Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged nature

Red Willow People

Imagine evening as a woman, wind as a friend, and every part of nature as an organ in the human body. You have now entered the landscape of Devreaux Baker’s newest collection of poetry, Red Willow People. The colors are red, white, yellow and the green shade of clay. The light is supplied by lines from poetry by Federico Garcia Lorca. The smell is sage, cedar, and pinyon pine. These poems are the story of a region, specifically Taos and the Southwestern area of the United States. They are also the story of a people, all the different clans of the Navajo (Dine’). The collection captures the essence of both the region and the people while exploring the universal themes of transformation and rebirth.

Crow Mercies

When picking up a new poetry collection, I give it an initial read and then sit with it a while, thinking about whether any particular poems or lines stuck in my mind, or whether I had any specific feelings while reading. Sometimes I draw a big blank, which usually means that particular collection doesn't merit another read. Collections like Crow Mercies are different. Even during my first reading of this collection, I found myself stopping to reread poems again out of excitement. This is certainly the kind of book that ends up a permanent fixture on my bookshelf that I come back to again and again.

Toxic Flora: Poems

An extraordinary selection of poetry by Kimiko Hahn, Toxic Flora beautifies the ugliness of the scientific life and the elements of being human through poetry. Extending from the common small animals of the world to outer space, Hahn delivers a speckling of her work with both clever brevity and clarity. Projecting moments grasped from the New York Times, Hahn elaborates only the slightest amount necessary in her poetry, leaving the reader to ponder and to possibly wonder about the natural world and the human place in it.

A Little Middle of the Night

Molly Brodak’s poetry collection A Little Middle of the Night is wide in its range: big dog topics like perceptions of art and the weight of tragedy are sifted through by a careful and talented poet.

Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century

Female hands are all over America's landscape; you just need to know where to look for them. In Unbounded Practice, author Thaisa Way can direct your eye. Look to the Memorial Quadrangle at Yale, the grounds of Princeton, or a number of botanical gardens and astronomical observatories to see the legacy of Beatrix Jones Farrand (1872-1959).

Lady of the Butterflies

One reason I gravitate towards historical fiction is that I enjoy discovering individuals in history whom I normally wouldn’t learn about on my own. Eleanor Glanville was a seventeenth century English entomologist from Somerset. Her specialty was butterflies and some of her collections still live in the Natural History Museum today.

Where I Live: New & Selected Poems 1990-2010

It’s truly a shame that poetry is so often thought of as inaccessible, hopelessly and purposefully snarled with obscurity and flabby with rococo intellectualism. Great poetry should work on many levels, and thus appeal to a wide audience from those who appreciate it for its pure beauty and those that delight the complexity of further analysis. Maxine Kumin is a poet whose entire oeuvre is rooted in what she knows: her farm in New Hampshire, where she works in the ground, keeps horses.


Unmentionables is a striking collection of bold, in-your-face poetry that covers a variety of subjects using a type of broken-up and eclectic writing style. I found the poetry somewhat confusing, and though they focused on ordinary topics, like animals and nature, It was challenging to discern what they were all about.

Apple Geranium Leaf Pendant

A lot of people have brilliant discoveries after coming to New York City. In a place where the world collides, it's easy to understand why hoards of tourists walk around slack-jawed and eyes glazed wearing their wonder on their sleeve while snapping photo after photo of cobblestone streets turning into fish markets turning into ultra-modern glass and steel as far as the eye can see.


Monadnock. Ochers. Moraine. These are some of the terms you’ll find while reading Emily Wilson’s Micrographia. You will find yourself consulting Webster’s a lot. Unless, of course, you know a great deal about isolated rock hills and unconsolidated glacial debris. Heading spinning yet?

Roaming Kyrgyzstan: Beyond the Tourist Track

As American foreign travel is concerned, we are more likely to head to Cancun for spring break, or across the border in Canada for some duty-free shopping—not to Kyrgyzstan.

Reading Novalis in Montana

Reading Novalis in Montana is a collection of poems by Melissa Kwasny that focuses on connections between the natural world, spirituality, and modern life. The title of the collection rightfully implicates nature and Novalis as the inspiration behind the poems.

Findings: Essays on the Natural and Unnatural World

Jamie writes with sobriety, sensitivity and grace about the natural world and our human place within it. Her book is sparsely illustrated with delicate black-and-white photographs that picture many of her topics.

Let's Get Primitive: The Urban Girl’s Guide to Camping

If you’ve always wanted to go camping, but have been overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing a sleeping bag, securing permits, packing supplies and keeping clean in the wild then you’re in luck! This little book is all you’ll need to get out of the city and into the great outdoors. Heather Menicucci explores all aspects of camping, from gear and games to toilets and tents.

Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery

"The teachings and practices of this book will come alive only if you leave the comfort of your home and explore the natural world, which is always beckoning, just outside your front door." I read this first chapter of Mark Coleman's Awake in the Wild with a chuckle as I release my clutching grasp on the sticky New York City subway pole to turn the page of his book of Buddhist meditations.