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Before the Snow Moon

image of Before the Snow Moon cover


Alison Swan
June 2013

28 pages, paperback
$9.95
ISBN 978-1-935770-07-7

Before The Snow Moon is Alison Swan’s second publication with Alice Greene & Co. An award winning author of both poetry and prose, Swan also edited the 2006 collection of nonfiction works titled Fresh Water: Women Writing on The Great Lakes (Michigan State University Press). Swan has worked since 2001 to protect and preserve the Saugatuck Dunes and currently teaches environmental thought and writing at Western Michigan University.

In this collection, Swan explores an essential contemporary question: How can humans reconcile their unavoidable capacity for consumption and destruction with their admiration of nature? In these poems, Swan answers this question by exploring her evolving relationship with the natural world, examining what it means for her as a young girl to be “green and traveling” to the present day, where she calmly asserts, “I’ve been stepping as lightly as I can.” This evolution of consciousness reveals one of the foundations of Swan’s poetry: it is in constant conversation with the environment and human interaction with the environment.

With fresh imagery and succinct language, Swan takes readers through a myriad of landscapes- a frozen lagoon, Detroit’s Eastern Market, the leaf-heavy forest- to reveal both the emotional complexities of the self as well as the self’s undeniable role in our ever-changing surroundings. This is a hopeful collection, one that situates Swan as a conscientious poet who celebrates the beauty she observes as a means of preservation.

 
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