Dr. Edward O. Wilson, world-renowned Harvard entomologist and two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning author, points out in the epigraph to this unique collection of poetry, "...the better an ecosystem is known, the less likely it will be destroyed."
This is the premise of "THE DIRE ELEGIES: 59 Poets on Endangered Species of North America" and why author Bill McKibben says in the book's foreword, "These magnificent poems work as a chant to summon more" of the love to save the endangered from extinction. It's also why writer Susan Cerulean has called the book an "important manifesto: a must-read for our times."
A helpful feature of the anthology is the species notes that accompany the poems each time a new species is introduced.
For example, when readers encounter Minnesota poet Shirley S. Stevens's poem "On Spotting a Pygmy Owl," they also learn: "The endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum, of the U.S. Southwest and Mexico, numbered only 12 birds when it was listed in the U.S. in 1997. A USF&WS recovery team began its work to rescue the species in 1998, but its fate remains precarious."
Foreword: Regarding the Frog and Our Real Selves, Bill McKibben
Preface: A Righteous Case for the 1,277, Karla Linn Merrifield, Roger M. Weir
Epigraph, E. O. Wilson
In the Beginning
Roll Call, North American, Chris Norment
A Bestiary of Continuous Extinctions, Steven Huff
Grizzly, Michele F. Cooper
You Are in Bear Country, Maxine Kumin
In Concert, Jen Eddy
Loss, Dennis Fritzinger
Killed by the Bear, John Hutchinson
Treat Each Bear, Gary Lawless
and much, much more!