanan.net
And a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OUR OTHER AUTHOR/MOMS!!! Last, but not least, an homage to our Mother Earth . . . here is a photo of GWP poet, Megan Buchanan, in a dance performance (I call this “Blessing the Earth/Water is Life”).
Thanks for supporting our small and growing press!Â
A wonderful review by Sophfronia Scott in Goodreads:
Sophfronia Scott‘s review
In my review of Jarrette’s 2015 poetry collection, A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances, I noted: “Jarrette brings to bear an observant eye, an open heart and a spirituality that seems to meld both eastern and western philosophies. I savored his lines, marveled over his sense of imagery and felt very much how I would be happy to take this walk with him again.”
The Pond gives me the opportunity to do just that. Joining Jarrette on this lovely amble is the Minneapolis artist Susan Solomon. Her exquisite and striking portraits of nature display an intriguing play of light and dark, of sun and moon, of air and water. I wouldn’t say the paintings illustrate the book. Rather, they act as Solomon’s side of the conversation as she and Jarrette take in the grace and mystical beauty all around us.
One of my favorite paintings features a full moon reflected in water. Jarrette’s light and playful lines:
“The moon is on the moon
unaware of its light.”
Another favorite has Jarrette musing on a cow swishing away flies with her tail. Again, delightful, and reminiscent of Hafiz.
“I almost remember my tail.
I miss it–
I might hang from a limb
while reading a book;
drape it over my shoulders
in a dignified manner
manage the wine glass
and buffet plates with ease.”
This jewel of a book is a keeper, one you’ll want to peruse again and again.
To order the book . . . click here,
or contact your local, independent bookstore!
AWPâs Small Press Publisher Award is an annual prize for nonprofit presses and literary journals that recognizes the important role such organizations play in publishing creative works and introducing new authors to the reading public. The award acknowledges the hard work, creativity, and innovation of these presses and journals, and honors their contributions to the literary landscape through their publication of consistently excellent work.
The award includes a $2,000 honorarium and a complimentary exhibit booth, including two complimentary conference registrations, at the AWP Conference & Bookfair in the year following the recipientâs recognition. In even years, the award is given to a journal, and, in odd years, to a press.
Finalists for the 2019 AWP Small Press Publisher Award
Winner to be announced at the #AWP19 Conference & Bookfair at the awards celebration followed by the Braver Together gala
Green Writers Press, an independent, Vermont-based publishing company is dedicated to spreading environmental awareness and social justice by publishing authors who promulgate messages of hope and renewal through place-based writing and environmental activism. In five years, Green Writers Press has expanded, publishing such authors as Julia Alvarez, John Elder, Dr. M Jackson, Madeleine Kunin, and Clarence Major. Our mission is to spread a message of hope and renewal through the words and images we publish. To that end, a percentage of our proceeds will be donated to environmental activist groups and social justice organizations.Â The HopperÂ is our literary magazine.
Split Lip Press brings a punk rock sensibility to small press publishing, producing high quality, beautifully designed books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We print on demand, have a short draft-to-release window, and have worked almost entirely on authors’ first books. We run a guest-judged chapbook contest and put out four full-length books in varying genres yearly. We also collaborate with our authors as much as possible in terms of design and promotion. We think of our press as a literary family, with care and support of emerging writers being our top priority.
Zephyr Press, founded in 1980, is recognized as a leading translation press of international poetry and prose. From our landmark bilingual edition of The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova in 1990, to our unique contemporary Chinese line, featuring work from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, we strive to bring exceptional international writers to English-speaking readers, and toÂ foster a deeper understanding of other cultures and languages. Our catalog includes books from more than a dozen languages (and counting). Zephyr Press is run by Jim Kates, Christopher Mattison, and Leora Zeitlin.
Erika Meitner, Virginia Tech
Paolo Javier, Poets House
J.D. Wilson, Northwestern University Press
Needless to say all of us here at gwp are thrilled and honored to be in such good company with these other awesome presses . . . heading to #AWP19 on March 27th! Stop by our Table #9022 for celebration & free coffee from Sarina Prabasi’s Bunnii Coffee Co!
Here is a flyer about the event, who is signing books, and our off-site partai . . .
We ran a wonderful Field Work Term for Bennington College and hosted three fabulous interns: David Hakas, Sabrina Lesley, and Tyler Esparza. We also hosted Rosa Canales, an intern from Dennison University who is heading to Germany to study abroad next semester. Our University of Arizona intern, Rachael Peretic is staying on through the spring and we are hoping she will run our “New York Office” when she and her husband move down there!
Rosa and Tyler submitted some of their own environmental writing and we are delighted to publish their work here on our blog which will also be featured in our upcoming newsletter. It is so great that these young people are using their voices and we are grateful for their hard work and dedication!
Rosa Canalas’s Poem:
The Last Love Poem
It is 2050, and I sit at your bedside, your weak hands grasping for my arm, pulling me down into an abyss where birds huddle together, their feet shackled and their feathers stripped bare, and I listen closer than I ever have before to the sweetness you trickle into my ear, the gurgles of drying streams and the million reasons why I should have loved you when I didnât.Â
I raise my mouth to capture this honey and I greedily lick my lips around the edges, still craving artificial sugar, corn syrup, plastic, my mouth always wandering in a search for sweetness, wanting to kiss the plumped silence of those with money stuffed in their ears, whose lips they had carved to fit only their own.
But now my lips are still, they yearn for your cool breath to calm the inferno I have stoked from coal and desire and your discarded offerings, my hands coming to rest atop your fingers laced across your chest, across a cavern covered by disintegrating moss and lichen, a shelter for the hibernating black bear and her cubs, silently asleep, their snouts and paws stained bloody from berries.
And it is too late for me to wash out these stains, so I hold your hand as you gasp, your lungs punctured with every crumbled piece of bony color in their dark blue waters, and now I am selfish again because I once more want to follow my father into the sturdy green stillness, a palette accented by the yellow of watchful eyes from higher than I could ever climb on shaking limbs.Â
I want to hear your heartbeat in my ears instead of only my own and chase this steady compass through your jungled veins and arteries, an immortal heart we thought could withstand the neglect of wishful prayers shot into the heavens rather than gratitude distilled into our roots, could withstand our destruction and our insatiable avarice, but now we have found that we are not so different after all, neither of us is immortal and neither of us can withstand a life without love.Â
Tyler Esparza’s short story:
In a Burning Room
âOh, come on Sara,â I said, âReally, whatâs the point in fighting it? Itâs over now.â
She paced back and forth around the room as the flames licked up the walls, the smoke slowly constricting my throat like a rope around my neck, filling the holes weÂ cut into the walls in our feeble attempts to escape.
âNo, no there has to be something, we canât giveÂ up.Â ThereÂ mustÂ beÂ somethingÂ we can do. Maybe we can try the walls agai-â She stopped and clutched at her chest as a violent fit of coughing racked her body.
âYou definitely canât do anything in that state,â I said, slowly getting up and putting my hand on her back, âI told you already, itâs too late. Maybe when the heat started we should have run. When we saw the first flame make its way under the door we should have stamped it out. WeÂ didnât try hard enough then, and now even our hardest wonât be enough.â
Her eyes were filled with tears, whether from the fire or from despair, I wasnât sure. She had never cared for this room before, why should she care now that the endÂ wasÂ in sight?
I was the one who kept this room neat, cleaned up the messes of her drunken wine spills and cleared outÂ theÂ trashÂ sheÂ leftÂ whereverÂ sheÂ wanted.Â YetÂ suddenly,Â inÂ theÂ faceÂ of impending doom, our roles were reversed. I knew there was nothing left to do, but she wouldnât give up.
Between coughs, she sputtered words ofÂ hateÂ thatÂ couldnâtÂ hurtÂ meÂ anyÂ more.Â She was blaming me for not helping, for not warning her sooner. What good would it do to argue now? Remind her ofÂ allÂ theÂ timesÂ IâdÂ warnedÂ herÂ thatÂ someÂ dayÂ sheâdÂ loseÂ thisÂ roomÂ ifÂ she didnât stop treating it like her personal trash can. I guess she didnât think sheâd be trappedÂ here while it burned. Over time her breathing grew more and more labored as I brought her over to the bed and laid her down forÂ theÂ lastÂ time.Â SheÂ hitÂ myÂ armsÂ feeblyÂ asÂ IÂ stoodÂ up. She begged me not to give up. I just sat on the floor, leaned my back against the bed, and tried to remember what this room was like when thereÂ wasÂ stillÂ lifeÂ here.Â WhenÂ weÂ could have saved it.
Vermonter Mike Sipe began photographing the pristine waters of the Lake Champlain region about fifteen years ago. His initial vision was a coffee-table book, sharing the beauty with the world with one hundred, sharing-quality images. He captured thousands of images, with thirty-five images to be included in OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, The Art and Science of Living with Water,Â coming in early fall from GWP.
About five years ago a weightier purpose for the book, hit Mike like a brickâWATER QUALITYâthe lake water quality is deteriorating with dangerously high levels of phosphorous, toxic enough to close swim areas, threaten drinking water, and maybe even harmful to breathe! Blue Green algae is not that good to look at, either. This algae bloom problem is not unique to Lake Champlain.
A few years ago, Mike got involved with the Vermont Clean Water Network, realizing that most of us arenât aware of the issue, and he was eager to learn how to help preserve the Lake Champlain’s watershed ecosystem.
I believe we want to help protect what we loveâŚ. and we loveâŚ. and value, water. Knowledge and inspiration empowers us, producing resolve. âMike Sipe
A couple of years ago, after Mike joined the Vermont Clean Water Network, he became aware of an article in the Burlington Free Press, called Thinking like a Watershed. The article was written by environmental teacher, writer and poet, Trevien Stanger. According to Mike,Â he loved the article and knew he had to marry his photos with Trevien’s word wizardryâand do his part for clean waterâalbeit small. When Mike and Trevien came to GWP publisher Dede Cummings, sheÂ immediatelyÂ jumped at the chance to publish the book but explained to the intrepid team of environmentalists thatÂ thereÂ was no budget for such an expensive book. After much discussion, the publisher came on board and will also donate the design and layout fee of $2,000 to the project. The book will be available in the late summer of 2019 if the fundraising goal of $10,000 is met.
Trevien Stanger is the curator of nearly fifteen articles by water quality advocates in OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, The Art and Science of Living with Water. Trevien wrote the introduction to the book and it is reproduced on Mike’s website, www.MikeSipe.com, under the tab OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS.
Please help clean water
We invite you to read Trevien’s introduction, be inspired, consider some level of sponsorship to help publish OUR BASIN OF RELATIONSÂ and have proceeds from the sale of the book go to clean water projects.Â Book sponsorship details are at the end of this article and there will be a list of sponsors in the book (and logos of organizations). GWP is a LC3 which means we can partner with nonprofits with no tax. Individuals wishing to send a tax-free donation, can contact us and we have an umbrella nonprofit/fiscal agent for this project.
If you wish to help us fundraise for printing this gorgeous book, we will mail you a 16-page BLAD (Basic Layout And Design) of OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS to help you decide about sponsorship of the book. you can also view the BLAD by clicking this link:Â Our Basin BLAD inside Dec21 lo resÂ and downloading/viewing the PDF on your computer.
Dede, Mike & Trevien
It’s that time of year . . . the first days of Hanukkah are here and the Christmas andÂ Kwanzaa holidays are coming right up . . .
