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Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems Paperback – April 13, 2017
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"Traditionally conceived, a poet is not only a maker but aprophet, a vates or shaman. Prophecies are traditionally riddling andambiguous, subject to tragic misinterpretation.But the prescient lyrics of Hawk on Wire have an urgent clarity, which reminds us that ecopoetry, whateverelse it is, must include ecoprophecy.Shifting from the lyric present into the cataclysmic future, or dreamingback from post-apocalyptic end-times, Starbuck divines the consequences ofclimate change in no uncertain terms.Yet more than foretelling, this fisherman poet listens: to the ghosts of elders and outcasts (MotherTeresa, Mark Twain, Galileo, the homeless), to fellow creatures (trout, lizard,otter, hawk) and to the elements (earth, river, wind). Ecologists read the signs of unsustainability,poets give them voice, none more compellingly than Starbuck. The question remains, can we look up from ourscreens long enough to listen?" John Shoptaw, author of Times Beach
"Scott Starbuck's Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems doesn't flinch or compromise. From his considerable experience with of the wild world comes a grim projection of our future, thanks mainly to our own ravishing of it. But this grim vision is usually accompanied by the beckoning of a spirit world beyond impending disaster. So it is in these mainly aphoristic poems, some of which feature ghosts of already passed-away luminaries speaking of climate change, such as Galileo and Mother Teresa. The ghost of Charles Bukowski admonishes us by saying 'we must find / some way // to make joy / no matter what.' This is a wonderful, bracing, and searching book, lovingly and expertly written. " John Keeble, author of Yellowfish, Broken Ground, and The Shadows of Owls
"Scott Starbuck's"For the reality of nature, we must go to poets like Starbuck who base their passions on what the scientists tell them. Aptly, Starbuck writes in his poem, 'Election Year': 'A trout pauses / over a nickel // maybe thinking / it's food // then darts / into darkness / / maybe recording / face and date // in its unconscious / mind, // its blinking dreams, / the way humans / / hear of melting / Arctic, // blink, and do/ nothing.'' Reading Hawk on Wire is a way of sharing love, concern, and joy in the natural world and her dwindling wildlife. I recommend this book as a way of finding solace in sharing warning, wonder and joy." Daniela Gioseffi, American Book Award winning author, Editor: Eco-Poetry.org
"Scott T. Starbuck's poems are genuine lyrics, artfully delivered, that speak to us about the value of human life and environment. He does not shy away from the tough and urgent ecological questions. With keen observations his poems carry messages from numerous and eclectic sources, including hieroglyphics, Oregon landscapes, fish, the spirit of wind, and a parking lot prophet. With wit and intelligence, Starbuck also includes a variety of ghosts (from Socrates to Bukowski) commenting on climate change. His poems are informative, imaginative, and wise." Michael Spring, author of Unfolding the Field
"Starbuck's Hawk on Wire is a poetic gift alerting us to what is happening to our planet; we must listen and act before it is too late." Yun Wang, Senior Research Scientist at IPAC Caltech, and author of The Book of Totality and Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize Winner The Book of Jade
About the Author
Scott T. Starbuck wrote most of these poems at a 2016 PLAYA Art, Science, and Community Collaboration in the Oregon Outback. He was a Friends of William Stafford Scholar at the "Speak Truth to Power" Fellowship of Reconciliation Seabeck Conference in 2014, a 2013 Artsmith Fellow on Orcas Island, and writer-in-residence at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. His scientifically-informed poetry focuses on the clash between ancient sustaining forces like wild salmon rivers and modern industry and industrial livelihood. His climate change activism includes calling TV/news stations on behalf of San Diego area tribes in solidarity with water protectors near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, reading to over 500 climate activists at a December 12, 2016, Rally for Climate Justice in San Diego’s Balboa Park, serving on the coordinating committee of the Road Through Paris action at San Diego 350.org, volunteer editing and writing at SanDiego350.org, moderating climate change film showings /workshops at his college, attending nonviolent protests, and updating his ecoblog Trees, Fish, and Dreams at riverseek.blogspot.com. With Antarctic CO2 at 400 parts per million for the first time in 4 million years, threat of a huge Arctic methane release, and melting glaciers bringing inevitable sea level rise predicted to affect hundreds of millions of humans, he agrees with activists and creatives insisting nonviolent actions are vital now. Starbuck currently lives near Vancouver, Washington, and in San Diego, where he teaches creative writing, world literature, and English.
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