Stories that connect us more deeply with birds, nature, and each other. For Poetry Month, we're sharing work about our feathered friends from contemporary poets.
Our previous series include Grouse and Sound Escapes.
Poetry Month: Traci Brimhall
A native of Minnesota, Traci Brimhall is an Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Kansas State University. Her first published collection, Rookery, features many poems about birds.
“Birds just seem to have a kind of spiritual or symbolic weight,” Traci explains. “They feel somehow ancient or ethereal – timeless in a way, and I think poets are often attracted to things that have that sort of feeling.”
But her interest in birds began with a common bird, the Red-winged Blackbird. “Perhaps that's part of the greatness of common things,” she says. “They’re so accessible, so ever-present.”
You can read along with the poems featured in the episode on our website.
Poetry Month: Wendy S. Walters
Wendy S. Walters is a non-fiction writer and poet, who holds a MFA/PHD in Poetry and Literature from Cornell University. She is the former Associate Dean of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons, The New School. Currently she serves as Director of the Nonfiction Concentration and Associate Professor of Writing, Nonfiction in the School of the Arts at Columbia University.
While Walters was living in L.A. during the early 2000s, she wrote a chapbook, or short collection of poems, about the city called The Birds of Los Angeles. A number of themes are woven through the collection, including the Iraq War, trying to make sense of images, how we treat the things and people we love, and the birds that caught her attention.
Prophet as Slow Bird Hollywood Finches Either I Watch a War on TV You can read the poems in today's episode on our website
Bonus Guest Episode: The Spotted Owl
This episode we're sharing "Timber Wars," from OPB. The show explores the fight over old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. And at the center of that fight was… a bird!
Answering the call to protect the birds and places we love
Grouse: If Not Hope, Then Courage
In the final episode of Grouse, host Ashley Ahearn returns to a lek in Washington with biologist Michael Schroeder and finds it scorched by recent wildfire. We’re all looking for hope right now, but Ashley says what we really need is the courage to keep fighting, loving and dancing, as the sage-grouse have shown us.
Grouse: The Death of Compromise?
Environmentalists and politicians love the phrase “common ground.” In the latest episode of Grouse, host Ashley Ahearn explores the role of compromise in the face of major environmental loss. Does the sage-grouse have time for it?
A heartwarming podcast of integrity that focuses on nature and better understanding birds. This podcast series is my favourite. It’s a simple pleasure and so beautiful to hear. Every episode is truly wonderful.