As a spiritually inclined publisher, we just love our books that have a spiritual and healing focus, from caregiving our elders to daily meditations in our busy lives. What better time to celebrate the holidays and we want to offer a few special sales for our readers!
Here is a special holiday list from Green Writers Press, Green Place Books, and Green Sprouts:
A bit about the book:
Take a wide-eyed look at your lifeâthe commonplace, joyful, and even heartbreaking eventsâand discover the presence of God, hidden in plain sight. This is the invitation of Christine Eberleâs Finding God in Ordinary Time. Each daily reflection contains a true story and a nugget of spiritual insight, accompanied by thought-provoking questions and a memorable Scripture quote. Together they guide readers across four terrains where the divine presence may be hidden in plain sight. Warm, accessible, and surprisingly funny, Christine offers spiritual nourishment to people skeptical or weary of religion, while still giving the faithful something to chew on.
âFrom a woman experienced in Jesuit spirituality, in work, in relationships, and in life, comes this sensitive book about finding God in the real world.â âJames Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life
âThis is the perfect book for any adult in search of an adult relationship with an adult God. Filled with deep insight and humor, it will gently enliven the hearts of those who are spiritual but not religious as well as those who are religious but not spiritual. No matter the stage in your prayer journey, this lovely book will speak to you.â âBro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, artist, author and storyteller
A bit about the book:
This is not a book on meditation or Buddhism, though it has certainly been influenced by both. It is a book of encouragements for all those who are interested in using the unit of a single day to develop good qualities in their minds and hearts. It is a book about teaching yourself âfrom the middleââthe middle of frustration or joy or boredom or wherever else you find yourself. It is a book with a single thesis: that there is always something you can do, moment by moment, to rediscover the brightness of your own life.
Two gift ideas from all of us at GWP/GPB!
(This is an excerpt, modified for this post, from GWP poetry editors, Dede Cummings and James Crews’ interview with Dante Di Stefano over at Best American Poetry)
Green Writers Press is proud to offer some stunning poetry books in our catalog. We are looking for new and emerging poets that write about the earth and our place in nature and the built environment, poets who give voice to those who are marginalized in our society, and established poets who want to publish with us and enjoy the benefits of working collaboratively.Â
Green Writers signed the new poetry collection by Robert Pack, entitled All One Breath, and we are thrilled to work with such a notable American poet as Pack. We also recently published Dirt and Honey, by Rachel Vasquez Gilliland, an emerging Mexican-American poet and feminist. Another upcoming book is titled Time Inside, by Vermont poet Gary Margolis, about his work with maximum security prison inmates. Last, but not least, GWP just published A Bouquet of Daisies, by seventeen-year-old poet, Megan Alice, with proceeds benefitting the Planned Parenthood Federation.Â
We strive for a diverse chorus of poetic voices and our literary magazine, The Hopper, is doing just that. Founded in 2015 by Dede Cummings and Sierra Dickey, the Hopper also awards a poetry prize, now in its third year. Winners include John Saad in 2016, Ralph Black in 2017, and our 2018 winner, Charity Gingerich. Our poetry editors are James Crews, Anna Mullen, Ellie Rogers, Emma Irving, Dede Cummings, and Caroline Shea.
We have a bias for poetry that is accessible to as large an audience as possible, and because we are an independent press run almost entirely by women, we also believe that more female and transgender voices are needed in American poetry to give voice to those who have been kept quiet for too long. But as an environmentally-minded publisher, we hold close to Robert Bly’s idea of “shared consciousness” with the natural world â an outlook long held by Native Americans before us. This idea puts forth that elements of the natural world are just as intelligent and conscious as humans (if not more so), and perhaps the current environmental crisis would not be so dire if more people saw the world in this way. We need more American poetry that acknowledges our essential interconnectedness as a planet and as a human species. To paraphrase the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, we’d like to see more poetry that awakens us from the illusion of our separateness.
What the future holds for Green Writers Pressâ poetry program: our publisher is an award-winning poet in her own right, so we give a lot of attention to publishing and promoting our poetry catalog. To that end, you can expect to see several new collections which showcase diverse American voices, and which unflinchingly tackle the environmental crisis. Upcoming 2019 poetry collections in addition to the Hopper Prize winner, Charity Gingerich’s After JuneÂ (spring 2019), we will also be publishing Ha Kiet Chau’s collection Eleven Miles to June (fall 2019) and Sarah Wolfson’s A Common Name for Everything (fall 2019).
You can also look for anthologies that are in and of themselves forms of resistance against the prevailing fear and outrage infecting our politics and our country as a whole. For instance, we’ll be publishing an anthology edited by our poetry editor, James Crews, called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, with a lovely preface by former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.
This interview was conducted by GWP associate editor, Evelyn Yielding, a student at Eastern Washington State University, formerly at Bennington College (where she was a GWP intern).
1.Â Â Â Paddling with Spirits is your very first book. Was there a turning point in your life that made you want to write down this story?
Well, Iâd never planned to write about my kayak journey, but then I decided it would be a nice thing for me to write down for my childrenâs sake. And doing so, I thought it would also be a good time to tell them as much as I knew about our family. Because my family and ancestors had so much to do with my journey in terms of how I was thinking of them as I paddled, the two stories went well togetherâ that’s when I decided to do it.Â
I started writing as my mother was dying, and that was also when I got my first computer. She was bedridden, but I was there in vigil and so I had the time to work on my ideas of my book then. This was a number of years after my actual journey.
2. When did you first start to write things down?Â
Well, I kept a journal on my solo paddle but as for the book,Â
I like to say, it has been a âdozen years of Januariesâ because January is the only time of the year Iâm not too busy with outdoorÂ things.
3. What did you do to prepare for you kayaking journey?Â
Well, because I live on an island, Iâve always thought it would be best to have a kayak, because, then I knew I could get away on an adventure at any time, without gasoline, without a carâ just pull my boat into the water and have an adventure! So, a kayak was one of my earliest purchases, even though I was without a car at that time.
And then, as a result of having my kayak, I did get to explore the islands in our archipelago. Later, I got together with my husband, and we paddled up into the wild areas of Vancouver Island, on the west side, and that prepared me for the kinds of seas that I knew I would encounter in Alaska.
But, I couldn’t plan this solo journey until my children were grown up. I had been a single parent for almost twelve years, and I had a strong impulse to be sure, that if I died, they’d get along okay without me. So, that’s why I hadÂ to wait.
4. Do you still kayak today?
5. Do you plan on going on any more kayaking journeys?Â
Yes, we are planning a big journey next summer. We have a family paddle that we’re going to do on the west side of Vancouver Island. My second grandson is doing a Rites of Passage out there. We’re going to isolate him somewhere for three days, then reconnect and celebrate his Coming of Age on a wild beach out there.
6. What are the challenges of living on Lopez Island?Â
I guess the tourists and the loss of waterfront areas to roam and enjoy. Decades ago it was quieter. The land now, is all bought up and so there are now challenges being able to be in the wild places we use to visit, without someone owning and fencing-off the property.Â
Washington State doesn’t even allow its citizens access to beaches, most other states like Oregon, California and Alaska allow the beaches for everyone as a public domain, but in Washington, the wealthy can and do own them. All the places we used to go on Lopez for picnics, or walks are all privately owned now. There’s very few places left. And so, in the summer months when there are lots of tourists, the parks are always jam-packed with people. We locals donât go to the beaches in the summertime. This is another reason why the kayak is important because I can get away from the shore and head off somewhere else.
7. How did you research your ancestors’ stories?Â
Well, first of all, I had a lot of stories handed down to me from my family. I also traveled to the locations where my ancestors had lived to get a feel and understanding of them in their environment and so I did fly to Alaska to visit relatives in Cordova and also to the historic Native village-site of Katalla. It is completely wild in that location now, not a trace of the former village. I also stayed for a summer with the Tlingit’s of Yakatat, Alaska, where I lived among elders and learned more about my Tlingit culture.
Also, there were the National Archives at Sand Point area of NorthÂ Seattle, where I obtained a lot of the archival information about the Indian school where my dad’s dad was sent, as well as all of his siblings. There were also letters in those archives where my grandfather as a child corresponded between his father and the Indian school through the years.
8. What have you learned journeying from Alaska to Washington? Is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
Â Â No, I felt like it was perfect. I wouldn’t have done anything differentlyâ everything went amazingly well. I felt like I had been well-prepared. I mailed myself packages of food along the way. I didn’t even need some of thoseâ the kayak can carry a lot, plus I took a fishing pole. I was able to catch a lot of fish for my meals! Â
In those days, I had no cellphone, or any form of communication at all, with the exception, that I occasionally got on a fishing boat and used their marine radio to call home. But, I didn’t miss any of that eitherâ I was totally happy. The whole reason of getting away is âgetting awayâ! I didn’t want anything more than reaching out to my family occasionally to let them know that I was okay and checking to see if they were okay.
9. You’ve obviously discovered some amazing family history. Is there anything that surprised you that you feel comfortable sharing?Â
Â What I was delighted and surprised about was the information I gathered from the National Archives, which, through letters, transportation receipts and other items, really gave me the actual words of some of my ancestors’. To see their words and understand their situationâthese children being in an Indian school in Oregon after their Native mother diedâ those were real tangible bits of information that helped me understand more deeply. Also, travelling to different locations (where my ancestors lived)âsuch as Alaska and Alberta. Alberta being the place my motherâs mother was taken to from Neah Bay WA., as a child and just to imagine growing up in the evergreens of this state and suddenly being taken to the grasslands of Alberta, where it was incredibly different, I could better understand the difficulty of that for her.
And, some little tidbits of information about my great grandfather who manned the trading post up in Alaska. I found his military records and so it showed his service under George Custer and Nelson Miles during the Indian Wars because there was his payroll, before my very eyes! Also, there were some old magazine articles of his oil discovery days in Alaska.
10. What were the Indian schools?Â
When the white people took over North America, of course, there were all sorts of injustices done to the Native people. They wanted the Indian children to go Indian schools to learn English and taught trades. They were forbidden to speak their languages.Â
And in my Grandfatherâs case, they were sent there by their father, because he couldn’t take care of all the children on his own after their Native mother died. Because my grandfather had a white father and a native mother, he and his siblings could speak English, so it wasn’t quite as traumatic for them as for most of the native kids that were forced to attend.Â
There was a lot of pressure to send Indian children to boarding schools.Â They wanted to break the Indian and turn them into people that wouldn’t resist the white culture.
11. In Paddling with Spirits, you remark on the kindness of fisherman and other strangers. Have these positive experiences changed the way you think about people?
As I said in the book, my solo journey re-affirmed my love of people. I always liked peopleâ I grew up in the small town of Port Townsend, Washington. You waved and smiled at everyone who walked past. That’s how Lopez has been too. But as time has gone by, populations have grown like crazy in these places, and things are going all sour in the world. So, the opportunity to put myself in a vulnerable solo kayaking situation actually was a re-affirming of the goodness of people. People are generally kind and want to help.Â
I just also want to say that in having published my book, I’m experiencing that same thing again. Lots of years have gone by since my journey, I’ve been very blessed by the kindness of strangers, just sharing with me, sweet compliments about my book. I’m really shyâ I’ve never really written before. And so I was insecure about my offering as a writer. To have people positively embrace it, was like a second reawakening to my love of people again. You know, I live a kind of cloistered life. I have a big family and I’m pretty content with just growing my garden and having my family near. So, to be thrust out into the public again and just seeing how wonderful people areâ I’ve always known that, but you can get kind of caught up on modern society’s troubles and anguish.
