An Anthology of Nature, Environmental, and Place-based Writing

Wildbranch: An Anthology of Nature, Environmental, and Place-based Writing is a powerful collection of mostly unpublished essays and poetry by both prominent American environmental writers and exciting new voices. The poetry and essays by more than fifty contributors offer the reader glimpses into places as diverse as a forest in West Africa, the moors of Ireland, the canyons of the Sonoran desert mountains, and the fields of New England, and they reflect the varied perspectives of field biologists, hunters, farmers, environmental educators, wilderness guides, academics, writers, and artists.

The collection is an intimate portrait of the natural world drawn through the wisdom, ecological consciousness, and open hearts of these exceptional contributors. The Wildbranch Writing Workshop, cosponsored by Orion magazine and Sterling College, has encouraged thoughtful natural history, outdoor, and environmental writing for more than twenty years. The Wildbranch faculty has included its founder E. Anne Proulx, the essayists Edward Hoagland, Janisse Ray, and Scott Russell Sanders, the poet Alison Hawthorne Deming, and many other notable authors. Many have work included in the anthology.

Winner of the New Mexico Book Association's Southwest Book Design & Production Awards for Excellence in the category Trade Books: Non-illustrated. 

Florence Caplow is a writer, Zen priest, conservation botanist, and graduate from Evergreen State College. She has spent more than twenty-five years working to protect the endangered plants of the western United States. Her essays have been published in Tricycle, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Turning Wheel, Inquiring Mind, and Terrain.

Susan Cohen earned her PhD in English at the University of Maryland, College Park; she is a professor of English and women’s studies at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the editor of Shorewords: A Collection of Women’s Coastal Writings. Her essays have appeared in Sea Stories; Women Writing Nature: A Feminist View; Early American Nature Writers; and Gendered Landscapes.


Table of Contents:

Foreword - H. Emerson Blake
Preface - Florence Caplow and Susan A. Cohen
A Brief History of Wildbranch - Dave Brown

Part I: Intimacy
Des Ta Te: A Love Story - Paul Grindrod
White Wings Out of a Dark Sky - Alison Townsend
Between Green Flannel Sheets Splattered With Portuguese Roses - Alison Townsend
Exaltation of Elk - Janisse Ray
Letter to Douglas - Tony Cross
This Ground Made of Trees - Alison Hawthorne Deming
To Liv - Jennifer Barton
Dispute with Thomas Hardy - Sydney Lea
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Craftsbury Common, Vermont - David Haskell
Migrations - Glenda Cotter
Spirits - Glenda Cotter
Fourth Night Magic - Robert Kimber
Fishing with George - Jim Collins
Calling the Dove - Dorinda G. Dallymeyer
Mine - Stephanie Joelle Renfrow
Over - Elizabeth Wynn Banks

Part II: Speaking of Place
Hiking the Fakahatchee Strand - Linda Maree
The Dividing Spring - Brent Martin
Aubade - Julia Shipley
Hornbills O'Plenty: Birdwatching by Bike in West Africa - Philip Johansson
The Bench - Ann B. Day
Leaving Dorland Mountain - Alison Townsend
Prairie Skin - Susan Futrell
Settling - Rachel Shaw
Return - Andrea M. Jones
Meditation on My Hometown - Heather Fitzgerald
Pink Ribbons - Eve Quesnel
Blackfoot River - Mira Bartók

Part III: What Comes from the Land
Fetching Water - Garrett Conover
Meat - Steve Bodio
Dear Bowl - Susan A. Cohen
Demeter, Fond of Cycles - Janice Dukes
Bean by Bean - Terra Brockman
Rolling the Turf - Meghan McCarthy McPhaul
For the Love of a Good Tomato - Charlotte Pyle

Part IV: On Perceiving and Knowing
Earth's Eye - Edward Hoagland
La Joie du Criquet - Jeffrey A. Lockwood
Divination - Sydney Lea
Degrees of Damage in Blue River - Alison Hawthorne Deming
The Web - Alison Hawthorne Deming
Cow of the Virgin - Robert J. Romano Jr.
Least Terns, St. Catherine's Island, Georgia - David Haskell
A Day at Agua Dulce - G. Davies Jandrey
Small things - John Bates
The Wisdom of Turtles - Michael J. Caduto
Crow Speaks His Mind - H.C. Palmer
The Work of Turkey Vultures - H.C. Palmer
A Pure Color - Simmons B. Buntin
Standing Still - Aleria Jensen
Beauty and the Birds - Ted Cable
Then Come Crows - Cherie Staples
The Ecologist - Louise Fabiani
A Leaf is a Book is a River - Mira Bartók

Part V: For the Children/For the Future
Peepers - Aleria Jensen
A Letter to My Daughter: From the Bayley-Hazen Road, Greensboro, Vermont - Ned Olmsted
Jupiter Came Down on Tuesday - Maureen Sullivan
Blue Egg - Peter Shepherd
Hatch - April Newlin
The Drawer of Inhaled Objects - Mira Bartók
The Worst Trap in the World - Jules Older
Seeds - Florence Caplow
For the Children - Scott Russell Sanders

Wildbranch Faculty
About the Authors

Praise and Reviews:

"The overall quality of writing is extremely high. Many of the voices are fresh and engaging, and they add up to a compelling ethical perspective on this beautiful planet and the fellow creatures with whom we humans share it."—John Elder, Middlebury College

"One of the richest collections of environmental writing to emerge in years. A special virtue of this new collection is the range of voices offered, and student writers in particular will find the diversity of voices inspiring and empowering."—Scott Slovic, University of Nevada, Reno

"Wildbranch is at best a glorious introduction to and seminal collection of contemporary place-based writing, but it is also, undeniably, a love story.... This anthology captures the reverence and appreciation [the authors] hold for the natural world."

"A rich and satisfying anthology.... For anyone marooned, whether in a storm, a winter's doldrum, or a silent classroom, few anthologies offer more comfort, insight, or urging than Wildbranch."
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment