Translating the Ancient/Modern Mind

Andrew C. Gottlieb Reviews Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape by David Hinton There’s a magic that comes from the combination of scholarly work—language, time period, spiritual history, place— that David Hinton has studied and mastered over the years. The focus is Taoist theory and thought, “in part because it represents such a remarkably contemporary worldview. It is secular, and yet deeply spiritual,” he tells us.

Review: On the Dark Side of the Moon: A Journey Toward Recovery

On the Dark Side of the Moon: A Journey Toward Recovery : by Mike Medberry First: it’s hard to imagine Medberry lying on the hot black lava rock of Craters for 7 hours before a helicopter is able to airlift him to medical care, but that’s where the book starts us. It’s enough to make a person cringe, let alone any EMT or medical student who knows that for brain injury or trauma, a few minutes can be critical to a positive recovery. It’s fascinating too that the stroke occurs in the very park Medberry will cheer for as President Bill Clinton in November of 2000 signs the proclamation that makes final the expansion increasing the protected land to 737,000 acres, “nearly 14 times its previous size.”

Announcing Issue 32: Craft

Spring 2013 Issue Issue 32 features a guest editorial by Mark Sofield; interview with New Urbanism founder Andrés Duany; Massachusetts' BioMap2 Conservation Road Map as the Unsprawl case study; a 15-sequence Utah poem by Christopher Cokinos with accompanying photographs by Stephen Trimble; Kate Protage's dynamic "Urban Slice" painting series as the ARTerrain gallery; poetry by David Wagoner, Maureen Kingston, Susana H. Case, Al Maginnes, Jenny Morse, Julie Lein, and Lauren Eggert-Crowe; an online chapbook from Dezhou, China with images and audio by Jeevan Narney; Nathaniel Brodie on earth, craft, and rock on the Grand Canyon Trail Crew; Tamie Marie Fields on fishing in Uyak Bay, Alaska; Mark Spitzer on pursuing the seven-foot gar; Julene Bair on farming above the Ogalalla Aquifer; fiction by David Rose, Steve Edwards, and Katie Rogin; reviews; and more!

Review: Natural Building:
A Holistic and Environmental How-To

Andrew C. Gottlieb Reviews The Natural Building Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to Integrative Design and Construction, by Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton This book isn’t designed to turn anyone into an architect, general contractor, or DIY homebuilder overnight. It’s a reference book to aid in the process, offering strategies and instruction that inform how one designs a building, while raising awareness about what’s involved in the building of a home—and what should be involved, given global and local environmental dilemmas. The Natural Building Companion is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to build smarter: more naturally.

Pompous Poet v. Editor-in-Chief at #AWP13

By Simmons Buntin Let’s start today’s conference review off with a true story of an angry submitter, shall we? The publisher residing at the table next to me hales from a distant land, and he’s a nice enough fellow. He publishes authors from North America and beyond, and one such author confronted me yesterday. The conversation went something like this: Pompous poet: “Hey, I submitted to you but you rejected my poem. Fuck you!” Arm and hand gestures followed. Editor-in-chief: “We are quite competitive.” Pompous poet: “Competitive my ass!” He then pulls his book off the publisher’s table, flips it to the acknowledgements at the back of the book, and shoves it in front of my face: “Look at that! All those contests I’ve won!” Editor-in-chief: “Indeed.” Pompous poet: “Your call for submissions said you wanted longer poems, so I wrote a 200-line poem and sent it off.” Editor-in-chief: “You sent it off right away? Did you let it sit a bit first and give it time to consider it?” Pompous poet: “I don’t need to do that shit. That’s a good fucking poem. You suck.”

Making Our Way to Boston for AWP

By Simmons Buntin If you’re one of the other 11,000 writers, editors, publishers, educators, and friends who will be in Boston this week for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference, I hope you’ll join us at one of's happenings: our Bookfair table (R18), contributor signings, and our "Wild Lives / Raucous Pens" literary reading. It will be, as they say, the bomb! Also, this starts the first of what I hope will be daily AWP blog updates. A sample: So what does an editor such as myself bring to read on such a journey? A handful of unread creative nonfiction submissions, the latest issues of Poets & Writers and Outdoor Photography, and a handful of poetry books I’ve been meaning to read over the last 18 months or so, including In the Songbird Laboratory, by Lauren Eggert-Crowe, Heavenly Bodies, by Cynthia Huntington, Tropicalia, by Emma Trelles, Beyond Heart Mountain, by Lee Ann Roripaugh, and Blue Horses Rush In, by Luci Tapahonso. I just finished Derek Sheffield’s  Through the Second Skin, which is just wonderful. I’m looking forward to these other collections, and find airplane flights, with their strange white noise, to be perfect venues for reading verse.

Pinpoints of Light

Andrew C. Gottlieb reviews Thousands Flee California Wildflowers, by Scot Siegel In many ways, Scot Siegel’s new collection of poetry masquerades as a solid collection of free verse knitted to the geography of California. Barstow and Sacramento appear (along with many other familiar California locales) as do the wildfires and wildlife of that tall, West Coast state, but there’s more to Siegel’s writing than meets the eye.

Review: Touring the Eastern Old Growth

Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests, by Joan Maloof : Reviewed by Andrew C. Gottlieb Joan Maloof’s latest book, Among the Ancients, is an enjoyable, informed, readable genre-collage that takes readers to what will most likely be unfamiliar territory: Eastern United States old-growth forest. It’s easy to consider “old-growth” as synonymous with Redwood and Sequoia National Parks, with the gigantic Douglas firs of the Pacific Northwest, with Washington State’s Olympic National Forest. After all, isn’t that what we’re talking about? Huge, old unlogged trees in a few national parks? In her preface, Maloof tells us that Maurice Schwartz of the United Nations Forestry Division at one point found 98 different definitions of the term. So, old growth isn’t just giant, and it’s not just 1,000 years old. It’s really a section of forest where trees—even small ones, high-altitude pines—have been left to grow through a natural life-cycle, a cycle that increases the biodiversity of the forest itself. Maloof takes us on her journey to forests small and large in each of the 26 states east of the Mississippi, most of which contain trees that for some reason—activist or accident—were not logged early last century when the eastern part of the United States was mown like a lawn for timber during the industrial development of the timber industry and the nation’s building and population expansion. But these aren’t redwoods. Tulip poplars, buckeyes, poisonwood trees, oak, hickory, maple. “No matter where you live in the East, there is an old-growth forest you can reach in a day,” she tells us.