12. You’ve been a part of different kinds of protests, can you tell us a little bit about that?
Since I’ve been involved with writing Paddling with Spirits, I really haven’t had the time to sink into other kinds of issues, but my heart is in the place of wanting to protect the Earthâ I don’t care as much about any other issue. The Earth is our Mother, and if She doesn’t survive, nothing will! So, I think that’s of primary importance.
So, I’ve been involved in some kayaking protests in Anacortes (oil refinery town and our ferry terminal town) as well as down in Seattle to oppose the Shell Oil exploration platformâs plan for drilling in the Arctic. Also, I have gone to Standing Rock, which was the ginormous Native gathering aimed at preventing construction of the oil pipeline coming through their land in North Dakota. That was a deeply emotional and beautiful experience and I was so grateful to be a part of it.Â
I would go again to stand with Native communities, because their heart and mine, are the same with regards to saving our Earth. We really need to be focusing our attention on producing less oil and more sustainability. I’m committed to that fight but not able to be very politically active as I promote my book.
13. What advice would you have for someone who is researching their family history?Â
Most importantly, talk to their parents before they die. I tell that to everybodyâ ask every question you think of, because once they’re gone you can’t ask those questions anymore.Â And so, talk to all your relatives. Everyone has a different take on thingsâ the more information you get, the better off you’ll be before they pass away.Â
I’ve noticed from my own experience, even in my own large family, we all had different experiences. Itâs said, you can never step into the same river twice and the same is true for families. Each child is born into a different and changing circumstance. So, it’s also good to speak with your siblings, because they may have had experiences or information that you never even imagined.Â
There are also resources accessible online. I think it’s also important to go to the places where your family originated, so you really know what you’re talking about from a visual and visceral standpoint.
14.Â Iâve noticed that throughout your book, songs are often sang in times of adversity. This may not be intentional, but why do you think people through Paddling with Spirits go back to music in difficult times?Â
Songs have always carried cultures and helped people through troubling times, such as the Civil Rights movement, and the songs we share as a nation through the agesâ such as Pete Singer’s âThis Land is your Land,â or the Vietnam War era songs of resistance.
We are moving away from the unifying experience of being held in a society by the sharing of songs. We’re more fragmented now. We’re not held by the common theme of certain songs that unify us as a people. Tribes had that. Songs told the stories and struggles of their people, particularly their mythological and origin songs. This was handed down generation by generation. As long as I’ve lived on Lopez, we’ve done Rites of Passage for young teens, which is one of the times we share our Circle Songs. The children know these songs from their toddler days. We sing these circle songs for birthdays, weddings, deaths, whatever.Â There are circle songs for every occasion!
It helps to live in one place and share traditions. As a society, we’re going off in different directions and we don’t stay where we’re born. People are starting to search for thatâ they’re beginning to understand that they want a community where everyone has known each other since they were babies. Sharing in struggles and sadness in good times and bad times as a group: a tribe. Songs can be powerful and bonding, a shared inspiration. You know, that’s something people innately want.
15. In your 700 mile solo paddle from Alaska, what was your most challenging stretch of water?Â
So, it would be where I decided, after finishing the narrow confines of the Granville Channelâand it opens up into an intersection of waterways called Right Sound, I could have continued down a nearly identical waterway called Princess Royal Channel. However, at that point I decided instead to paddle where it was wilder, and so I struck out for the outer exposed coast. It was about a three or four-day part of my journeyâand those days were probably my most physically challenging. That’s when I also failed to find a passage, which meant I had to spend more days in these very wild conditions. There were other points that were wild and really called on me to be very attentive, but that was probably the most challenging.Â But, as far as wildlife, I did not fear the bears, wolves or whales I encountered along the way. They were not threatening.
16. One thing that I was incredibly impressed by was the amount of fish you caught in Alaska. It’s half-impossible to catch anything in Puget Sound.Â There’s nothing there!Â
See, it’s the same here now. These waters look beautiful, but they’re empty. It’s really sad. Everything’s been overfished and mismanaged. It’s like a marine desert out here. Everything is just goneâ it’s why the whales are dying: they need salmon, and there’s no feeder-fish for the salmon. Up there in Alaska, it’s still relatively wild and there’s still more fish. I wasn’t fishing for salmon, per sayâ I was happy enough with bottom fish.
Evelyn: At my high school, we had a fishing class: twenty-two kids out for a month on the water, and they never caught a single fish!Â
Irene: Yeah, I know that’s sad for me, too. I take my grandkids out and obviously, there’s fun in just the act of fishing, but it’s a lot better if you catch stuff.
My eighteen-year-old grandson caught those Atlantic salmon that got loose from the farmed salmon pens. He started seeing all these salmon at the water’s surface and he ran home and grabbed his fishing pole and caught a bunch but that was before any of us heard about the disaster of the farmed salmon pen collapse.
18. So, your kids have obviously inspired you to write down your journey?Â
Well, yes, my initial desire was to write this for them, but as I got further into the writing, it was suggested that it âcould be a book.âÂ Â People are always curious about the journey when they hear about it, so it was fun for me to put it down in writing, but it was something I didn’t even know I was going to do for a long time, I just never really thought of it.
19. How do you get up in the morning?Â
Well, morning is not my easiest. Not that I dislike the morningsâ I get up fairly early. I milk the goats in the morning and that’s how I basically wake myself up and every morning as I milk, I sing to my goatsâ circle songs and any other songs that cross my mind. But I’m not the sort of person that gets up bright and bushy tailed and ready to run around and meet people and do things. I like to have a quiet morningâ but once that part of my day is done, Iâm ready for anything!
20. So, you have goats. Do you have any other animals?Â
Well, I’ve had horses most of my life, but I don’t right now. I’ve always had a dog ever since I was a little child, but my last dog died a couple years ago. We’re kind of on a really fixed income, so even just the idea of buying dog food for a new dogâ and I really don’t believe in junk animal foodâ I believe in organic food for myself and family as well for our animals. I buy or grow organic feed for my goats, cats, pigs and chickens and we sell our organic eggs. That’s a part of our income.
21. What do you garden?Â
I grow about eighty percent of the food we eatâ we have a freezer, and we usually raise a pig, too. So, we have a freezer with pork, chicken and venison. And I buy fish from our local fishermen when he brings it ashore and I smoke a lot of that.
So, we have fresh and smoked fish. Aside from thatâ I have a really big garden and I sell produce all summer to the local gas station store. I’ve been doing that for decades. I make my own wine and ciderâ I grow my own grapes, we have a big apple orchard and I make hard cider from my apples. We put-up a lot of pears and apples and squash and potatoes, garlicâ you know, things that keep through the winter. In the garden itself, here in the PNW, things tend to survive through the winter, like I have a garden right now full of greens like parsley, kale and chard. Nice, edible greens! I grow gunnysacks full of onions that keep through the winter until the next crop through the winter.Â Our land was bought in the 1960âs when it was very cheap, so we are land-rich but low income.
Mostly, what we spend our money on luxury items like coffee, and because I don’t have to buy any dairy, I make my own kefir and we have fresh goat milk. I don’t make cheese, but my neighbor does. We buy nuts and coffee and sugar and flour, butter, toilet paperâ I always try to imagine what would happen if we were ever to be completely cut off, financially or otherwise. I would feel fairly comfortable, although I would certainly miss some things but, Iâd still be able to kayak!
GWP is thrilled to welcome our 2018 summer interns hailing from as far away as Finland! These young women are excited to work hard all summer to edit, market and publicize our growing list of titles from GWP, Green Place Books, and Green Sprouts!
Emma IrvingÂ is a recent graduate of Widener University with a BA in English. Her time in college was spent leading staff meetings at The Blue Route undergraduate literary journal, engaging in research on textual scholarship around the country and the world in Grasmere, England, and sitting on the quad between the library and humanities building, reading in the sun. Now out of college, she plans to travel and immerse herself in editorial roles on art projects that will make the world a more empathetic place.Â
Ferne Johansson recently graduated from Bennington College this past month with a focus on biological science and dance. She grew up in Marlboro, Vermont, and has spent her life consistently inspired and excited by the beauty and possibilities of the natural world. She feels strongly about writing and environmental/ecological studies which are passions of hers. She is so excited to be spending this summer working with GWP, while also working on an organic farm in Western Vermont.
Heather McCabe is a junior English major at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. She’s interested in creative nonfiction, memoir, and rural narratives. She’s interested in pursuing book production, web design, or journalism. At Kenyon she works as a Writing Consultant,Â meeting with students to plan essays and creative pieces for course submission. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, painting, and baking. Heather grew up in South Burlington, VT.
Katri NykĂ¤nen is an English major minoring in marketing at the University of Turku in Southwest Finland. She is currently working toward her MA degree and hopes to graduate by the end of 2018. Katri has loved reading from an early age and these days she reads everything from non-fiction to classics and young adult dystopia. Katri has previously studied tourism and in her future career she hopes to combine her English and marketing skills with books and traveling. She considers working at Green Writers Press an amazing opportunity to develop her professional skills and explore the beautiful state of Vermont at the same time. When Katri is not studying or working, she is either at the gym or at home sorting out her doll collection, experimenting with new vegetarian recipes and learning new languages.Â
Caroline Shea is a poet and recent graduate of the University of Vermont where she studied English Literature and Film. During her time there, she worked as a writing mentor and tutor specializing in classes exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality, and poetic voice. She is the former Co-Editor-in-Chief of Vantage Point Magazine and her work can be found in COG Magazine, Bad Pony Magazine, Souvenir Journal, and others. Caroline plans to pursue a career in publishing and editing while continuing to write and freelance.In addition to her love for writing, Caroline is also passionate about progressive politics and public access to education, literature, and art.Â She currently lives, writes, and avoids hypothermia in Burlington, VT. This summer, in addition to working with Green Writers Press, she is excited to attend the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.
Michaela Shea-Gander was born and raised in Brattleboro, Vermont. She is currently a rising senior at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she studies Communication and Narrative Journalism. She spent the last semester in New Zealand studying environmental policy and indigenous perspectives while interning at an organization called Conscious Consumers. In her free time she loves activities such as hiking, skiing, reading and writing, and photography. She is looking forward to working with Green Writers Press and learning more about how the publishing world intersects with sustainability efforts.
Evelyn Yielding is a sophomore at Western Washington University who studies aquarium science. She grew up exploring bits and pieces of the Pacific Northwest and is particularly fond of Point Defiance Park and the Puget Sound. In her free time, she enjoys designing video games and caring for her betta fish. Her favorite books are The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.
Our Saturday (March 10th) morning AWP Reading at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel was so nice! Here are a few photos of some of our fabulous authors who read: poet Raquel VasquezÂ Gilliland, fiction author T Stores (who brought her whole family!), nature writer Jim Krosschell, poet and 2017 Hopper Literary Magazine Poetry Prize Winner, Ralph Black, and South Florida poet Ellene Glenn Moore.
The AWP Conference & Book Fair pix was a wonderful time for our GWP team. Here are some more photos to share from the three-day event. Our authors took advantage of the workshops and panels, too, and we look forward to presenting at AWP-19 in Portland, Oregon!
