The Hammock Knot & On a Snowy Morning I Think of Michelangelo

Keith Ratzlaff teaches poetry and literature at Central College in Pella, Iowa. His most recent books of poetry, Then, A Thousand Crows (2009) and Dubious Angels: Poems after Paul Klee (2005), are from Anhinga Press, as will be his next, Who’s Asking? His poems and reviews have appeared recently in the Cincinnati Review, Arts and Letters, Colorado Review, and the American Reader; his honors include the Theodore Roethke Award, two Pushcart Prizes, and inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2009. 

This Poem Had Better Be about the World We Actually Live In

David Clewell is the author of several collections of poems—most recently, Taken Somehow By Surprise (University of Wisconsin, 2011). He teaches writing and literature at Webster University in St. Louis and served as Missouri’s poet laureate from 2010–12. His claim to Charlie-the-Tuna-collecting fame is not at all overinflated.

Solo Act

Chris Forhan is the author of three books of poetry: Black Leapt In (2009), winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars (2003), winner of the Morse Poetry Prize and a Washington State Book Award; and Forgive Us Our Happiness (1999), winner of the Bakeless Prize. A professor at Butler University, he is the recipient of an NEA fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes.

Culture, Biology, and Emergence

Alison Hawthorne Deming is the author of A Woven World: On Fashion, Fishermen, and the Sardine Dress (Counterpoint Press, 2021). Her other recent books include Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and the poetry collection Stairway to Heaven (Penguin, 2016). The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and the Walt Whitman Award, she is Regents Professor at the University of Arizona. She lives in Tucson and on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada.

Pieces toward a Just Whole

Lauret Savoy works to unearth what is buried and to re-member what is fragmented, shattered, eroded. A woman of African American, Euro-American, and Native American heritage, she writes about this country’s origins and their varied places in our storytelling. She has written and edited many books, including Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (Counterpoint Press, 2015), which won the 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, 2002); and Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology (Trinity University Press, 2006). Savoy is the David B. Truman Professor of Environmental Studies and Geology at Mount Holyoke College, a photographer, and a pilot. Winner of an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, she has also held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University.

Against Simplicity: A Few Words for Complexity, Sloppiness, and Joy

David Gessner’s Ultimate Glory, his memoir of his years playing Ultimate Frisbee, is due out in June 2017 from Riverhead Books. He is the author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West (W. W. Norton, 2015), as well as eight other books—among them The Tarball Chronicles (2011), My Green Manifesto (2011), and Sick of Nature (2003). Founder of Ecotone, the literary journal of place, Gessner served as host of the National Geographic Explorer television show, Call of the Wild, which explored how our constant use of screens is damaging our brains and how nature can be restorative.

Sweet Reason, Global Swarming

Reg Saner’s prose and poetry have appeared in more than a hundred and fifty literary magazines and in over sixty anthologies. Among other honors, his previous writings, all set in the American West, have won several national prizes. His poetry collection, Climbing into the Roots (1976) received the first Walt Whitman Award as conferred by the Academy of American Poets and the Copernicus Society of America. His second book, So This Is the Map (1981), was a National Poetry Series “Open Competition” winner, selected by Derek Walcott. He has won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Creede Repertory Theater Award, the State of Colorado Governor’s Award, and has been an invited Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Fondazione Culturale in Bellagio, Italyand received the Wallace Stegner Award conferred by the Center of the American West.

Simplicity and Sanity

Scott Russell Sanders lives in the hill country of southern Indiana, where he has written more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Conservationist Manifesto (Indiana University Press, 2009) and Hunting for Hope (Beacon Press, 1998). His most recent books (also from IU Press) are Stone Country: Then & Now (2017), a documentary narrative made in collaboration with photographer Jeffrey Wolin, and Dancing in Dreamtime (2016), a collection of eco-science-fiction stories. He is currently finishing his portion of Ordinary Wealth, fifty brief tales written in response to photographs by Peter Forbes.

on Riding Toward Everywhere by William T. Vollmann