Remembering Merwin

March 18, 2019— W.S. Merwin, my favorite living poet, beloved to so many readers, passed away March 15, three days ago. With him I shared a love of trees, poems, & the landscapes, plants, & histories of the Hawaiian Islands. I woke the morning after his death to gray skies and opened my favorite book of his, The Rain in the Trees. It sparked a brief meditation, here at Orion magazine’s blog.

“Deep In Time” out now

“Deep In Time” out now

Sep. 14, 2018— A new piece of mine is out at Orion called Deep In Time, a piece I wrote while roaming the Guadalupe Mountains National Park for a month as artist-in-residence, a piece in which I explore one of the world’s largest preserved fossil reefs from the Permian Era, within the larger geographical-historical context… [ Continue Reading ]

The Unbearable Lightness of Being My Father

The Unbearable Lightness of Being My Father

June 17, 2018, Father’s Day For so many of us, Father’s Day leads to that inevitable father-hole—father as source of emptiness. As if all our days do not lead us there—or lead from there, all of our movements not defined at least in part by this untetheredness, by the fact that we have no father.… [ Continue Reading ]

More on the Root-digger

More on the Root-digger

June 10, 2018 Four summers ago, I went to write a magazine story about a root-digger in the mountains of East Tennessee, coalfield country. I spent five days with her, riding around that rugged region & talking with neighbors, walking in the woods with her. I have 38 pages of notes & several hours of… [ Continue Reading ]

Pushcart Prize nomination

Pushcart Prize nomination

Nov. 9, 2017 Thank you to terrain.org for nominating my essay “Seven Words for Sustenance and Gnawing” for the 2018 Pushcart Prize! I am so honored and grateful. [ Continue Reading ]

Best American Travel Writing 2017

Best American Travel Writing 2017

Oct. 25, 2017 >> My essay “Places that Have No Names,” in which I ride a train from El Paso, Tex., to Lynchburg, Va., was included as notable in the Best American Travel Writing 2017 collection! The essay originally appeared in the Oxford American‘s 2016 Southern Journeys issue. So grateful that the OA has been… [ Continue Reading ]

Watershed | The Tennessee River

Watershed | The Tennessee River

Sep. 28, 2017 >> My essay “A Complicated Belonging” accompanies Jeff Rich’s collection of photographs of the Tennessee River watershed, a stunning book that’s been published by Fall Line Press. I’m thrilled to see the book hot off the press; it has a truly elegant, artful design. Rich’s work in the TN River watershed looks at the impact of the… [ Continue Reading ]

Stories from the Big Island of Hawai’i

Stories from the Big Island of Hawai’i

Sep. 12, 2017 >> I spent five weeks this summer living and working on the Big Island of Hawai’i, in a continuation of what has always felt a disjointed relationship with the place, though it has gone on for 30 years now. My father is the thread who led me there & the reason I’ve… [ Continue Reading ]

“The Soft Things”

“The Soft Things”

July 7, 2017 >> A piece I wrote last year about native mussel species of the Tennessee River watershed is out now in the Summer issue of the Oxford American. I am delighted to see it in print, and I could not have asked for a better photographic pairing: Sally Gall’s “Efflorescence.” The OA doesn’t post… [ Continue Reading ]