Top row, left to right: GWP poet Ralph Black chillin’ at our table, our backyard at GWP’s Airbnb in St. Pete, editor Jenna Gersie and publisher Dede Cummings relaxing on the deck of the Tampa Convention Center (after drinks & getting some sun while our friends deal with a Nor’easter), the new cover art for Issue #3 of our literary magazine The Hopper, GWP novelist Andrew Furman with some fans, Dede with our debut Green Place Books (our newest imprint!) Melanie P. Merriman and her fabulous book on caregiving.
Bottom row, left to right: Andrew Furman celebrates his galley giveaway for his environmental novel Goldens Are Here, Dede and poet Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Ralph and debut novelist James Hornor, Dede and HarperCollins author Sophronia Scott celebrate the poetry of GWP poet (in absentia) Richard Jarrette, GWP novelist Christine Davis Merriman (her novel At the Far End of Nowhere will be out in the fall), and last, but not least, GWP’s short fiction author, T Stores, with galleys for her collection Frost Heaves.
Exciting News:Â Green Writers Press/Green Place Books, & Green Sprouts for Kids has just accepted an offer from a German foreign rights agent for our Adult and Children’s titles exclusively for the German language market. They will also handle other international licensing deals like our current Chinese deal for an exclusive on our children’s titles.
HereÂ isÂ their website and they have offices in Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich!
We will definitely save up for a table in Frankfurt at the International Book Fair in October this year!
Other publishers they represent include the following: Crossroads Press, Melville House, Two Dollar Radio, and more!
~~~~~~~~~ Please note: Our Cuba Trip has been postponed to early November!Â ~~~~~~~~~
Congrats to our Vermont Book Award Nominees from Green Writers Press!
Dear GWP Community (and welcome new authors & readers!),
It has been quite a year for our Press. As we look toward a new year, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the latest news from our growing pressâHappy New Year to you all! Let’s hope we canÂ persevere in the face of the Mad Tweeter.Â
We have lots of exciting news . . .
We are extremely excited to announce that one of authors, M Jackson has been named a 2018 TED GLOBAL FELLOW!
Green Writers Press author to take the stage at TED2018, joining newest class of 20 young innovators from four continents.
NEW YORK, NY, JANUARY 9, 2018âGeographer and glaciologist Dr. M Jackson of Eugene, Oregon has been selected as a TED Fellow, joiningÂ a class of 20 change-makers from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver. Members of the new Fellows class include aÂ journalistÂ who fights fake news in her native Ukraine; a ThaiÂ architectÂ designing buildings and spaces with climate change in mind in order to protect vulnerable communities; and aÂ pediatricianÂ who helps families file their taxes in the doctorâs waiting room.Â A full list of the new TED Fellows and Senior Fellows is available atÂ ted.com/fellows.
Dr. M JacksonÂ is a geographer, glaciologist, environmental educator, and an Explorer for the National Geographic Society who researches and writes about glaciers and climate change worldwide. M earned a doctorate from the Geography Department at the University of Oregon, where she examined how climate change transformed people and ice communities in Iceland. A veteran three time U.S. Fulbright Scholar in both Turkey and Iceland, M currently serves as a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador. M works as an Arctic Expert for the National Geographic Society, holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. Sheâs worked for over a decade in the Arctic chronicling climate change and communities, guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems. Her 2015 bookÂ While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate ChangeÂ weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. Her 2018 book coming from Green Writers Press,Â The Secret Lives of Icelandic Glaciers, explores the stories of Icelandic people and glaciers through the lens of climatic changes. She is currently working onÂ In Tangible Ice, a multi-year Arctic project examining the socio-physical dimensions of glacier retreat in near-glacier communities across all eight circumpolar nations.
In her own words ….
âBeing named a 2018 TED Fellow feels extraordinary and validating. I grew up rural and poor, and told over and over I was neither smart nor strong enough. The idea of being a scientist was not even in my realm of possible. But my parents kept encouraging me. And when they died, I nearly gave in. Nevertheless, I drew on the strength they gave me, and I kept going further. And even today, when I am told over and over that my work is not “science” enough, or that my Ph.D. does not qualify me to be an expert on climate change (it’s real), or when being a female scientist is seen as sufficient grounds to harass & attack, I keep going, energized by validation from the TED Fellows Program and so many others. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Here’s to inspiring and encouraging the next generation of female scientists, and working each day to make our world better.â
We are thrilled to announce the first of our 2018 interns!
Evelyn Yielding is a rising first-year student at Bennington College who hopes to study marine biology and sociology. She grew up exploring bits and pieces of the Pacific Northwest and is particularly fond of Point Defiance Park and the Puget Sound. Her favorite books are Letâs Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. She wouldnât mind becoming an aquarist.
Hannah Wood was raised in New Hampshire. She attends Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont as a graphic design student. Currently she is a senior looking to get into publication and book design after graduation. She works with her schoolâs Center for Publishing, designing two different semi-annual magazines, âWeathervaneâ and âWillard and Mapleâ, and other miscellaneous works.Â As part of her study abroad to Dublin, Ireland last year she completed an internship with a local design firm called Snap. During her four month stay she completed many projects including a photo book, a business folder, and a variety of business cards and letter heads.Â In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing board games.
More exciting news!
- GWP is working on our first-ever print catalog (with the help of our two college interns, Hannah Wood/Champlain and Evelyn Yielding/Bennington) to send out with all our reps to leave behind with the bookseller.
- GWP has hired Sarah Ellis part-time as a publicity associate and editorial assistant and we have two wonderful partnerships with Sundog Poetry and a Vermont writing retreat and book coaching company called When Words Count founded by marketing whiz Steve Eisner, where we also work with a freelance marketing consultant Ben Tanzer (http://tanzerben.com). We are thrilled to have Steve’s guidance and Ben’s energy and expertise.
- I am delighted to introduce the newest member of the Midpoint team, Annette Hughes. Annette has worked for over 30 years in trade publishing, primarily in sales, most recently as the Director of National Accounts at Scholastic. At Scholastic she managed many blockbuster successes, including Harry Potter, Minecraft, The Hunger Games, and Bob Books. Prior to that Annette spent 9 years at HarperCollins, and before that, Little, Brown and Company. Having worked with almost every account in the trade business, she understands how to maximize sales by working with publishers, sales reps and their accounts. Her experience building authors and shaping titles to best fit particular markets will be invaluable to aligning production with marketing and publicity plans; determining and presenting targeted title positioning; and utilizing business analysis to focus on best opportunities for both front and backlist growth. As the Director of National Accounts, Annette will be managing the Midpoint Sales Group working out of the New York office. Her account responsibilities will include Barnes & Noble and Baker & Taylor. Annette will also be working closely with me developing our titles to maximize sales results. As a passionate book champion and avid reader, Annette will be instrumental building new authors, nurturing continuing series and imprints, and championing our backlistâbringing each to the highest level of successful publishing.
We are growingâthatâs for sure, but most of all we are a community and we support and appreciate all the talents of each and every one of you.
As we approach the anniversary of the passing of Howard Frank Mosher (he literally helped me launch the press & drove me to practically every bookstore in Vermont!), I know he would be so pleased at our growth and sense of community.Â
Blessings and much gratitude, The GWP Team
Greetings to our stalwart readers & authors, friends of our growing press! We can all agree that 2017 was a year of setbacks under the Misogynist-in-the-White-House â yet, we are hopeful and galvanized for 2018.
This recent article in the regional New Hampshire paper, The Keene Sentinel, written by GWP former Bennington College intern, Cheyenne Vaughn, is really hopeful! Happy Holidays to our friends!
Here is a sneak peek at an upcoming children’s pitcture book that is getting environmental-award accolades! Enjoy and thank you for your continued support and buying and reading our books!
We are Vermont! is a calendar created to benefit 350Vermont. Our goal is to share the creativity, passion,Â diversity, and progressive activism of Vermonters through beautiful color images donated by talented photographers. We will feature images of organic farms, farmersâ gardens, protests for climate and migrant justice, renewable energy, our outspoken and brave progressive elected officials, the womenâs march, the 2016 pipeline protests, and more. Continue reading
What I took from my 5 Days at ALA Chicago Conference
by Lydia Golitz, GWP Summer Intern
Thanks to the incredible Dede Cummings, I was able attend the American Library Associationâs annual conference from June 22 to June 27. This summer, it was held in Chicago, where I live and intern remotely for GWP. I was sent to do many things, among them: to learn how to be in conversation with libraries and educators, to spread the word about one of GWPâs upcoming release, Salamander Sky, and explore all the fun things ALA has to offer. I had a blast, all while gathering information and inspiration left and right.
Of all the incredible people I encountered at ALA, two really, genuinely, impacted me. One was Gene Luen Yang, and the other was Hillary Clinton. They were both featured speakers who really encapsulated what I feel is so important about whatâand how!âwe read. Continue reading
Hello, Jessica here! I am one of the interns for Green Writers Press this summer, and I bring to you all my familyâs small farm in our backyard in Brooklyn, New York.
As a student of environmentalism and as a city-dweller, urban farming is a phrase I am very familiar with. At times though, I have found that the urban farming conversation presented in New York is often lost in the larger folds of âgreenâ living trends: Trader Joeâs, Whole Foods, farmerâs markets, co-ops, heirloom tomatoes, and such. People are more likely to depend on markets to provide them local, fresh foods, than to plant and grow produce themselves, this being because of a lack of time and space, motivation, and of knowledge and/or experience.
If you look up âNew York urban farmingâ on a search engine (Yahoo and Google for me) today, there is only a handful of fresh results. There are about two media posts written about community urban agriculture in New York for 2017 and they are mostly lists that account the projects going on. (See the bottom of this post for some of these links.) It seems to be a quiet but promising start, with indoor and hydroponic projects going on, and even aquaponic farms that grow plants in a closed system with fish, using the fish poop as plant fertilizer and the plants as water filterers.
A community urban farming project can only be successful if there is solid support and demand from the community. Not only would it need a community to give it material resources, but also people willing to put in the effort to grow and manage produce. Take Americaâs victory gardens of World War II or even Cubaâs urban agriculture conversion in the 1990s as examples of large scale urban growing projects. Though both those scenarios were formed in times of dire need, they act as models of potential community based pathways; nothing, really, is stopping us from creating our own local, fresh produce or of demanding that there be public space provided for it.
But enough about big projects, letâs return to my familyâs backyard. By showing how my family manages a no-frills kind of backyard farm, I want to contribute to the demystification of the difficulty of growing food, something not just urban dwellers, but anyone who relies on outside food resources seems to be under.Â We are very fortunate to have this plot of land and though this is not an example of growing produce in extreme urban spaces without access to land, I hope our narrative will add to the slow but steadily growing landscape of New York urban farming and expose people to how it is nourishing our life at home.
My family farms on a six by three yard plot of upraised soil, and have built a nine foot tall overhanging trellis for the squash. This trellis spans the length of our backyard overhead and come July, the squash vines completely cover the trellis to create a sort of shadow-speckled retreat underneath. The vines will leave the soil, climbing the tied up poles and nets to bask in the sunlight, and the squash, as they ripen, will dangle underneath the trellis like green chandeliers. This kind of farming that allows plants to transcend the ground is called vertical farming. Vertical farming is an efficient kind of farming for small plots of land: above, vines can grow and below, on the open, but shaded soil herbs and other shade-tolerant plants can grow. Vertical farming is becoming a practical alternative in cramped urban spaces like New York City, where many projects are using vertically stacked layers to grow herbs and vegetables indoors.
For my parents, who both grew up farming rice patties in southern China, growing their own produce is not simply an optional green alternative; it is inseparable from their way of living. It is a source of pride for them that they can provide for the home in another way besides having full time jobs.
