We are so loving this fetching new literary field guide of art, poetry, and natural history published by Mountaineers Books and edited by CMarie Fuhrman, Elizabeth Bradfield, and Derek Sheffield: Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry. Cascadia stretches from Southeast Alaska to Northern California and from the Pacific Ocean to the Continental Divide. This new book blends art and science to celebrate this diverse yet interconnected region through natural and cultural histories, poetry, and illustrations. Organized into thirteen bioregions, the guide includes entries for everything from cryptobiotic soil and the western thatching ant to the giant Pacific octopus and Sitka spruce, as well as the likes of common raven, hoary marmot, Idaho giant salamander, snowberry, and 120 more! Both well-established and new writers are included, representing a diverse spectrum of voices, with poems that range from comic to serious, colloquial to scientific, urban to off-the-grid, narrative to postmodern. Likewise, the artists span styles and mediums, using classic natural history drawing, form line design, graffiti, sketch, and more. All writers and artists have deep ties to the region. This project was supported, in part, by a grant from 4Culture.
Robin Wall Kimmerer described this new book like this: "Have you ever been so filled up with the wonder of a place that it wants to spill out as a song? Well, here is the songbook. I imagine walking through a forest and pausing to read these illuminating pages aloud to a listening cedar or a dipper. There are field guides that help us to see, and to name, and to know; Cascadia Field Guide does all of that and more. This is a guide to relationship, a gift in reciprocity for the gifts of the land."
Joining us to read from this wonderful new collection are five Pacific Northwest authors with pieces in the book. Brittney Corrigan is an alumna and employee of Reed College and the author of several poetry collections. She is currently at work on her first short story collection and a series of poems about climate change and the Anthropocene age. John Daniel lives in the Coast Range foothills west of Eugene and sometimes in juniper and ponderosa country east of Bonanza, Oreogn. His work has been honored with three Oregon Book Awards, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and a boatload of others. His most recent books are the novel Gifted and the poetry collection Lighted Distances: Four Seasons on Goodlow Rim. Jessica Johnson is a lifelong resident of the Cascadia Bioregion and currently living in Portland, where she teaches composition, creative writing, and environmental literature at Portland Community College. She is the author of the poetry collections In Absolutes We Seek Each Other and Metabolics, and her essays have appeared in The Harvard Review, Entropy, and River Teeth, among others. Nick Neely lives in La Grande, where he teaches at Eastern Oregon University as well as in the wilderness, ecology, and community concentration of its low-residency MFA program. He is the author of the books Coast Range and Alta California, and his work has appeared in journals including Orion, Mother Jones, Kenyon Review, and The Georgia Review. Jennifer Perrine is the author of four award-winning books of poetry. Their recent short stories and essays have appeared in Buckman Journal and The Gay & Lesbian Review. They live in Portland and serve as co-host of Incite: Queer Writers Read series as well as teaching creative writing and anti-oppression practices to youth and adults.