Thalia Field’s third book with New Directions is a tour de force of blending literary genres (poetry, prose, essay, and drama) and examining our control of the natural world.Bird Lovers, Backyard continues Thalia Field’s interrogation of the act of storytelling and her experimentation with literary genre. Field’s illuminating essays, or stories, in poetic form, place scientists, philosophers, animals, even the military, in real and imagined events. Her open questioning brings in subjects as diverse as pigeons, chat rooms, nuclear testing, the building of the Kennedy Space Center, the development of seaside beaches, Konrad Lorenz, the American author and animal trainer Vicki Hearne, and the Swiss zoologist Heini Hediger. Throughout, she intermingles fact and fiction, probing the porous boundaries between human and animal, calling into question “what we are willing to do with words,” and spinning a world where life is haunted by echoes. Story and event survive through daring language, and the elegies of history.