We grow cucumbers, winter melon, bitter gourd, spinach, ginger, yam leaves, tomatoes, and other vegetables. What growing a small farm has taught us is that there is always more than enough, and our bounty is shared amongst family and friends. Nothing is sold for commercial purposes and my family uses only one kind of insecticide, a slug and snail killer, in our practice.
Links on New York urban farming:
Follow us on Instagram @urbanveggies6x3 to see how our kind of urban farming can be done, and follow us @greenwriterspress to see how an environmentally conscious publishing house works.
Jessica is a student at Bennington College and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.
By Maya London-Southern
Register for Plastic-Free July here!
BULK! Itâs so important that Iâm writing my entire second blog post about it. Even if everything you need isnât available in bulk where you live, chances are this is where you can find a lot of things you do need or want.
When it comes to shopping sustainably, bulk is the ultimate lifesaver. While items bought in bulk likely still came in disposable packaging, the customerâs choice to buy in bulk as opposed to individually wrapped products reduces the amount of packaging used. The truth is, unless youâre growing all of your own food, itâs practically impossible to buy food without someone producing some type of trash along the way. But it doesnât have to be this way, and by refusing this unnecessary packaging in everyday shopping, a consumer is voting for change.
By Maya London-Southern
Though the United States ranks third in the world for highest population, it generates by far the most trash. The nation produces over 250 million tons of waste annually, with the average American throwing out about 4.5 pounds of garbage each day (China, with a population four times that of the US, generates about 190 million tons per year). But for thousands of years, humans did not produce any trash, and people have proven that even in this era of consumerism, it is possible to live without generating garbage.
Source: Armaud Martinez. www.istockphoto.com Continue reading
GWP is a proud participant in the Bennington College Field Work internship program, which we have been doing since our inception in 2014. We also work with interns from other colleges who are all extremely motivated young people and care about the fate of the earth and want to do everything they can to foster a sustainable environment. We welcome this summer’s stellar group!
We love this review of our newest nonfiction collection of essays written by Left Bank Books in Belfast Maine. Continue reading
2017 Green Earth Book Award âLong Listâ Announced â Brattleboro, Vermont
indie publisher has 3 titles on the list!
Geen Writers Press has recently been notified that three of our childrenâs books from the Sprouts for Kids Childrenâs Book line have been long listed for a national award for environmental stewardship in publishing,Â the 2017 Green Earth Book Award. The Nature Generation created the Green Earth Book Award to promote books that inspire children to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment. This is an annual award for books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility we have to protect it.
The Green Earth Book Award recognizes books in five categories â Picture Book, Childrenâs Fiction, Childrenâs Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Young Adult Nonfiction. In each category, the author/illustrator are awarded $1,500.Â The winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.
1.Â Broken Wing
Green Writers Press has recently publishedÂ Broken WingÂ posthumously by celebrated Vermont poet David Budbill.Â Broken WingÂ is the story of one manâs love for birds and efforts to save a rusty blackbird that canât fly south for the winter. The author worked closely with publisher Dede Cummings in order to finish the book before he died in late September of this year. The publisher enlisted local artist Donald Saaf, who illustrated the pages with stunning black and white collages that bring the book to life. The book is appropriate for young adult readers and adults.Â InÂ Broken Wing, David Budbill has composed a monumental love letter to the natural world, an astute and minutely observed portrait of the avian inhabitants of a mysterious hillside orchard. The Man Who Lives Alone in the Mountains, a reclusive keeper of the earth whose soul is devoted to one injured rusty blackbird, embodies a narrative voice compelled to witness, in the rhythm and brutality of the seasons, the intimate patterns of the wild creatures surrounding his home. Budbillâs lyrical storytelling effortlessly transports the reader into his realm with a rare and poetic beauty.
KABOOM!Â is the candidly comical and dynamic story of Cyndie and Ashley, two spunky and spirited teens from coal country West Virginia, who become activists overnight when their beloved mountain is threatened by Big Coal. This expertly crafted coming of age and rise to activism novel tracks the girlsâ experience as they start their own club, Kids Against Blowing Off Our Mountaintops, as they explore the power of grassroots activism, and even as they both begin to fall in love for the first time. Â KABOOM!, published on Earth Day (April 22, 2016) by Green Writers Press, utilizes humorous narration and the lively dialogue of impassioned characters to make serious environmental issues more accessible for adolescents. This Young Adult novel can be categorized as a Romantic Comedy âCli-Fiâ (Climate Fiction), one sure to inspire teens to evoke positive change in the world around them.
Â The author, Brian Adams, is a recently retired professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at Greenfield Community College in western Massachusetts. His first novel,Â Love in the Time of Climate Change, was aÂ Foreword ReviewsÂ IndieFAB Gold Medal Winner for Humor.Â He is active in the environmental movement andÂ now devotes his time to writing romantic comedies centered on environmental activism. Brian lives with his wife in Northampton, Massachusetts.
2.Â Did Tiger Take the Rain?
Charles Norris-Brown was born in the small town of Warren, Pennsylvania. He completed a PhD degree in Social Anthropology and Sociology at Lund University, Sweden, in 1984, based on fieldwork in the inner hills of Uttarakhand, India. His other research his took him from India to the rainforest of Borneo, and to forest communities in eastern Canada and the Appalachian region of the USA. While visiting the Corbett National Park in India, he decided to combine his art, anthropology, and concern for the environment to focus on writing and illustrating childrenâs books. In time, he would visit western Nepal in 2011 and 2012, and develop what would become his first childrenâs book,Â Did Tiger Take the Rain?,Â an exquisitely told and illustrated tale of a Himalayan land without rain, of frightened farmers, and of courageous girls who go into the forest seeking an answer from the tiger they believe has stopped the rain out of anger. As one of the girls, Anjali, learns,Â ‘We all live under the same sky.’Â The combination of gorgeous watercolors, a forest adventure, and the notion that children can act to make life better, creates a vibrant emotional message that welcomes multiple readings.
Review copies available upon request by contacting the publisher or distributor.Â Authors and artists are available for interviews (David Budbillâs daughter, Nadine Budbill, is the spokesperson for her father).
Upcoming spring titlesÂ include:Â Horse-Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss FarmÂ by Vermont legend and communard, Peter Gould;Â One Manâs MaineÂ by environmental essayist, Jim Kroschell;Â A Field Guide to Murder and Fly FishingÂ by fiction writer Tim Weed;Â Walking Through the Seasons: Observations and ReflectionsÂ by Marilyn Neagley;Â Learning to See in Three DimensionsÂ by Pamela Spiro Wagner;Â Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont PoetryÂ edited by Chard deNiord and Sydney Lea with an introduction by Dan Chiasson;Â Last CorrespondenceÂ poems by Leland Kinsey, edited by Howard Frank Mosher;Â Clothesline ReligionÂ poetry by Megan Buchana; and for Children:Â Josie Meets a Jaguar, Book 2 in theÂ Josie Goes GreenÂ Series by Beth Handman and the Bruno family of Brooklyn, NY.Â
April 7th, at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont, the press will be featured at the annualÂ Earth Day celebrationÂ and reading.
OF NOTE: Our children’s picture book,Â Ralph Flies the Coop, will be “flying” to the BolognaÂ International Children’s Book Fair this spring.
All titles are distributed by Midpoint Trade Books, New York and Tennessee and available wherever books are sold.
Green Writers Press is a Vermont-based, global publisher whose mission is to spread a message of hope and renewal. Read more atÂ http://www.greenwriterspress.
Thank you for helping us spread the word!
GWP is a proud participant in the Bennington College Field Work internship program, which we have been doing since our inception in 2014. Our Bennington College interns are all extremely motivated young people who care about the fate of the earth and want to do everything they can to foster a sustainable environment. Our newest interns just started this January and will be with us until mid-February. Please join us in welcoming Ruby, Rachel, and Liana!
Here is a recent photo taken at their first meeting with GWP author, Tim Weed (A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, due out April 2017), at our favorite Brattleboro hangout, Mocha Joe’s.
Green Writers Press has nominated the following authors for the 2017 Pushcart Prize: David Budbill and Leland Kinsey (posthumously), Su Smallen, Clarence Major, Sheila Post, Tony Whedon, and Sara Dillon.
Two brilliant poets have left the earth, but their books live on in words and images
GWP SPRING BOOKS 2017 … a few great covers to share/sneak previews …
One Manâs Maine, Essays on a Love Affair by Jim Kroschell
Walking Through the Seasons, nature essays by Marilyn Webb Neagley
Why I Ride: Because a Bike Pedal Lasts Longer Than a Gas Tank by Holly McNish and InjaÂ
Wild Play by David SobelÂ
A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing, stories by Tim Weed
Horse Drawn Yogurt, Stories from Total Loss Farm by Peter Gould
Poetry (with Sundog):
Learning to See, poetry by Pamela Spiro Wagner
Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry, edited by Sydney Lea and Chard deNiord with a Foreword by New Yorker staff writer, Dan Chaisson
Clothesline Religion, poems by Megan Buchanan
The Hopper Poetry Prize WinnersÂ with chapbooks to be published:
LongLeaf by John Saad
The Dark Edge of the Bluff by Ellene Glenn Moore
Josie Meets a Jaguar, by B.K.A.B. Bruno, illustrated by Janet Pedersen
Fall books, 2017 are being assigned right nowâŚ
They include a picture book for children entitled Salamander Sky written by Katy Farber with illustrations by Meg Sodano …. another picture book called Janey Monarch Seed by Julie Dunlap … We are also publishing a new book of poetry entitled The Long Correspondence by the late Vermont poet, Leland Kinsey, a novel entitled Wild Mountain by Nancy Kilgore, a collection of short stories by Teresa Stores called Frost Heaves, and more!
Our “Poet’s Poet” Leland Kinsey, a Tribute
BY HOWARD FRANK MOSHER
Earlier this month I lost a dear personal friend and Vermont lost its best poet since Robert Frost. Leland Kinsey of Barton, a seventh-generation Vermonter and gifted writer, teacher, naturalist, woodsman and storyteller, passed away after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Here is my tribute to Lee, who was also my fishing partner of 50 years.
For Leland Kinsey
May 2, 1950 â September 14, 2016
Leland Kinsey and I loved to fish for brook trout in the Northeast Kingdom. Not just trout. And not just anywhere. Brook trout in the Kingdom.
I suppose that there are good, trouty brooks in Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties that Lee and I never discovered. Not many, though. At least once a week during fishing season, for nearly half a century, Lee and I would strike out early in the morning and follow a brook miles up through cedar bogs, upland meadows, hardwoods and softwoods, to its source at an icy spring high on some Kingdom mountain.
Lee was a poet’s poet. By that I mean that he did not care one bit about renown. He cared about results, about writing powerful and beautiful poems, often about the Kingdom, where he was born and raised and lived all his adult life. Vermont State Poet Sydney Lea said it best. Leland’s poetry “chronicles the profoundest Vermont anyone might possibly know.”
It’s hard to tell for sure, but my guess is that several dozen of Lee’s poems, or major sections of them, were inspired by those fishing treks we made to the wildest and most remote corners of the Kingdom. In his sixth collection â perhaps my favorite â The Immigrant’s Contract, he recounts the life and times of a French Canadian who, as a small boy, comes to the Kingdom with his folks in a horse-drawn wagon containing all their worldly possessions. Over the next seventy-some years he worked as a horse trader, logger, timber cruiser, whiskey runner, log driver on the Vermont tributaries of the upper Connecticut River, dairy farmer, dam builder â the list goes on. On our fishing excursions we explored many of the places Lee brought to life in The Immigrant’s Contract. The Upper Jay Branch, where Lee’s Quebecois jack-of-all-trades helped build the first road over Jay Peak. The Upper Black Branch of the Nulhegan in the wilderness northeast of Island Pond.
Not to mention the wildlife we encountered, the goshawks and pileated woodpeckers, the twenty varieties of warblers and scores of woods flowers â Lee knew them all by name â the great glacial boulders brought down from the Far North 10,000 years ago, every species of tree that grows in northern Vermont. Along with family history and local work â farming, blacksmithing, lumbering, sugaring, cedar-oil distilling, welding â the natural world that we immersed ourselves in on our quests for brook trout was a constantly recurring theme of Lee’s poems.
Early on in our fishing partnership, Lee and I made a deal. If either of us ever caught a 20-inch brook trout, the other would have it mounted for him. We both figured this was a safe arrangement. One June afternoon on a swampy brook in the Victory Bog, miles from the nearest road, Lee caught a 16-inch two pounder. That was the closest either of us had come until last fall.
It was late October, after most of the leaves were down, and raining lightly. The only color along the stream we were fishing â never mind what stream or exactly where â was the rusty yellow of the tamarack trees. At the time, Lee was in between grueling treatments at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, but still very strong. Still as good in the woods as any man in the Kingdom. I couldn’t see him but somehow I always knew about where he was on a trout brook we were fishing. He knew where I was, too. From upstream, around a bend, maybe a hundred yards away, I heard him say, not loudly, “Good one.” That’s all he said but if you knew Lee, that was enough. Net in hand, I thrashed my way through the bankside alders and hurried around the bend.
There he was in the misting afternoon, standing in the water with the fly rod he’d built himself bent almost double. The hooked trout was about midway between us when it exploded from the dark water, leaping up and up and twisting like a salmon. Its fiery red belly and green back and pink side-speckles with violet halos, its big square tail, its crimson fins edged with white stood out against the low, gray sky even brighter than on a sunny day. It hit the water like a beaver smashing the surface with its tail.
I never knew a man better at playing a fish than Leland Kinsey. It was a battle royal but ten, maybe fifteen minutes later, I slipped my landing net under the big brookie and held it up, shimmering, gorgeous, for Lee to see. “You win,” I said. Who do you want to mount it for you?”
“No one,” Lee said. “Put it back in the brook where it belongs.”
I cannot say that I was greatly surprised. I removed the hook and turned the net inside out, releasing the trout. For a moment the fish hung in the tea-colored water. Then it shot off into the depths of the stream where it belonged, and Lee and I fished on into the wild heart of the Kingdom to which he belonged and of which he was, and will be for all time to come, the truest poet laureate.
Some photos of Lee for our memories . . . but his poems live on and we are honored to have been his publisher! If you want, you can listen to an interview Dede and Howard did on VPR here.
Our vibrant and growing publishing company, located in Brattleboro, Vermont, will be co-leading a trip to Cuba in March with Green Writers Press author, long-time Cuba expert, and co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program,Â Tim Weed.Â This exciting new program combines a generative writing program focused on place with a dynamic off-the-beaten-track exploration of the ârealâ Cuba, with its unique cultural, artistic, and environmental legacy.
Cuban poet, Â Dulce MarĂa Loynaz,Â wrote:
âCuando vayamos al mar yo te dirĂŠ mi secreto”
âWhen we go to the sea, I will tell you my secret.”
ABOUT THE TRIP:Â Green Writers Press in Cuba: Writing, Culture, & Place
We begin in the magical time capsule city of Havana, with an itinerary that focuses on experiences that are unavailable to regularly scheduled tour groups. Weâll explore Cubaâs inspiring cultural scene, dropping in on artistsâ studiosÂ and galleries, attending dynamic music & dance performances, and visiting many of the countryâs fascinating and lesser-known cultural hot-spots, including synagogues, neighborhood markets, SanterĂa temples, and small and quirky museums. Weâll visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Caribbeanâs largest colonial fortress, one of the worldâs greatest cemeteries, a cigar factory, and legendary Finca VigĂa, where Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote for more than two decades.
Weâll also explore Cubaâs unique environmental and conservation legacy, with a visit to an urban organic farm, a hike through a shade-grown coffee plantation in the midst of a neotropical rainforest, a refreshing swim beneath cool waterfalls, snorkeling in azure coves filled with healthy coral heads and a diversity of marine species, and an expedition to a national park that encompasses the Caribbeanâs largest protected mangrove area, a major destination and breeding ground for migratory wildfowl.
Our staff of Green Writers Press writers and editors will lead a series of field-based, generative writing exercises designed to help you document your experience in Cuba while incorporating an immersive sense of place into your prose or poetry.This programÂ is ideal for aspiring and established writers in any genre, but you donât need to be a writer to participateâas long as youâre excited about exploring, having fun, and sharing your impressions.
There will be time built into the itinerary for individual explorations as well. Because the group is limited in size, we will have the flexibility to take advantage of participantsâ particular interests, with the spontaneity to take advantage of the sort of last minute happening that makes Cuba such a fun place to travel. In addition to a full daily schedule of people-to-people cultural exploration, weâll have the opportunity to sample the cuisine in many of Cubaâs famous paladares (officially sanctioned restaurants located in private homes), and, of course, to experience Cubaâs justly renowned music scene.
Dates:Â March 10-19, 2017
Price per person:Â $3,750 for double occupancy (single supplement: $400), includes round-trip airfare to Havana from Miami, visa, lodgings, all meals except 2-3 independent lunches or dinners, ground transportation, writing activities, cultural activities, a lecture series on Cuban history and culture, local guides and experts, and museum and park entrance fees. A few independent meals give participants the chance to get a break from the group and sample Cubaâs famous paladares on their own.
Space is limited to preserve the intimacy and flexibility of the experience, so we encourage you to reserve your place early. Please note that our itinerary in Cuba entails extensive walking. Participants should be in reasonably good physical condition.
A note on lodgings:Â We will stay in well-located privately run casas particulares (bed-and-breakfasts) that get us off the main tourist track allowing unparalleled access to real Cuban neighborhoods, as well as providing a comfortable, hospitable base for daily cultural immersion and travel activities. Lodgings are well located, simple, and very clean, with excellent breakfasts served by our warm and welcoming Cuban hosts.
GWP is planning similar programs in Iceland and Ireland. Send us a note if youâre interested and weâll be in touch!
IMP. NOTE: If you are interested or think some of your students might be interested in this March 10 to the 19th trip, send me an email and I will give you more details. Our numbers are limited so we are encouraging people to reserve by the end of September. Â firstname.lastname@example.org
We areÂ a low-profit publisher based out of Brattleboro dedicated to telling stories that will make the world a better place. Specifically, Green Writers Press is uplifting regional and national voices that embrace the natural world and interrogate the destruction of it.
PARTNER WITH US:
GWP is an L3C or a âlow-profit limited liability companyâ which is a for-profit business that holds a charitable or educational cause as its main purpose. The business embodies our mission from our choice of printers (US printers that utilize renewable energy, forest stewardship council-certified papers, and soy-based inks) to our donation of a percentage of profits to national and Vermont-based environmental organizations.
Our vision is that collectively, our books will become a chorus of voices of writers and readers, artists and photographers, who care about the fate of the earth and want to do something about it.
If anyone knows of a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization you think would like to partner with us as an L3C company, please tell them about us! It is tax-free for them to work with us on publications/books.
AND NOW . . . SUMMER NEWS:
Green Writers Press is growing, but we are still primarily a VOLUNTEER RUN ORGANIZATION. We could not do what we do without our dedicated cadre of freelance editors!Â Please welcome our newest freelancer/volunteer staff members.
MARGARETÂ SWEENEY, AssistantÂ EditorÂ and Publicity
Margaret Sweeney is a native of Brattleboro, Vermont and a recent graduate of Bennington College, where she studied literature and writing. While at Bennington, she interned for the literary organizations Poets House and the Center for the Art of TranslationÂ and served as co-editor-in-chief ofÂ plain china,Â the first national anthology of undergraduate student writing. She now lives in Western MassachusettsÂ and works as a part-time bookseller at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley.
JAMES CREWS, Â Assistant Editor
James Crews’ work has appeared inÂ Ploughshares, Raleigh Review, Crab Orchard ReviewÂ andÂ The New Republic, among other journals, and he is a regular contributor toÂ The (London) Times Literary Supplement.Â His first collection of poetry,Â The Book of What Stays, won the 2010 Prairie Schooner Book Prize and received aÂ ForewordÂ MagazineÂ Book of the Year Award. Other awards include residencies from the Sitka Center for the Arts and Caldera Arts as well as two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and aÂ PhDÂ in Writing and Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he worked for Ted Kooser’sÂ American Life in PoetryÂ newspaper column and grew to love the Great Plains. He now lives on an organic farm in Shaftsbury, Vermont just a few miles from the Robert Frost Stone House.
VISIT US AT BOOK FESTIVALS COMING UP!
Green Writers Press has a BIG presence at BOOKSTOCK-VT, one of Vermont’s premiere literary festivals. Please join us! Â http://bookstockvt.org/2016-presentations/
Left to right: Leland Kinsey (Galvanized), Sheila Post (The Road to Walden North), Cardy Raper (An American Harvest), Brett Stanciu (Hidden View), Tim Weed (forthcoming, A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing), Sara Dillon (Planning for Escape), and Vermont State Poet Chard DeNiord (co-editor, with Sydney Lea, of the forthcoming Contemporary Vermont Poetry) . . . what a lineup!
Burlington Book Festival, Brattleboro Literary Festival, and more!Â
STAY TUNED FOR THE HOPPER PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENT AUGUST 1st!
This is amazing newsâannounced today at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando! TWO of our authors from Green Writers Press have won gold for Foreword Reviewâs IndieFAB Book of the Year!
Congrats to Lauren Alderfer and Leslie Rivver.
M JACKSON just WON The 2016 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature from the City of Santa Monicaâs Office of Sustainability and the Environment along with the Santa Monica Public Library! They want her to come to Santa Monica September 22nd to accept the award!! The evening program will feature Eames Demetrios, grandson of Ray and Charles Eames (of the chair fame!).
Clarence Major is getting booked for his October New England Book TourâOctober 15: Brattleboro Literary Festival; October 17: Harvard Coop Bookstore, with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 7PM reading, October 18: Emerson College morning reading, ETC.
More to come: Willem Lange selected to be featured speaker at NEIBAâs Fall Conference!
Galvanized: New and Selected Poems by LelandÂ Kinsey
By David Nilsen
Galvanized, the new collection from Vermont poet Leland Kinsey, is a document of the hardship and rough-hewn beauty of living close to the land, in reach of its temper but also its embrace. Kinsey grew up on a Vermont farm, the child of a long line of such folk who clung to existence in the face of a cold north wind, working impossibly hard because to do less was to starve. These poemsâsome new, most from his seven previous books since 1991âare more closely tied to a particular place than any others Iâve read, and bring Vermont into a vivid focus, painting a landscape and a way of life I had never associated with the state.
Kinseyâs poems are beautiful but brutal pastorales, uncompromising in their depictions of the strain and heartache of living off the land. At times these poems feel like catalogs of woe, running through lists of injuries and tragedies, but they are never self-pitying, and they are never dishonest. The occasional joys of such hard lives are also given their turn, from necessary late night swims in glacial ponds to wash off the sweat and chaff after a day of baling, to summer baseball games, to barn dances to thank the neighbors for helping rebuild a burnt down farm building. Kinsey remembers sledding as a child, the near-suicidal danger of this diversion, the danger less impending than that of their farm work because it was chosen:
âWe mostly slid at night to tell
if cars were coming,
no stopping at the corner
except by ditching at forty miles and hour,
blood and fractures either way.â
â page 97
More than anything, these poems chronicle survival, an endeavor that for Kinseyâs family was often a fraught and unforgiving one, but oneÂ that laid down from time to time in the shadow of joy. There is a wry humor underlying much of this poetry, rarely spotlighted but often teasing at the edges of harder truths, a humor that undoubtedly served its own role in the familyâs endurance. In âRiding in the Open,â Kinsey recalls countless rides on top of farm loads in his youth, experiences that were sometimes fun, a chance to rest, and sometimes quite dangerous, and often both:
âI think of how we mostly could not talk,
cheeks puffed out by the force of wind,
any conversation blown back passed us,
ears wind stopped,
and of the holding on,
and in the face of the black despair
we were all prone to,
â page 96
There is a section of the book containing poems from his 2004 collectionÂ In the Rain Shadow, a series of poems he wrote during his extended visit with his cousin in Tanzania. These poems presentÂ a jarring change of landscape and culture initially, but it quickly becomes apparent to the readerâas it did to the poetâhow much there is in common betweenÂ the experienceÂ the inhabitants of this impoverished nation have had in trying to scrape a living from theÂ harsh African environmentÂ and the struggleÂ Kinseyâs own family and ancestors hadÂ in prying a living from the glacier-scoured hills of northern Vermont.
GalvanizedÂ concludes with selections from Kinseyâs most recent collection, 2014âsÂ Winter Ready. Living as close to (and off of) the land as Kinsey and his family have, many of his poems deal with the seasons, the heavensâ rationing of sunshine and rain, and the cruelties and wonders of winter, but this final section hones in on the way the calendar in a cold-weather climate bends around the gravity well of winter. Spring is about escaping it and planting as soon as the ground warms. In summer it can almost be forgotten as crops grow high and the sun beats down. But by fall, everyone knows whatâs coming. Crops are gathered, wood is chopped, repairs are made, food is laid in. Winter will spare no one who isnât ready. These poems perfectly encapsulateÂ theÂ simple clarity with which Kinsey documents the hardship of living as he and his family have, wasting little regret or resentment over the fairness of their lives. There simply isnât time for it, and nature is as unforgiving with human life as it is with animal. In one of the new poems in the book, he summarizes this while talking about a recent fishing excursion. He set two trout eggs on a rock by the river, and while he had his back turned, they were snatched up by an opportunistic gull he hadnât noticed a moment before:
âEggs, and no gull noticed,
gull, and no eggs to be seen,
no oneâs rights involved,
just, quick as that,
â Fish Eggs, page 7
I was unfamiliar with Leland Kinsey before this anthology, and I look forward to backtracking through his work in the future. He is a singular poet, deft with his words but aware his greatest asset is the strange and wondrous life heâs lived; he forefronts those experiences over flourishes of language, using his narrative skill to show us a scene, a people, and a place, and he trusts in the raw beauty and grace and pain of those details to do the work for him, which they certainly do.
Leland and many of our GWP aithors will be at BOOKSTOCK Literary Festival this summer! You can read about them here: http://bookstockvt.org/2016-presentations/
MARGARETÂ SWEENEY, Editorial Intern and Publicity
Margaret Sweeney is a native of Brattleboro, Vermont and a recent graduate of Bennington College, where she studied literature and writing. While at Bennington, she interned for the literary organizations Poets House and the Center for the Art of TranslationÂ and served as co-editor-in-chief ofÂ plain china,Â the first national anthology of undergraduate student writing. She now lives in Western MassachusettsÂ and works as a part-time bookseller at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley.
JESSICA JAUNDOO, Editorial Intern and Marketing
Jessica is an upcoming sophomore at Bennington College and was born and raised in Boston, MA. She has always had a lifelong interest in nature and her friends always find her trying to adopt any animal or critter into her life. With her interest in the field of Biology and the Environment still in its exploitative stages, her long term hobby has always been writing her own stories and coming up with ideas with friends. Inspiration never fails to strike her at any moment and many who know her are curious to see which book she may publish in the future.
RON ANAHAW, January-February Field Work Intern and 2016 Summer Fellow
Ron Anahaw has three things close to his heart:Â
his loved ones, writing, and Korean fried chicken. With a hand on playwriting, poetry, journalism, and fiction, he considers himself a jack-of-all-trades in writing. He is a big believer in trying to keep the world habitable. He is as quick to crack a joke as he is to ask you to collaborate. Ron is a first-year student atÂ Bennington.
KAIYA LEWIS-MARLOW, Editorial Intern
Kaiya is a first term Bennington student with a passion for literature and social change. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and was raised with close ties to the local farm movement and community there. In her spare time, she enjoys writing speculative fiction, hiking, and making jewelry out of found mechanical objects and polymer clay.
KAITLYNÂ PLUKAS, January-February Field Work Intern and 2016 Summer Fellow
Kaitlyn is a first-year student at Bennington College with a passion for any and everything Literature oriented. She firmly believes in the power of literature; both in the way it completely transforms perceptions of the world and in the way it inspires unity amongst communities. Her many years as a Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient have inspired her to enact social and environmental change. Kaitlyn is an avid sock collector, an outdoors adventurer, and is a right-handed writer who is preferential to pens.
BIG NEWS TODAY for one of our authors!
With the current controversy over the introduction of genetically engineered salmonâdubbed âFrankenfishââthe publication of Your Own Ones, by Prince Edward Island author, Dr. SĂle Post, couldnât be more timely.
Your Own Ones illustrates the Thoreauvian maxim:
In Wildness is the preservation of the world, (where)
All good things are wild and free.
Based on empirical research (from the findings of a Canadian risk assessment team, as well as additional studies) into the potential threats, both to human and wild salmon health, of farmed and genetically modified salmon, Your Own Ones chronicles the ecological, biological, and cultural importance of protecting wild salmon from the threat posed by salmon farms and frankenfish.
When protagonist, P.E. Islander Wild Salmon Conservationist, Dr. Ăine OâConnor, learns of the sudden, inexplicable death of her aunt, she discovers the existence of Mad Salmon Disease, a devastating disease attributed to the consumption of farmed salmon, and it is feared, genetically engineered salmon. Set in two places abundant in wild salmon, Prince Edward Island and Dingle Peninsula, Ireland, Your Own Ones chronicles the initiatives of the leading characters in the novel to challenge the initiatives of both governments to introduce salmon farms as well as genetically engineered salmon to the human food chain.
The Bookmark, Charlottetown, PE, will host a book launch and reading, May 5, 2016 from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at its Charlottetown Store, located at Confederation Court Mall, 172 Queen Street. Â Contact Lori Cheverie for further details at: email@example.com .
5.25 x 8; Paperback Original
386 pages; $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-9961357-3-3 (pbk)
Available wherever books are sold.
Distributed by Midpoint Trade Books, Ingramâs, Baker & Taylor.
About the Author:
Author, SĂle Post, PhD, a former university professor and literary cultural scholar, is the author of two novels, published with Green Writers Press: Your Own Ones and The Road to Walden North. She resides in Prince Edward Island, where she sits on the Board of the MacPhail Homestead Foundation, as well as in northern New England, where she serves as an active member of the Thoreau Society. For interviews and events, please contact the author at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
April is National Poetry Month and we have news to share!
POEM CITY, Montpelier, Vermont is one of our FAVORITE annual events….
On April 13 at 7:00 pm in the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Leland Kinsey,Â Pushcart Prize nominee, will be reading from his new bookÂ Galvanized: New and Selected Poems, published by Green Writers Press in April 2016. Kinsey is also author ofÂ Winter ReadyÂ and six other books of poetry. He writes of the hard, dark life of the countryside in a haunting, spellbinding manner. Join Kinsey for an evening of poetry at the Library.
Later in the month . . .
A Round-tableÂ Discussion on Nature Poetry with GWP publisher Dede Cummings & Vermont poet Diana WhitneyÂ at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
April 30th at 1:30 at PoemCity 2016
Kellogg Hubbard Libray in Montpelier VT
AND NOW ONTO EARTH DAY (BIG) NEWS!Â
Iâm super excited thatÂ The Order of the TreesÂ is on theÂ Nature Generationâs Green Earth Book Awards shortlist!Â Â Iâm thrilledÂ to see usâa Vermont based publisher â on this list with the major New York publishers. It is an honor to be included in this collection which features books that have a strong environmental stewardship message.
The winner and honor books will be announced on Earth Day, April 22nd 2016. Stay tuned!
HERE IS A PHOTO OF THE AUTHORâThis is the kind of reading she does for kids at libraries and schools . . .
EARTH DAY IS COMING! Green Writers Press is so pleased to help promote our fantastic children’s list for Earth Day. Along with The Order of the Trees, we have another exciting children’s book series we’d like to tell you aboutâour 2014 title/first in the series Josie Goes Green.
Green Writers Press is proud toÂ publish the first childrenâs fiction book about taking action on climate change.Â Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike BrigadeÂ is the first in a forthcoming series about Josie Garcia, a feisty nine-year-old girl from Brooklyn who becomes a crusader for preventing disastrous climate change and other environmental threats. In each book, Josie takes simple, ingenious actions that bring real changes to her neighborhood and the world. The book is for ages 7-11 and is appropriate for schools, school districts, childrenâs social issue book clubs, and families. Nine-year-old Josie Garcia is an ambitious girl from Brooklyn who becomes an advocate for preventing disastrous climate change and other environmental threats. The feisty heroine in âJosie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade,â Josie was inspired by the children of P.S. 321 in Park Slope. Kenny Bruno; his wife Beth Handman, assistant principal of P.S. 321; and their daughter Antonia Bruno, who went to school at P.S. 321, co-wrote the new childrenâs book, which they refer to as childrenâs âcli-fiâ â climate fiction.
Families and book lovers of all ages are invited to “Go Green With Josie” to learn about children taking action to preserve our planet this Earth Day 2016.
The book just came out as an audiobook, too, narrated by the wonderful Rosi Amador!
AÂ GREAT EARTH DAY GIFT đ
Thanks for helping kids feel like they CAN make a difference on Earth Day!
AWPâThe Association of Writers and Writing Programsâhad their 39th annual convention and book fair in Los Angeles at the beginning of April. Dede went out and had a GWP table. It was thrilling to be around so many writers and avid readers and here was a great deal of interest in our press!
PARTIES! We love ’em!
Don’t forget our two big bashes in April.
The Hopper Launch Party is April 15th from 6:00-8:00PM at the Dianich Gallery at 139 Main Street in Brattleboro.
Our 2nd Annual GWP Earth Day Celebration at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont, is on April 24th from 5:00-8:00 PM with readings/slides/music. Hosted by Vermont’s celebrated writer, Howard Frank Mosher.
LINK for info:Â http://nextstagearts.org/event/green-writers-press-second-anniversary/?instance_id=19674
Happy Spring (though we just got more SNOW in VERMONT!
