Just Published: A Kinship with Ash, by Heather Swan
Praise for A Kinship with Ash
It’s difficult to accept that shadows, too, are products of the natural world. Often we hold what’s beautiful next to what we fear. As much as we want to appeal to our better angels, cruelty hovers and haunts our hearts. In Heather Swan’s A Kinship with Ash, wisdom is hard won. Elegant, image rich, and full of birdsong, these poems question and delight. But what is poetry if not the mind’s silhouette? In the pastoral tradition we confront our reflection, and here, Swan uses nature to look inward. As if negotiating the cliff’s edge, or wading into open water, her speakers are at the mercy of currents. We are left with faith. Reading these poems is an act of surveying light.
—Amaud Jamaul Johnson
Heather Swan’s poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Raleigh Review, Phoebe, Iris, Cold Mountain Review, Midwestern Gothic, Basalt, and The Hopper. Her nonfiction has appeared in such places as Aeon, Belt Magazine, Minding Nature, Edge Effects, ISLE, The Isthmus, Resilience Journal, and Catapult. Her nonfiction book, Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field, which won the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, was published in 2018 by Penn State Press. Her chapbook, The Edge of Damage, was published by Parallel and won the Wisconsin Writers Award. She teaches writing and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is her debut full-length collection of poetry.