Catherine Jagoe in Conversation with Heather Swan

Aug 28 | 6:00PM
Event Presenter/Author
Catherine Jagoe and Heather Swan

PLEASE NOTE: While this is a free event, RSVPs are encouraged. Seating is limited and will be first come, first served.

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About Praying to the God of Small Things 

The poems in Praying to the God of Small Things celebrate our bountiful and threatened natural world, exploring what it means to be alive and complicit in the age of the Anthropocene. They ask us to pay attention to the small of this world—including acorn weevils, muskrats, kinglets, moths, warblers, a dog lost on a freeway—whose lives are threatened, complicated, and beautiful.

About Catherine Jagoe 

Catherine Jagoe is a British American writer and translator. Her poems have been featured on The Writer's Almanac and Poetry Daily and she is a contributor to Wisconsin Public Radio's Wisconsin Life series. Her ninth book, a volume of poetry about the more-than-human world titled Praying to the God of Small Things (Kelsay Books), has been described as "a fiercely sad but also ferociously celebratory collection by an attentive, eloquent, and important eco-poet." Her previous poetry collections include Bloodroot, News from the North, and Casting Off.

About Where the Grass Still Sings 

Through narrative, verse, and art, Where the Grass Still Sings celebrates the many tiny creatures that play crucial roles in our ecosystems—as well as the people on the front lines of the fight to save them.

Weaving art and science with inspiring stories of people doing their part to protect insects and the environment, author Heather Swan takes readers around the globe to highlight practical solutions to safeguard our fragile planet. Visit a sustainable coffee farm in Ecuador and a frog expert combating animal trafficking in Colombia. Explore a butterfly sanctuary in an Andean cloud forest and learn about a family of orchid farmers who are replanting a mountainside to attract native pollinators. Meet a bumblebee expert helping Wisconsin cranberry growers, a bark beetle specialist in a new-growth forest in Georgia, an entomologist collecting for the Essig Museum in California, and more. Against a backdrop of climate change, ecological injustice, and impending mass extinction, this book rekindles wonder and hope.

Featuring works by artists deeply invested in preserving the smallest beings among us, Where the Grass Still Sings is a paean to the natural world.

About Heather Swan 

Heather Swan is the author of Where the Grass Still Sings: Stories of Insects and Interconnection (Penn State Press)Her previous book, Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field (Penn State Press) won the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Her nonfiction has appeared in About Place, Aeon, Belt, Catapult, Emergence, ISLE, Minding Nature, and The Learned Pig. Her poems have appeared in such journals as The Hopper, One Art, Poet Lore, Phoebe, The Raleigh Review, Midwestern Gothic and Cold Mountain and many anthologies. Her book of poems, A Kinship with Ash (Terrapin Books), published in 2020, was a finalist for the ASLE Book Award and long-listed for the Julie Suk Award. Her latest collection of poems, Dandelion (Terrapin Books) was released in fall of 2023. She is also a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, the Maud Weinshenk Award, the August Derleth Prize for Poetry, the John Tigges Poetry Award, A Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Award, and an honorable mention for the Lorine Niedecker Award. She teaches environmental literature and writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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