We are a growing Vermont publisher with exciting news to share!
Other news onÂ upcoming books:
Having written more than eight novels, including My Amputations and Dirty Bird Blues, alongside a dozen books of poetry, Chicago Heat and Other Stories is Clarence Majorâs second work of short fiction and first book with Green Writers Press is coming out September 6, 2016. Here is a quote from Clarenceâand we are honored to be his publisher!
At the same time one of the most pressing issues for all of humanity is the environment, namely climate change. I would like to support efforts to bring about awareness of the problem. We are running out of time. âClarence Major
And last, but not least:Â We are so excited about Green Writers Press having 5 finalists in the annual Foreword Reviews IndieFAB Book of the Year Awards:
Richard Jarrette, A Hundred Million Years of Nectar DancesâPoetry
M Jackson, While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate ChangeâMemoir
Lauren Alderfer, Teaching from the Heart of MindfulnessâEducation
Leslie Rivver, Blackberries and CreamâJuvenile Fiction
Sydney Lea, What’s the Story? Reflections on a Life Grown LongâEssays
âThe 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,â said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews magazine. âThe strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.â
Please welcome, ANNA MULLEN, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Assistant Editor!
Anna is a poet, naturalist, and aspiring morning person from the suburban foothills of the North Carolina Appalachians. She has special love for writings about the sea, speculative fiction, animal consciousness, psychologies of climate change, and queer ecology. She studied Environmental Literature at Middlebury College and as a poetry fellow at Bread Loaf Orionâs Environmental Writers’ Conference. Most recently she served as Treleven, Inc.âs writer-in-residence, working on poetic and scientific sketches of their sheep flock in New Haven, VT.
Thanks for taking the time to help support our growing list!
We are dedicated toÂ the “LOCALVORE” movement in bookselling.
Here at Green Writers Press, we are busy planning our Spring Book launch set for April 24th at 3:00 PM at Next Stage Arts in Putney. We are also busy celebrating all things African-American and honoring our newest authors who write so eloquently about race and the struggle for equality. We join the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
We’d like to tell you about a few books that we are honored to publishâone is just out this past year, and the other forthcoming in 2016!
Blackberries and Cream is the compassionate and insightful story of a young white girl balancing her love for her African-American caregiver and her depressed mother in 1960s Alabama. Full of Southern charm and subtle wisdom, this novel explores the meanings of love, family,Â and courage in a heartfelt coming-of-age tale that will resonate with children and adults alike. This novel comes at a poignant moment in our society when racial prejudices still linger and the challenges to diversity in children’s literature remain difficult to confront. Blackberries and Cream is perfectly suited to help cultivate awareness about these issues, inspiring meaningful reflection and discussion in young readers. It is 210 pages long and can be considered childrenâs fiction (middle grade to young adult readers) and historical fiction. We are hoping readers will spread the word.Â
This photo is from twenty years ago, of the author Leslie Rivver and her caregiver Ida Bell, who are the main characters in this semi-autobiographical novel we are promoting during Black History Month.Â âŞ#âBlackHistoryMonthâŹ
âBrimming with wisdom and mischief, this tender, heartfelt celebration of an abiding friendship between a white girl and her black caregiver in 1960s Alabama reminds us that the love we experience in childhood has the power to sustain us through a lifetime of change.â
âIrene Latham, author ofÂ Leaving Geeâs Bend
We are also thrilled to announce the upcoming story collection byÂ Clarence Major. Chicago Heat and Other StoriesÂ employs a gorgeous purity and simplicity of language in a series of masterful analyses examining human interaction. Each narrative voice comes forward all at once, individual and complete, without obstacle or complication, enabling the reader to see the characters and feel their emotions. Major does not shy away from the bitter or the harsh; we get to hear it all. Like paint on an easel he blends lyricality with moxie and the blunt with the beautiful. The characters come together as easily as they part; people leaving, coming back, going, stayingâit all sticks and fades like heat on your skin. The imagery is completely accessible and generously given. Toni Morrison comes to mind. His work is like jewels.
Clarence Major’s list of works and achievements is an impressive one. From awards like the Pushcart Prize and National Book AwardÂ to fellowships like the Fulbright Fellowship and National Council for the Arts Fellowship, Clarence Major has established himself as a prominent literary figure. Having written more than eight novels, includingÂ My AmputationsÂ andÂ Dirty Bird Blues,Â alongside a dozen books of poetry,Â Chicago Heat and Other StoriesÂ is only his second work of short fiction and first book with Green Writers Press.
CLARENCE MAJOR is a prizewinning short story writer, novelist, poet and painter. As a finalist for the National Book Award he won a Bronze Medal for his bookÂ Configurations: New and Selected Poems 1958-1998. Â Major was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The Bay Area Book Reviewers Book Award and The Prix Maurice Coindreau in France. He is the recipient of The Western States Book Award, The National Council on The Arts Award, a New York Cultural Foundation Award, The Stephen Henderson Poetry Award for Outstanding Achievement (African-American Literature and Culture Society of The American Literature Association), the Sister Circle Book Award, two Pushcart prizes, the International Literary Hall of Fame Award (Chicago State University), the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts, presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and other awards. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Davis.
PRAISE FOR THE WORK OF CLARENCE MAJOR
âClarence Major has a remarkable mind and the talent to match.âÂ Â Â Â âToni Morrison
âA pioneer on the cutting edge of contemporary fiction.â âCharles Johnson
â[Majorâs] language is both lyric and precise.Â His vision is both humorous . . . and serious.
His story is our own.â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âNational Book Award Finalist/citation forÂ Configurations
âClarence MajorâsâŚ gathering of short stories has extraordinary technical and emotional force, that pushes the form to its contemporary limits without losing contact with its sources in legend, tall-tale,Â conte, yarnâŚMajorâŚproves that he is one of only a handful of American writers capable of doing significant work in more than one genre.â âRussell Banks
Thanks for helping us spread the word about our growing press, especially the authors that help all of us celebrate our freedom and social justice, and foster increased awareness in environmental sustainability. Here is an eloquent quote from Clarence Major in support of our work at the press:
One of the most pressing issues for all of humanity is the environment, namely climate change.Â I would like to support efforts to bring about awareness of the problem. We are running out of time. âClarence Major
new novella, ‘Marly’ Â
on Sunday, February 7, at 4 p.m.; admission is by donation,
and proceeds benefit the Women’s Freedom Center
Latchis Arts, in association with Green Writers Press, presents a dramatic reading of Peter Gould’s new novel, “MARLY,” starring Jonny Flood and directed by Gould on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 4 p.m., in the Ballroom Theatre at the Latchis.
This event, also presented by New England Youth Theatre, will benefit the Women’s Freedom Center of Brattleboro. Admission is by donation, all of which will go to the Women’s Freedom Center
“Marly“ is dramatic climate fiction in a new literary form. To find out what that means, read it, or hear it read aloud, or both. Green Writers Press is a new Brattleboro-based publisher lighting up the New England literary landscape with high-quality books on ecological themes. Come to the reading, and talk with Dede Cummings, founder of GWP, and her Bennington College interns. Gould, author of three well-known published novels, is a professor in the Conflict Transformation Program at Brandeis. He’s the smaller, quieter half of the renowned theater duo, Gould & Stearns. Jonathan Flood has been doing theater non-stop with Peter since he was 12 years old. He’s the director of several “Get Thee to the Funnery” youth theater camps, and he’s also the new Education Director at NEYT.
The fictional female character, Marly, teaches at a small Vermont College, where she specializes in forestry, wildlife habitat, chainsaw technique and self-defense for women. She’s a survivor of domestic violence; strong and self-actualized as she is, she still suffers from the after effect of the attack.
Please come and enjoy the reading, support the Freedom Center, and join the discussion. You’ll be home in plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl, if that’s your thing.
Copies of the novel will be on sale. I hope I see you here at the Latchis,
Jon Potter | Executive Director, Latchis Arts Inc. | Latchis Corporation
50 Main Street | Brattleboro VT | 05301
802.254.1109×3Â | email@example.com
Preserving the Latchis | Promoting the Arts
From inside Amyâs Bakery, you can watch the ice floes drift on the Connecticut River like a herd of large, groggy fish moving downstream, or somewhere, or nowhere.
Alongside this, Iâve learned a lot during my first week in Brattleboro. Iâve learned: how to code manuscripts; that I have a hidden love for Thai food, courtesy of my host family; that copy editing is far more backbreaking than I expected; that when itâs cold enough, you can ice skate on the Meadows; and that Dede Cummings and her vibrant personality is a cure-all for gloom, doom, and any other word that can threaten your day.
I always pictured myself romping around in New York City
with a Didion-esqueÂ experience ahead of me
Iâve also learned that Iâm happy to fork over pretty much all my money to Mocha Joeâs, as long as their magic brews helps me stay up long enough to finish work for a press as great as Green Writers Press. And, thanks to my irresponsible nighttime-sips, Iâve had the pleasure of seeing Brattleboroâs sky from dusk to dawn.
Iâm eating, laughing, exploring, learning, and most importantly, Iâm doing work that I love. While I always pictured myself romping around in New York City with a Didion-esque experience ahead of me, yellow curtains and all, Iâve learned that Iâd be happy to work away in a place like Brattleboro, for a place like Green Writers Press. (As long as I can get some of Bamboo Gardenâs pad Thai, that is.)
âRon Anahaw, Bennington College intern/Field Work
A note from the editor: The American Library Association’s 2016 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits took place January 8â11 at the Boston Convention Center. GWP had a table for the first time. Our resident Bennington College interns Ron, Kaitlyn, and Emy love libraries! Our far-flung interns, Ferne and Kaiya, are holding down the fort and Skyping in from New Orleans and Chapel Hill, respectively.
We are lucky to have such a great group of hard-working students from Bennington College!
The Printing Industries of New England (PINE), a major trade group that has been around in one form or another since 1887, recently presented our Vermont printer, Springfield Printing Corporation,Â with three awards as part of their 2015 Awards of Excellence Competition. The competition was stiff; they were up against 40 companies from all over New England, who submitted over 300 entries.
Please welcome Sierra Dickey! She joins editors John Tiholitz, Jenna Gersie and Rose Alexandre-Leach.
Sierra Dickey is a young writer and editor native to Cape Cod, Massachusetts with auxiliary roots in the Northeast Kingdom. In 2015, she graduated from Whitman College, where her honors thesis on ecofeminist literature was the recipient of the Linda Meyer Award for Best Environmental Essay. She is passionate about both print and digital media, as well as long walks and good coffee. Continue reading
AndÂ therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
Greetings to our Green Writers Press Community,
My daughter, Emma, is doing okay after such a tough car accidentÂ June 4th.Â Next Thursday, I will help get her settled in an outpatient rehab apartment in NYC. I am in awe of her strength and so proud of her spiritâher cousin, Molly, a junior high English teacher at Horace Mann, is also doing well, and both girls will be walking after Labor Day!Â I am trying my best to get things back up to speed with the press and it is going wellâit is great to be back at work after a month spent at Yale-New Haven Hospital. I am so fortunate to be part of a community of understanding writers, editors, printers, and readers! Our books may be a bit delayedâbut not by much!Â The big news is I have the help and support of two fabulous interns, An Nguyen (from Bennington College) and Flannery Wiest (Smith College).Â Thanks to everyone for the prayers, meditations, thoughts and kind words.
Here is what Flannery has to say about becoming an internÂ with the press, and how she got here: