Bioregional Readings

Annotated Bibliography on Bioregionalism by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Goddard College

When compiling a bioregional bibliography, I was struck by how impossible
it is to determine what to include and what not to include because of
bioregionalism’s extremely multi-disciplinary nature. My guess is that most
bioregionalists, if asked to name the most important sources on
bioregionalism, might include certain standards (such as David Abrams’
Spell of the Sensuous, Kirkpatrick Sale’s Dwellers on the Land, Aldo
Leopold’s Sand County Almanac, Thomas Berry’s The Dream of the Earth,
etc.), but that beyond these standards, we would have a lot of variation.
For my bibliography, I tried to include books that look at bioregionalism
through widely varied lenses, such as poetics, sustainability studies, child
development, environmental education, culture, embodiment, sustainable
business, ecofeminism, literature, neurology, physics, alternative
agriculture, phenology, etc. Please keep in mind that probably hundreds
more sources would easily fit on this list. Learning how to live from where
we live is a life-long art, and so is finding the sources that sustain us in this

Abbey, Edward. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1968. This classic memoir about living in the desert looks at
culture, land and climate from a unique and particularly activist perspective. As
Doug Peacock writes of Abbey, “Abbey traveled less widely than some, but he
saw clearly and wrote with more fortitude and honesty than all but a handful of his
contemporaries of the suffering and destruction seen everywhere on the Earth.”

Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a
More-than-Human World. New York: Pantheon Books, 1996. Winner of the
Lannan Award for non-fiction, this pivotal and paradigm-shifting book is a
necessary read for anyone concerned with ecology. Abram’s interdisciplinary
work draws from philosophy (including a challenging romp through ecological
philosophy), ecology, the Oral Tradition, Indigenous studies, Language and
Linguistics, Literature, and Human Development. His premise is that our written
language and our cultural disposition have distanced us from engaged and
reciprocal relationship with the living earth. Abram, a magician and philosopher in
addition to a writer, is a long-time bioregionalism, and he developed the MAGIC
committee work that so infused many continental congresses with a greater sense
of the more-than-human world in which we dwell. This book is both extremely
poetic and extremely scholarly, making it a dense, rich and long read. The titles
alone are provocative: “The Ecology of Magic,” “Philosophy on the Way to
Ecology,” “The Flesh of Language,” “Animism and the Alphabet,” “In the
Landscape of Language,” “Time, Space, and the Eclipse of the Earth,” and “The
Forgetting and Remembering of the Air.” This book can help us broaden our
ability to perceive the world on a sensory and intellectual level that cannot help to
ripple out into everything from our gardening to our writing to our meeting
facilitation. Most of all, this book calls for us to re-learn how to trust our senses.
“Only as we come close to our senses, and begin to trust, once again, the
nuanced intelligence of our sensing bodies, do we begin to notice and respond to
the subtle logos of the land” (268).

Aqua Terra: Water Concepts for Ecological Society edited by Jacqueline
Froelich with Barbara Harmony; artwork by Jacqueline Froelich. Eureka Springs,
AR.: The National Water Center, 1991. This fine anthology of works about
water looks at everything from waste water disposal to the poetics of rushing
rivers. Its strong interdisciplinary focus helps us see the full circle not just of the
water cycle but of water symbolism in our lives.

Alinsky, Saul. Rules for Radicals. New York: Random House, 1971. Alinksy’s
theory and practice of political activism involved catalyzing communities to find
the power within them to make and sustain change. He saw organizers as being
largely facilitators (often invisible to people outside the organization) of change
who help mentor leaders and develop consciousness. With this no-ego, no-
bullshit approach to activism, and with the comprehensive thinking that went into
Alinsky’s protocols for poor, working and middle class organizing campaigns,
this book is a classic in how to change the world, one group, one event, one issue
at a time.

Allison, Linda. The Reasons for Seasons: The Great Cosmic Megagalactic
Trip Without Moving from Your Chair. Covelo, CA.: Yolla Bolly Press, 1975.
This unusual guide features hundreds of exercises to awaken the senses through
closer observation of seasonal shifts. The book itself is more circular in structure
(like the seasons) than chronological, and a person can open it to any place to
find how to do anything from make spore prints to build a kissing bough. Drawing
on a multi-cultural and historic perspective, this book is a gem when it comes to
helping kids and adults better understand constellations, apple grafting, the
architecture of features and much more.

Anderson, E.N. Ecologies of the Heart: Emotion, Belief, and the
Environment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Okay, this is a wild
book which promotes the premise that all ecological change and restoration must
come from an ethics born of love, yet this wild book does a nice job in showing
how humans process information, and how such processing gives us ecological
choices to pursue. The author, a cultural ecologist, proposes that we can shift our
actions only through shifting our emotions, and he especially makes his argument
by looking deeply at tribal beliefs and actions.

Barasch, Marc Ian. Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the
Soul of Kindness. Rodale Press, 2005. This superb collection of essays on
cultivating compassion shows us, story by story, how to open our empathic
channels to the mysteries of living in a body and the wide varieties of living with
others. The writing is lush and moving, rich and funny, and ultimately very
enlightening. As Barasch begins this book, “Every now and then, I’ll meet an
escapee; someone who has broken free of self-centeredness and lit out for the
territory of compassion” (1), he lays the groundwork of learning from the
examples around and within us. His essay on a camp in the U.S. that brings
together Palestinian and Israeli teens is especially profound (“Another Little
Peace of the Heart”) as are so many essays in this book, which ultimately help us
understand how to live with greater awareness of and compassion for the other
beings on this planet.

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964. One of
the most important books written on both poetics and how our imagination
intersects with symbols and places, this marvelous collection of essays looks at
such things as the house; drawers, chests and wardrobes; nests; shells; corners;
miniature; and even “The Dialectics of Outside and Inside” and “The
Phenomenology of Roundness.” Bachelard’s aim here is to show that the places
we dream of, imagine, write about and dwell in tell us volumes about how we
“….integrate…the thoughts, memories and reams of mankind” (6).
Bienvenidos a Casa: Vivencia y Pensamiento Bioregional edited by Laura
Kuri. Mexico City: Ayotl, 2003. This bioregional premier, edited by the pioneer
of bioregionalism in Mexico and funded in part by the Continental Bioregional
Congress, is an essential work when it comes to translating much of the theory
developed for bioregionalism north of the border into Spanish. The collection also
focuses on actions taken through Mexico and Central America where
bioregionalism has flourished. Contributors include Alberto Ruz, Ana Ruiz Diaz,
Beatrice Briggs, Cristina Mendoza Dawe, Christopher Wells, David Haenke,
Ekiwah Adler Belendez, Gene Marshall, Giovanni Ciarlo, Mike Carr, Peter Berg,
Starhawk and others. The book release party for this volume brought together
over 3,000 people eager to have a copy.

Berry, Thomas. The Dream of the Earth. San Francisco: Sierra Club
Publishers, 1988. Berry’s pivotal book on becoming native to our place explores
our place in the earth community, how to better use our creative energy toward a
new story of our life here, and especially how we can draw on spiritual and
religious traditions (particularly Christianity) along the way. One of the more
intriguing angles here is Berry’s assertion that we’ve been autistic when it comes
to relating to the earth. Much of this book also reads like a prose-bound poem:
….Soon the late summer moon will give a light sheen to the landscape.
Something of a dream experience. Perhaps on occasion we participate in the
Original dream of the earth. Perhaps there are times when this primordial design
Becomes visible, as in a palimpsest, when we remove the later imposition. The
Dream of the earth. Where else can we go for the guidance needed for the task
That is before us. (223)

Berry, Thomas. The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future. New York: Bell
Tower, 1999. This gorgeous, wise and important reflection on the great work
before us to make the future we envision is full of deep insight, far-reaching
connections, and both clear-eyed vision and hard won inspiration. As Berry
concludes, We are now experiencing a moment of significance far beyond what any
of us can imagine. What can be said is that the foundation of a new
historical period, the Ecozoic Era, have been established in every realm
of human affairs. The mythic vision has been set into place. The distorted
dream of an industrial technological paradise is being replaced by the
more viable dream of a mutually enhancing human presence within an
every-renewing organic-based Earth community. The dream drives the
action. In the larger cultural context the dream becomes he myth that both
guides and drives the action. (201). This book unpacks that vast statement, looking at fields varied at economics, literature, mythology, culture, energy, spirituality, and then into all societal institutions that we need to transform with vision and action.

Bernard, Ted and Jora Young. The Ecology of Hope: Communities
Collaborate for Sustainability. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers,
1997. This delightful collection of ecological community portraits takes us to
Monhegan Island, ME., Chattanooga, TN., Menominee, WI., the Sky Islands of
the American Southwest, and to other locales. Each story is informative, inspiring
and lucid in showing how communities can work together to reclaim and restore
wild lands. What’s so helpful about this book is that it’s totally about examples of
putting theories of restoration into everyday practice.

Berry, Wendell. Recollected Essays 1965-1980. San Francisco: North Point
Press, 1981. While all of Berry’s essay collections are vital and informative, this
collection brings together important investigations of wilderness and culture.
Some of the key essays are “The Body and Earth,” in which Berry calls for
embodied work and life; “The Unforeseen Wilderness,” which questions our
cultural assumption of control over nature; and “The Making of a Marginal
Farm,” on living close to the land, day by day. Berry is astonishingly clear and
direct with an eye toward poetic awareness of the land.

Berry, Wendell. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. New
York: Avon, 1977. “This book is about culture in the deep, ripe sense: A
nurturing habitat,” writes Gary Snyder, and he couldn’t be more right. This is an
astonishing collection of essays, focused primarily on how the ecological crisis in
agriculture is a cultural crisis. Along with sounding the alarm, Berry is plenty
inspiring, writing that “….the care of the earth is our most ancient and most
worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of
it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope” (14).

Bioregional Education edited by Frank Traina and Susan Darley-Hill. Troy,
OH.: North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE),
1995. This excellent guide to bioregionalism focused on core concepts in
bioregional education and methods and techniques for bioregional education.
Contributors include Chris Wells, founder of the All Species Project, Ken
Lassman, Amy Hannon, Jim Dodge, Marti Crouch, Marnie Muller, Frank Traina,
Thomas Berry, David Abram and others.

Blackmarr, Amy. Going to Ground: Simple Life on a Georgia Pond. New
York: Penguin, 1997. This simple and clear collection of small essays and
vignettes about learning a place well is refreshing and quietly illuminating. While
it’s not the most startling or life-changing ecological memoir I’ve read, I found
that its lyricism and deft focus make it worth reading and reflecting on in relation
to other well-studied and well-loved places.

Boundaries of Home: Mapping for Local Empowerment edited by Doug
Aberley. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 1993. Aberley’s edition
(part of the New Catalyst Bioregional Series) of this valuable anthology on
bioregional mapping includes essays by Kirkpatrick Sale, Beatrice Briggs,
Whitney Smith, Freeman House, Kai Snyder, Seth Zuckerman, Gene Marshall,
David McCloskey and others active in the development of bioregional and
cognitive mapping. While book could use even more illustrations, it does a good
job in communicating how to create step-by-step descriptions of place through
available local sources, and what value such mapping has for political and social

Butala, Sharon. Perfection of the Morning. New York: HarperPerennial,
1995.This powerful memoir unfolds what it is for Butala to make a life on the
wide open prairies of Canada after years of urban living. But more than the story
it tells, this memoir takes close-ups and wide-angled views of the land and sky in
precise and profound ways. In doing so, Butala shows what she learns about
being human and how she learns it.

Capra, Fritjof. The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living.
New York: Harper Collins, 2002. This visionary investigation of systematic
understandings of life on many levels – written by the author of The Tao of
Physics and drawing strongly on new physics – looks at human social structures
from a bioregional and biological point of view. Capra particularly discusses how
the global economic structure is one a collision course with the planet, and he
does a good job of looking at power dynamics all around.

Carr, Michael. Bioregionalism and Civil Society: Democratic Challenges to
Corporate Globalism. Toronto: UBC Press, 2004. This is an important book
understanding the theoretical underpinnings of bioregionalism in terms of
consumerism, community building, and many strategies, tools and visions. Carr
also narrates the continental movement through the 1996 gathering in Mexico.
This is also an important book in terms of better understanding reinhabition as
value and action, and how reinhabitation catalyzes a new view of civil society.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1962. Under the
Sea-Wind. Oxford University Press, 1952. The Sea Around Us. Oxford
University Press, 1954. The one, the only, the first and the last in many ways
when it comes to ecological activism through the written word, Rachel Carson
remains a hero for anyone concerned about the effects of pesticides and other
poisons on the environment. Her work resulted in the world’s ban on DDT and
the eventual creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Silent Spring,
according to Linda-Ruth Berger, “is a manifesto.” Her earlier books on the sea
are also important sources in terms of inspiring awe and concern for the natural
world. Carson’s questioning of who makes the decisions that destroy habitat and
endanger many species (including humans) is chilling and still very much needed.

Cohen, Michael J. Reconnecting with Nature: Finding Wellness Through
Restoring Your Bond with the Earth. Corvallis, OR.: Ecopress, 1997. Cohen’s
talent for discussing complicated issues in innovative ways and then devising
creative exercises and approaches is applied to health and healing here. This very
embodied book advocates listening both to our bodies and the natural world, and
writing new chapters in our health and life.

Cohen, Michael J. How Nature Works: Regenerating Kinship with Planet
Earth. Portland, OR.: Stillpoint Publishing with World Peace University and
Center for Peace, United Nations, 1988. This fairly unknown volume is simply
one of the best guides we have found for environmental education. Part One:
Touch the Earth includes amazing exercises and discussions to help people
familiarize themselves with their home environment. Part Two: The Civilization of
Nature explores ways of seeing ourselves and our part in nature from other
angles. The exercises especially are amazingly innovative, and the discussion
questions always provocative such as “From your own life, find examples of
misusing a physical map and having your internal map mislead you” (214). Plus,
this book has great charts, maps, illustrations and thinking throughout it, making it
a gem for anyone doing environmental education for any population.
A Continental Bioregional Congress on the Prairie: An Audio Documentary
of an Eco-Revolution produced by Jacqueline Froelich, hosted by Pete
Hartman. Fayetteville, AR.: KUAF National Public Radio, 2002. A marvelous
29 minute NPR report of the bioregional congress featuring Judy Goldhaft, David
Haenke, Stephanie Mills, Gene Marshall, Alberto Ruz, Anna Diaz, and many
others. Contact Jacquie at in Fayetteville to have her email
you an audio copy.

Costner, Pat with Holly Gettings and Glenna Booth. We All Live Downstream:
A Guide to Waste Treatment That Stops Water Pollution. Eureka Springs,
AR.: National Water Center, 1986. This is an excellent collection of writings
about the effects of and possibilities for reforming our current disposal system for
waste water. With examples of the political campaign against a water sewage
plant for Eureka Springs and lots of information on low-flush and no-flush, and
composting toilet option, it’s considered by many the best source on waste water

Davis, Donald Edward. Ecophilosophy: A Field Guide to the Literature. R. &
E. Miles, 1989. This collection of reviews and discussions – in annotation style –
does wonders in unpacking many sources related to ecophilosophy from human
ecology, animal rights, ecological feminism, theology, ecology and philosophy.

Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New
York: Viking, 2005. Diamond does a startling thing here: He undertakes the
study of many civilizations, analyzing exactly why some went the way of the
dinosaur while others flourished. He then applies what he learns to our
civilizations, and he finds that we need to basically do 12 things (not doing any
one would hasten our fall) to survive (and greenhouse gases is just one half of one
of the 12!). He covers enormous ground (in all ways) in looking at Easter Island,
Montana’s mining history, the Anasazi, China today, the Viking past, Rwanda’s
genocide and so much more. This is the kind of book a person needs time to
read and absorb, yet this book makes the strongest argument I’ve ever seen in
one place for bioregionalism and other forms of ecological sustainability.

Dilliard, Annie. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. New York: Harper and Row, 1974.
While over 30 years old, this book still sings in brilliant observation and daring
perception as to the luminosity and constant motion of the natural world. It’s a
joy to read with writing always startling and surprising without ever getting

Ecovillage Living: Restoring the Earth and Her People edited by Hildur
Jackson and Karen Svensson. Green Books, 2002. This marvelous collection of
essays on ecovillage living has a distinctly international focus and covers
everything from group process to building techniques, but all as part of a
photographed-full journey through various ecovillages around the world. There
are testimonials, vibrant portraits of individuals and communities, and plenty else
to inspire anyone who’s thinking of ways to reinhabit the earth on a community

Ehrlich, Gretel. The Solace of Open Spaces. New York: Penguin, 1985. This
Western view (from Wyoming horizons) of Ehrlich’s relationship to the land in the
aftermath of a broken heart shines with truth. Her perceptions of places and
people enlarge how we might see the world.

Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. New
York: Harper and Row, 1987. This critical book investigates spiritual
development over the last six thousand years, looking at how patriarchal religious
traditions took hold, and how these traditions separate us from the earth and from
each other. There are ample ramifications in this work not just for spirituality but
for education, ecology, and day to day living.

Elder, John. Imaging the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature. Athens,
GA.: University of Georgia Press, 1985. Elder’s marvelous investigation into
poetry as a gateway into environmental consciousness is considered a premier
work of ecocriticism and ecopoetics. Elder looks at how poetry highlights
ecological loss and ecological restoration in our land and in our souls, and he
draws on both traditional and contemporary poets (from Basho to Wordsworth
to Oliver), plus many bioregional writers, to show “the wilderness at poetry’s
edge” (chapter title).

The Essential Whole Earth Catalogue edited by J. Baldwin. New York:
Doubleday, 1986. Few books are as fun as this oversized guide with all kinds of
nuggets of information, charts, maps, reviews, instructions, dialogues and
provocative essays and reviews. The focus on tools to make a decent life in
balance with the natural world runs through all the quirky and profound entries.
This is the kind of book best found in an obscure used bookstore or by other tilts
of chance.

Evans, Howard Ensign. Life on a Little-Known Planet. New York: Delta
Books, 1966. This is an amazing and fabulous book in all ways, and everyone
should read it! Where else can you read “The Intellectual and Emotional World
of the Cockroach” or “Parasitic Wasps, and How They Made Peyton Place
Possible”? The writing is superb, the insight is profound, and the details are mind-
blowing. This stimulating account of insect life shows us our planet from a point-
of-view often well hidden from us, and the ramifications tell us volumes about the
more-than-human life around us. As Evans concludes, “The earth is a good place
to live. We shall appreciate it more and more as we explore the moon and the
planets. If man shall ever have another home, it is presently unimaginable. We had
better learn to respect the little-known planet beneath our feet” (293) after he
shows us what – in its infinity – there is to respect.

Foxfire Books, edited by Eliot Wigginton. New York: Anchor Books, 1970s
and beyond. This series of books, popular in the 70s when they started coming
out, were collectively created by the editor and his Georgia community, thanks to
various grants and just a lot of hard work. Each book is full of folk tales,
instructions on growing and eating wild foods, stories and techniques for
everything from midwifery to corn shucking, charts, drawings, instructions and
more. Foxfire 2, for example, starts with a story of Maude Shope, an elder very
attached to her mule, and then moves onto an essay on “Sourwood Honey,” an
article on beekeeping, and then an essay on spring wild edible plants. These are
marvelous guides not just for their information but for the model they give us for
collecting and preserving local wisdom.

Giono, Jean. The Man Who Planted Trees but Grew Happiness. Brooksville,
ME.: Friends of Nature, 1967. This classic fable shows the effects of planting
trees – excessively, whimsically and passionately. This book is also a good
remedy for reading too much about ecological devastation since it’s a story of
rebuilding after war and destruction. Perhaps this is best summed up by this
conclusion to the book: “On the sites of the ruins I had seen in 1913 now stand neat farms, cleanly Plastered, testifying to a happy and comfortable life. The old streams, fed By the rains and snows that the forest conserves, are flowing again. The waters
have been channeled. On each farm, in grooves of maples, fountain pools
overflow on carpets of fresh mint. Little by little, the villages have been rebuilt.
People from the plaints, where land is costly, have settled here, bringing youth,
motion, the spirit of adventure. Along the roads you meet hardy men and
women, boys and girls who understand laughter and have recovered a
taste for picnics.”

Green Business: Hope or Hoax? Toward An Authentic Strategy for
Restoring the Earth edited by Christopher Plant and Judith Plant. Gabriola
Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 1991. This volume, part of the New
Catalyst Bioregional Series, includes lively and well-written essays on a wide
variety of making and keeping the local economy. The offerings include Sandy
Irvine’s “Beyond Green Consumerism,” Brian Tokar’s “The Greening of
International Finances,” Barry Commoner’s “Environmental Democracy is the
Planet’s Best Hope,” Kirkpatrick Sale’s “The Trouble with Earth Day,” Gar
Smith’s “50 Things You Can Do to Save the Earth,” Alyssa Lovell’s
“Community-Supported Agriculture,” Gene Logsdon’s “Amish Economics,” and
David Morris’s “Free Cities At Once” plus many other essays. So much of what
this 16-year-old book discusses is front and present as the newest thinking today,
so clearly the collection was ahead of its time. The critical edge in the book is
particularly helpful in articulating why environmentalism and green corporations
aren’t enough.

A Green City Program: For San Francisco Bay Area Cities and Towns.
Written and edited by Peter Berg, Beryl Magilavy and Seth Zuckerman. San
Francisco: Planet Drum Books, 1989. While this guide is focused on San
Francisco, it’s an excellent model for other urban areas with lots of practical
directions, illustrations, research and inspiration. The book covers everything
from urban gardening to street construction.

Griffin, Susan. Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. New York:
Harper and Row, 1978. This is a landmark book in so many ways. Its structure,
pastiching fairy tale, personal experience, scholarly analysis and deep reflection,
challenges traditional patriarchal ways of presenting information. The book is also
divided into two sections, very much in line with the Old Testament and New
Testament of the bible, but obviously with a very different intention. Griffin also
uses mythology and story to show how the same forces that divide women from
their own power also divide humans from the land. As Judith Plant writes, “The
book is designed to stir this roaring as it traces Western civilization’s history,
showing how woman and nature have been regarded by patriarch – as existing
for the use of and abuse by the self-interested.”

Harker, Donald F. and Elizabeth Ungar Natter. Where We Live: A Citizen’s
Guide to Conducting a Community Environmental Inventory. Washington,
D.C.: Island Press, 1995. This how-to guide is a gem for any community groups
ready to do battle with planning commissions, highway departments, or local
governments. Many of the tools are right here to help people create not just
environmental inventories but also the basis for citizen-group shadow
Environmental Impact Statements (to make sure any official EIS’s are done
accurately). This guide also helps readers to name what’s right around them, a
necessary step toward preservation.

Hasselstrom, Linda. Land Circle: Writings Collected from the Land. Golden,
CO.: Fulcrum Publishing, 1991. Hasselstrom’s close viewing of the land and sky;
her way of capturing – with lucidity and concision – human, plant and animal
behavior; and her extraordinary ways of writing of the ordinary (such as digging a
ditch) make this book a treasure. It’s also useful in seeing many ways to write
about our relationship to place, including through dialogue and poetry.

Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism edited by Judith Plant.
Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1989. This superb anthology of
ecofeminist essays – from Susan Griffin to Starhawk and beyond – is a wonderful
introduction to ecofeminism. The critiques of the patriarchal paradigm and the call
for a new vision inform all the intriguing essays of this collection.

Heart of the Land: Essays on Last Great Places edited by Joseph Barbato
and Lisa Weinerman. New York: Vintage Books, 1994. This moving collection
of personal ecological essays features the work of Terry Tempest Williams, Rick
Bass, Bill McKibben, David James Duncan, Joel Achenback, Thomas
McGuane, Gary Paul Nabhan, William Kittredge, James Welch, Ann Zwinger,
Barbara Kingslover, Peter Matthiesson, Dorothy Allison, William Least-Heat
Moon, and many others. The focus is specific places endangered, being lost or
already lost, and the writing is exquisite.

Henderson, Hazel. The Politics of the Solar Age: Alternatives in Economics.
Knowledge Systems, 1988. This wild and effective activist in solar energy’s
manifesto brings together solar and alternative energy theory with activism savvy.
The writing is lively and encourages us to develop collations to move toward
positive change.

Hogan, Linda. The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir.
New York: Norton, 2001. This quilted (small vignettes that fit together) memoir
tells the story of Hogan and of her people, looking at the harshness of life on the
reservation as well as individual losses and challenges, tribal histories,
generational stories, and much more. Her deft and poetic melding of the personal,
political, social, tribal and western infuse this book with a kind of integrity and
wisdom only born of deep experience, reflection and art. She writes, “We are, in
part, the body of earth. It might be that this place of ours is alive and radiant with
the dreams of human kind as well as the power of, the motion of, air on a
feathered wing as the eagles remembered flights when the wind blew” (206).
Also see Hogan’s superb book, Dwelling.

Hyde, Lewis. The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. New
York: Vintage, 1983. Few books are as important to read today as this one.
Hyde’s journey through culture and ecology looks specifically at how living in a
market-economy-based culture (where the more you have, the more you have)
versus living in a gift-based culture (where wealth is measured by what you give
to your community). Hyde’s understanding of gift-based cultures, coupled with
his astute reading of mythology (particularly through cultural folktales), make so
much of what he writes provocative and challenging. His writing style itself is a
gift: clear, precise, and insightful in ways that most readers will long remember
long after finishing the book. Overall, this little gem of a book helps us challenge
our underlying cultural assumptions at the base of so much environmental
degradation. Hyde also calls on us to develop a sustainable cultural aesthetic, and
he shows us how to do this through our daily exchanges with one another.

Home: A Bioregional Reader edited by Van Andruss, Christopher Plant, Judith
Plant, and Eleanor Wright. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Press, 1990. This
excellent bioregional reader features articles by all the usual suspects (David
Abram, Stephanie Mills, Peter Berg, David Haenke, Marnie Mueller, Doug
Aberley, Starhawk) along with photographs, seasonal charts (and discussions of
how to create your own), and other illustrations. It was one of the first bioregional
collections, and it’s still very helpful when trying to get a sense of bioregionalism
and the bioregional movement.

In Praise of Nature edited by Stephanie Mills. Washington, D.C.: Island Press,
1990. This unusual annotated bibliography is divided into the sections of Earth,
Air, Fire, Water and Spirit, and it includes annotations on a great many ecological
sources plus small essays on important thinkers, activists, artists and scholars
over the years (such as West Jackson, Rachel Carson, John Muir and others).
It’s a treasure trove of great sources, and its only limitation is that many good
books have come out since this annotated bibliography was released. All in all,
this is a fascinating read that can easily expose you to many important sources in
a short but illuminating time.

Meeting the Expectations of the Land: Essays in Sustainable Agriculture and
Stewardship. Jackson, Wes, Wendell Berry and Bruce Coleman, editors. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1984. This anthology includes essays such as “The Importance of Traditional Framing Practices for a Sustainable Modern Agriculture” by Gene Logsdon; “Thinking Like a River” by Donald Worster; “Energy and Agriculture” by Amory B. Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins, and Marty Bender; “The Sustainable Garden” by Dana Jackson (co-founder of The Land Institute); “Sunshine Agriculture and Land Trusts” by Jennie Gerard and Sharon Johnson; “The Practice of Stewardship” by John Todd; and
“Good, Wild, Sacred,” one of Gary Snyder’s finest essays. This clear-eyed,
strongly researched and well-written collection speaks to how we can live in
concert with our life places and those places’ role in feeding us.

Jordan, III, William R. The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the
New Communion with Nature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
This essential book is pivotal in understanding the ramifications and possibilities
available to us through a new understanding of restoration. As Stephanie Mills
writes of this Jordan’s thinking here, “An argument so brilliant that it’s a work of
art, The Sunflower Forest envisions evolution, ecosystems, and human action as
integral, dynamic, and harmonious.” Jordan, the director of the New Academy
for Nature and Culture, has extensive experience in restoration and the theory
behind the practice, but it’s his understanding of community and communion that
bring his experience and practice to new levels here.

Kingslover, Barbara. Small Wonder. New York: Perennial, 2002. This superb
collection of political, personal and ecological essays studies everything from
genetic engineering to the war in Iraq to vegetable growing to American
mythology, illuminating surprising and easily recognizable connections and
insights. Kingslover, an excellent writer in many genres, draws on her background
in botany and technical writing, gardening, jazz, motherhood, and being well-
grounded to places in Appalachia and the Tucson desert.

Kingslover, Barbara. Prodigal Summer. New York: HarperPerennial, 2001.
This bioregional novel celebrates the lushness of the earth, and the gifts and
challenges of the seasons through the lenses of three linked stories: that of a
young widow (“Moth Love”), a solitary woman in the woods (“Predators”), and
a stubborn old man (“Old Chestnuts”). The sensory descriptions of everything
from how a coyote moves to the smell of rain to the taste of wild berries alone
would make this book worth reading because in such descriptions, we can
glimpse greater insight into the vibrancy of the world. But the stories also are
compelling and important, touching on topics such as alternative agriculture,
stewardship of woodland, protection of endangered species, culturally diverse
impacts on living on the land, procreation, the plight of the Chestnut resurrection,
the function or non-function of love, and what good are humans anyway. It’s one
of my favorite novels for its poetry, vision, characters, and window into the life all
around us.

Lassman, Ken. Wild Douglas County. Lawrence, KS.: Mammoth Publications,
2007. This deep map and seasonal approach to knowing and living in one place
well has three important sections: One containing essays on living bioregionally in
place, which would apply to people well beyond the one Kansas county the
book focuses on; another of seasonal charts, which serve as excellent models for
charting cycles of animal and plant life in any place (and each circular chart is
arranged with the months around the perimeter, showing what plants are
blooming, or amphibians hatching, or birds passing through at any time in the
year); and the final focused on what to look for in the natural world on a day-to-
day basis, which Lassman created after eight years of charting the seasonal
activity. While this book has a very local focus, all of it would be particularly
helpful as a tool to use in bioregions and watersheds around the world; this tool is
all the more valuable as a way to map how global warming is effecting life places.
The writing is beautiful, clear and pertinent, such as, “One of the most potent
connections we have with the land, the air and the life around us is through water.
Every time you take a drink, you are recharging your cells with water that has
been in intimate contact with other forms of life, been in the soil, a thunderstorm,
a river, a snowflake, a lake, or an ocean” (11).

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press,
1966. This is the premier book on nature writing in terms of its historical
precedent and its impact on generations of nature writers. First published in
1949, this book by one of the world’s great naturalists includes essays divided
into three parts. “A Sand County Almanac” focuses on Leopard’s observations
at his weekend refuge in rural farm. The second part, “The Quality of
Landscape,” explores how he found his concern for the land over many decades,
including a strong emphasis on what conservation is and could be. “A Taste for
the Country,” the third part, is full of aware reflections of being outside and
learning from the earth. As Leopard concludes, “Recreational development is a
job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the
still unlovely human mind.”

Least-Heat Moon, William. PrairyErth: An Epic History of the Tallgrass
Country. Mariner Books, 1999. This deep narrative and cognitive mapping of
Chase County, Kansas – the heart of the Flint Hills and the tallgrass prairie – is
an exquisite quilting together of portraits of individuals and places, history and
geology, time and space. Least-Heat Moon spent six years researching what he
called a “participatory history,” and his careful listening and detailed study of
history shines through his excellent writing. Written on the tail end of his acclaim
over Blue Highways, PrairyErth traces Least-Heat Moon’s connection
(through family) to the Flint Hills while also striving for a balance view of what this
land is and who lives here. This book is also a brilliant example of bioregional

Lopez, Barry. Artic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern
Landscape. New York: Bantam Books, 1987. This important memoir and travel
journey, telling of Lopez’s immersion in various communities and expeditions in
the Artic, also is an enthnographic, historical and scientific view of our coldest
climates. Lopez writes beautifully of the North, showing us – by example – how
to co-exist with each other and this climate.

Lovelock, James. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. Oxford, England:
Oxford University Press, 1979. The Age of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living
Planet. New York: Norton, 1988. These classic philosophical, biological and
ecological books unpack the Gaia Hypothesis, the realization of the atmosphere
as a product and protector that shows us that the Earth is one organism.
Lovelock’s first book focuses on the central evidence for the Gaia Hypothesis,
and his more recent one looks at the ramification of being one big organism,
especially in a time of environmental crisis.

Lovins, Amory B. Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace. New York:
Harper Colophon Books, 1979. This oldie is still a goodie with lots of good
thinking and clear analysis of sustainable energy theory and practices by the guru
of solar energy (along with his wife, Hunter Lovins). Written in a clear, discerning
matter with lots of strong (and well-credited) research and studies, Lovins makes
many good arguments for pursuing sustainable energy sources.

Lowry, Susan Meeker. Economics As If the Earth Really Mattered.
Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1988. Meeker’s hands-on guide to
socially responsible investing emphasizes ethics and community viability. There’s
ample material here even if it’s almost 20 years old.

Mander, Jerry. Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television. New
York: William Morrow, 1978. This classic book, a radical critique of television,
still holds strong ground and is worth taking a look at, especially in light of
environmental education for children and adults.

Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan. Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of
Microbial Evolution. Summit Books, 1986. This thoughtful, entertaining and
important book looks at the forefront of ecology: microbes, the invisible life-
forms that compose all of life. Telling the history of microbes and the
composition, this book has vital ramifications for ecological problems of our
present day, particularly when it comes to our changing atmosphere.
Marshall, Gene. The Call of the Awe: Rediscovering Christian Profundity in
an Interreligious Era. Bonham, TX.: Realistic Living, 2007. This new book by
Gene Marshall (who has many excellent books and articles on religion and
bioregionalism – many available for free downloading at
looks at the interface of interreligious dialogue and ecological community building.
As Marshall explains on his website, “Religion appears in human life because
every human being, even if not fully aware of it, lives in a land of mystery with
rushing rivers of freedom, imposing mountains of care, and wild seas of
tranquility. This land of mystery penetrates the land of ordinary living at every
point. Awe is our experience of this ever-present Eternity.”
Mathews, John Joseph. Talking to the Moon: Wildlife Adventures on the
Plains and Prairies of Osage Country. Norman, OK.: University of Oklahoma
Press, 1945. Mathews, an astonishing writer and scientist, wrote this and several
other essential books for seeing the earth through the lenses of the culture and
rituals of the Osage. His descriptions of the land, his understanding of white and
Osage cultures, and his careful and attentive observation make for refreshing
clarity and meaning. This book mainly looks at the phases of the moon, according
to the Osage, which include the Light-of-Day-Returns moon, the Just-Doing-That
moon, the Deer-Hiding Moon and even the Little-Flower-Killer moon. By
reading of these phases, we can come into an alternative – and much closer to the
land reading – of the seasons.
McKibben, Bill. The End of Nature. New York: Random House, 1989. This
pivotal book looks at how destruction of the natural world is tied to our daily acts
and consumption habits. Yet McKibben is also optimistic about the return of
nature through community initiative (and these days McKibben is leading the
charge of such initiative, including walks across the Northeast to raise

Mills, Stephanie. In Service of the Wild: Restoring and Reinhabiting
Damaged Land. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995. This is a combination travel guide
to places where ecological restoration is particularly inspiring or effective, a
memoir of learning more about restoring one’s home place, and a study of how,
why, where and when ecological restoration works. Mills visits Aldo Leopolds’s
Wisconsin shack, the salmon restoration project in the Northwest, a Utopian
restoration community in southern India, and other locales to write – in eloquent,
lingering and clear prose – of what she witnesses. She also writes in great depth
into the questions of what it means to be wild, virgin, undisturbed. This is an
important book for anyone doing anything related to restoration.

Mills, Stephanie. Epicurian Simplicity. Wash., D.C.: Island Press, 2002. This is
a marvel of a book! It’s mostly a memoir intertwined with thoughtful discussion
on the ecological state of the world and particularly of a small Northern Michigan
area, and deep reflection on how to live. In the model of Thoreau, Mills tells of
her own largely solitary life in the Michigan woods while also exploring the Greek
philosopher Epicurus’s views on simplicity and pleasure. More than most
ecological memoirs, this one grapples with the constant question of how to live in
balance with place while writing of the seasons, vocation, travels, community, and
our common fate. As she writes, “A life alert to simple pleasures, with perception cultivated and attuned to beauty, and a large capacity for friendship can serve us well come what may, be it Ecotopia, corporate fascism, or Armageddon. Whatever befalls, it behooves us to honor the moment by savings what there is: light and shadow, bitter and sweet, harsh and tender, fragrant and foul, lyric
and discord.” (206). At the same time, she also writes of our task, our work to change the world while
also living fully in it.

Mills, Stephanie. Whatever Happened to Ecology? San Francisco: Sierra Club
Books, 1989. This political and social change memoir is both a story of living,
writing and working with an ecological focus, and a critique of societal
diminishment of the ecological movement. Written in 1988, this book obviously
came out of a time when global warming, the end of peak oil, and the
disappearance of honey bees weren’t common knowledge, yet Mills clearly
outlines the devastation already unfolding and the need to reclaim our vigilance.
This book is also a love story about place and community, and returning to one’s

Mills, Stephanie. Tough Little Beauties: Selected Essays and Other Writings
of Stephanie Mills. North Liberty, IA: Ice Cube Books, 2007. This astonishing collection of Stephanie Mills’ essays shines with eloquence, wisdom, daring and a tender
fierceness. Mills, one of the clearest and most profound essayists of the
bioregional movement, covers everything from the coming ecological apocalypse
to the limitations and blessings of St. Herpes to spiritual swimming to a small
jewel-like wild iris both promising and vulnerable. While there are a good many
words illuminating life in the Northern Forests, where Mills makes her home,
there are also forays to other lands around the world, and a balanced and clear-
eyed contemplation about both the private life and the public world as both
interface with ecology. This collection is alarming and uplifting, humorous and
daring, and thoroughly brilliant in its honesty and lucidity.

Mollison, Bill. Permaculture: A Practice Guide for a Sustainable Future.
Island Press, 1990. Mollison’s book, often touted as the bible of permaculture,
unpacks the philosophy and practice of growing our food in a whole-systems,
sustainable manner. Permaculture combines much of what has been developed,
unearthed or rediscovered about sustainable agriculture and organic farming as
well as earth-friendly energy generation. As Mollison explains, “Permaculture as a
design system contains nothing new. It arranges what was always there in a
different way, so that it works to conserve energy or to generate more energy
than it consumes. What is novel, and often overlooked, is that any system of total
common-sense design for human communities is revolutionary!”

Mother Earth: Though the Eyes of Women Photographers and Writers.
Judith Boice, Ed. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1992. Divided in Mineral,
Plant, Animal and Human Realms, with a final section on “Oneness,” this
imagination combination of image and words features the likes of Leslie Marmom
Silko, Alice Walter, Annie Iberio, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Annie Dilliard,
Brenda Tharp, Diane Ackerman, Ntozake Shange, Dolores LaChappele and
many other women photographers and writers. The book reads like a journey
composed of fencepost moments, and particularly intriguing is the appendix, “The
Passion to See: About the Photographers” in which each photographer speaks of
her process and passion for the earth.

Nabhan, Gary Paul. The Desert Smells Like Rain. North Point Press, 1982. All
of Nablan’s nature writing (usually in the form of memoir-esque essays) is superb
and vivid with close attention to language and to his subject. An ethnobotanist by
trade, Nabhan looks deeply at culture and agriculture.

Olsen, Andrea. Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide. Middlebury, VT.:
Middlebury College Press, 2002. This hands-on guide leads readers on an
embodied, bioregional, expressive arts approach to feeling more alive and finding
more of their purpose and place. The exercises are excellent and include writing,
guided meditation, drawings, walking, moving, breathing and even doing a place
scan. Each day focuses on a theme such as “Breath and Voice,” “Art and the
Environment,” “Movement,” “Bones,” “Soil,” “Underlying Patterns: A Bioregional
Approach,” and “Perception.” This is a treasure of a book for individual practice
and educational settings.

Putting Power in its Place: Creative Community Control edited by
Christopher Plant and Judith Plant. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society
Publishers, 1992. Also part of the New Catalyst Bioregional Series, this volume
gathers excellent essays on working together in community, including deep
discussions of consensus, shadow governments, watershed stewardship alliances,
working councils, urban communities, and even eco-constitutions. Some of the
particularly exciting essays are John Papworth’s “The Best Government Comes
in Small Packages,” Murray Bookchin’s “The Meaning of Confederalism,” Oren
Lyons’s “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave: Iroquois Democracy,” and
Robert Swann’s “The Need for Local Currencies.” There’s excellent discussion
throughout this book on power dynamics in group process.

Ray, Janisse. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. Minneapolis: Milkweed
Publications, 1999. Like Terry Tempest-Williams, Ray combines memoir with
ecological discussion, but in her case, she is advocating for backwood Georgia, a
land often forgotten or seen as throwaway land, and for a people often
marginalized by poverty and neglect. Throughout her writing, the earth breathes,
and we can almost smell the pine trees as well as the rusting cars. This work is
also full of a kind of unrequited love and yearning while also deeply honoring the
real and available beauty in unexpected places.

Rezendes, Paul. Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to See Animal Signs.
Collins, 1999. While this book is a wonderful resource on how to track various
North American mammals, what really makes it glow is Rezendes’s superb
discussion of living in concert with the wild. His ways of honoring stillness and
silence to find the more-than-human world are information and inspiring.

Rezendes, Paul. The Wild Within: Adventures in Nature and Animals
Teachings. New York: Berkeley Books, 1998. Combining stories with
reflections and insights, Rezendes writes of animals but even more, the places
between seeing and meeting. His wanderings through woods and swamplands,
learning to wake up to this other reality, brims with awareness and immediacy.

Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern
California. Peter Berg and Raymond Dasmann, editors. San Francisco: Planet
Drum Foundation, 1978. One of the first books on bioregionalism, this one is
important in its call to congress and in its clear definition of bioregionalism and its
potential worldwide. Continue to read Peter Berg’s work – including updates
from his bioregional pioneering work in Ecuador – at

Sale, Kirkpatrick. Dwellers on the Earth: A Bioregional Vision. University of
Georgia Press, 2000. This classic bioregional book, first published in 1985,
conveys a full range of bioregional visions in a clear and scholarly manner while
also giving real-life, illuminating examples of bioregionalists in action. Sale divides
his book into “The Bioregional Heritage,” “The Bioregional Paradigm,” “The
Bioregional Project” and the “The Bioregional Imperative” while looking at
economics, culture, politics and the understanding of the earth as alive and

Schumacher, E.F. Small is Beautiful: Economic As If People Mattered. New
York: Harper and Row, 1973. This famous book is key to the global
environmental movement, exploring and challenging economic theories that
degrade the planet and its people, and proposing very workable small-scale
economic systems that can help restore communities and life places. The writing
is lucid, comprehensive, visionary, even 35 years later, and Schumacher also
looks widely at global issues as well as local ones to make his case.

Seed, John, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming and Arne Naess. Thinking Like a
Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings. Santa Cruz, CA.: New Society
Publishers, 1988. One of the most important approaches I’ve experienced are
the workshops and discussions related to Thinking Like a Mountain. This
book, which basically encapsulates the workshops, is a good introduction, but
the workshops themselves are amazing experiences that take participants through
their own relationships to land and sky, and help participants transform the
despair and numbness that comes of witnessing ecological devastation into insight
and action.

Snyder, Gary and William Scott McLean. The Real Work: Interviews and
Talks 1964-1979. This is one of the best collection of Gary Snyder writings and
interviews, with such essays and interviews as “The Landscape of
Consciousness,” and “On Earth Geography.” While Snyder has been criticized
for traveling the world to tell people to stay home, his writing and his travels had
planted bioregional ethics (not to mention Asian poetics) worldwide over the last
50 years.

Starhawk. Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising. Gabriola Island,
B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2002. This field guide to the anti-globalism
movement is valuable in learning more about non-violence in action, the
importance of continually working to diminish the reach of corporate control in
local communities, and how to be an effective activist in concert in other activists.
While it’s surely a way to sing to the choir, choirs do need renewed and inspired
singing from time to time. Her attention to group process is particularly valuable
and insightful.

Stein, Sara. Noah’s Garden. New York: North Point Press, 1995. Noah’s
Children: Restoring the Ecology of Childhood. New York: North Point Press,
2001. Planting Noah’s Garden: Further Adventures in Backyard Ecology.
New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997. Stein is astonishing as a writer
and thinker. Her clarity, her insights, her understanding of the complex and her
ability to unpack it for the reader in a way that both informs and inspires – all of
this is evident in her important work. She possesses one of the most acute
understandings I’ve ever encountered of how to grow both gardens and children
(and how to tend to both, including the gardens and children within us). She’s
also a helluva storyteller. Read her!

Tempest-Williams, Terry. Refuge. New York: Vintage, 1991. Terry Tempest-
Williams’s fine memoir interlaces the story of her mother dying of breast cancer
and her families’ cancer legacy with the history and current conditions of birdlife
in the Great Salt Lake area.. She makes a visceral and storied link between the
effect of nuclear testing on the environment and our bodies, but she also looks
deeply at the social changes needed for healing and the spiritual graces possible in
the face of such suffering. The chapters are all named for bird species, and all
record the lake level to show how human activities impact the local ecosystem in
such an extensive and culminating way. She also writes of her hope for the future:
“One night, I dreamed women from all over the world circled a blazing fire in the
desert” (287), and in its own way, this book has been and continues to be its
own fire in the desert.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1854;
1942; 1960. This is one of the earliest environmental memoirs and ecological
guides, focusing on a small pond and a big vision. While Thoreau calls to us to
simplify our lives, his complex analysis of the industrial societal growing around
him speaks to many of the same issues we face today. As he writes, “The surface
of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men, and so with the paths
which the mind travels. How warn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the
world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity.”

Todd, Nancy Jack and John Todd. Bioshelters, Ocean Arks, City Farming:
Ecology as the Basis of Design. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1984. This
important tome on ecological design and practice blends high tech approaches
with biological principles, and it also narrates the adventures of the Todds and
their community in bringing ecological design to the forefront in various ways.
Mostly, the Todds advocate for a kind of design that is perpetually self-

Turtle Talk: Voices for a Sustainable Future. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New
Society Publishers, 1990. Part of the New Catalyst Bioregional Series, this
anthology features essays by Christopher Plant, Gary Snyder, Peter Berg,
Starhawk, George Woodcock, Susan Griffin, Dave Foreman, John Seed, Marie
Wilson, George Watts, Caroline Estes, Freedom House, Susan Meeker-Lowry
and Murray Bookchin – the usual gang of bioregionally-identified writers at the
time. The topics range from consensus to deep ecology to Native people projects
with non-natives to economics to spirituality. It’s a lovely primer to
bioregionalism, illustrating through its examples what Kirkpatrick Sale writes in
the introduction: “And it is the great lesson of the turtle, of course, that you can
get ahead only when you stick your neck out.”

Wild Culture: Ecology and Imagination, edited by Whitney Smith and
Christopher Lowry. This now-defunct journal/still-available book is a superb
collection of explorations on what it means to be wild and to celebrate the wild in
our culture. This volume includes essays such as David Cayley’s “New Ideas in
Ecology and Economics,” B.P. Nichol’s “R-Toys-Us?”, Marni Jackson’s
“Hormones or History?”, “Paul Shephard’s “Nature and Madness,” plus pieces
on paleoecology, natural selection, the goddess, wild foods, Walden Pond,
gender studies, recycling, and fear of knowing. There’s music, photographs,
illustrations and many surprises. It’s a delight!

The World and the Wild: Expanding Wilderness Conservation Beyond Its
American Roots edited by David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus. Tucson, AZ.:
University of Arizona Press, 2002. This international anthology looks toward
traditions around the world of conservation and ecological restoration, including
such essays as “In the Dust of Kilimanjaro,” “Recycled Rain Forest Myths,”
“They Trampled on Our Taboos” and “The Unpaintable West.” The strong claim
flowing through each essay is that our American view of wilderness is a privileged
one, and that indigenous peoples must be entrusted to steward their own

Worster, Donald. Nature’s Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas.
Cambridge, MA.: Cambridge University Press, 1985. This fascinating history of
ecological ideas and movements, written beautifully, looks at the influences of
Thoreau, Darwin, Lyell and many others. It’s particularly strong in making a
scientist and historical argument for our ecological tradition of conservation and

Bioregional Periodicals
Continental Bioregional Congress/Turtle Island Bioregional Congress/North
American Bioregional Congress Proceedings – several of the congresses are
available on-line at, and through

Orion. This gorgeous nature magazine, free of advertising, features the writing of
people like Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, W.S. Merwin, Stephanie Mills, Bill
McKibben, Susan Griffin and many others. Each issue is a work of art with
sections on “The World As We Know It,” “The Art of Living,” “Groundswell”
and regular columns and poetry.

Resurgence. This British publication is excellent with articles continually focused
on ecology and culture. In the May/June 2005 issue, for example, there’s features
on “Silent Tsunamis” by Jamie Drummond, “Time for a Peasant Revolution” by
Colin Tudge, “Sacred Design” by David Kirkland, “The Islamic Imagination” by
Emma Clark, and “A Shamanic Journey” (on Siberian traditions) by John
Mitchell; and reviews on “The Ecology of Self-Reflection” by William Bloom,
“Gray’s Anatomy” by Kirkpatrick Sale and much more. The writers tend to be
international, and the perspective is always bioregional. It’s a bit pricey but well
worth it.

Bioregional Websites

Bioregional Congress: This official site of the bioregional congress has information
on past, present and future congresses, links to bioregional sites, information on
bioregional arts and culture, mapping information, and many other bodies of

Planet Drum was founded in 1973 to provide an effective grassroots approach to
ecology that emphasizes sustainability, community self-determination and regional
self-reliance. In association with community activists and ecologists, Planet Drum
developed the concept of a bioregion: a distinct area with coherent and
interconnected plant and animal communities, and natural systems, often defined
by a watershed. Planet Drum helps start new bioregional groups and encourages
local organizations and individuals to find ways to live within the natural confines
of bioregions. The website features many resources, Peter Berg’s excellent
dispatches from Ecuador where he’s leading an essential eco-Ecuador project,
projects, exchanges, and other information. This organization, directed by Judy
Goldhaft and Peter Berg, is a central support for the bioregional movement, and it
has been in action now for almost 35 years.

The Putah-Cache Bioregion Project has another bioregional bibliography.

Poets Who Write About the Earth

Sandra Alcosser
Paula Gunn Allen
A.A. Ammons
Margaret Atwood
W.H. Auden
Wendell Berry
Elizabeth Bishop
William Blake
Phillip Booth
Joseph Bruchac
Lord Byron
Billy Collins
Samuel Cooleridge
John Daniel
Alison Deming
Emily Dickinson
James Dickey
Deborah Digges
John Donne
e.e. cummings
Harley Elliott
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Louise Erdrich
Robert Frost
Patricia Goedicke
Susan Griffin
Linda Gregg
Donald Hall
Robert Hass
Seamus Heaney
Allison Hedge Coke
Jane Hirshfield
Joy Harjo
Gerald Manley Hopkins
A.E. Houseman
Kenneth Irby
Linda Hogan
John Keats
Galway Kinnell
Maxine Kumin
Stanley Kunitz
Jane Kenyon
Gary Lawless
D.H. Lawrence
Denise Levertov
Philip Levine
Perie Longo
William Matthews
Thomas McGrath
Heather McHugh
Sandra McPhearson
W.S. Merwin
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Howard Nemerov
Pablo Neruda
Sharon Olds
Mary Oliver
Simon Ortiz
Alicia Ostriker
Stanley Plumly
Al Purdy
Adrienne Rich
Rainer Maria Rilke
Theodore Roethke
Pattiann Rogers
May Sarton
Cheryl Savageau
Naomi Shahib Nye
William Shakespeare
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Leslie Marmon Silko
Gary Snyder
William Stafford
Wallace Stevens
Gerald Stern
Dylan Thomas
Jean Toomer
Walt Whitman
William Carlos Williams
William Wordsworth
James Wright
William Butler Yeats


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