On Poetry and Nature with Noah Davis and Derek Sheffield

I have with me today two poets from MSU Press’s Wheelbarrow Books series, Derek Sheffield and Noah Davis, who both know a thing or two about feeling, understanding, and expressing greatly the natural beauty of the world in language of poetry. Join us for a conversation about poetry, nature, and life in community with each other and other beings.
Selected by Mark Doty for the 2019 Wheelbarrow Books prize, Derek Sheffield’s Not for Luck ushers us into the beauty and grace that comes from giving attention to the interconnections that make up our lives. Through encounters with a herd of deer, a circle of salmon in a mountain creek, and a shiny-eyed wood rat, these poems offer moments of wonder that celebrate our place as one species among many on our only earth. Sheffield is also the author of Through the Second Skin, and he is coeditor of Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, poetry editor of Terrain.org, and a professor of English at Wenatchee Valley College.

A stunning and visceral debut, Noah Davis’s Of this River ushers in a new era of poems from the Allegheny region of Appalachia. In striking stories and scenes, Davis portrays the spiritual cost of deep poverty, the necessity to ask for forgiveness, and the joy in praising the beauty still found in the steep hollows. These poems will cling to you like water on the soles of your boots. Noah Davis grew up in Tipton, Pennsylvania, and writes about the Allegheny Front. His poems and prose have appeared in Best New Poets, Orion Magazine, North American Review, River Teeth Journal, Sou'wester, and Chautauqua, among others.

Of this River and Not for Luck are both available at msupress.org and other fine booksellers. You can find Derrek on Facebook and at dereksheffield.com. Noah is on Instagram @n.davis21. You can connect with the press on Facebook and @msupress on Twitter, where you can also find me @kurtmilb.

The MSU Press podcast is a joint production of MSU Press and the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Thanks to the team at MSU Press for helping to produce this podcast. Our theme music is “Coffee” by Cambo. 

Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi people. The University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.
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