Front cover image for Dear America : letters of hope, habitat, defiance, and democracy

Dear America : letters of hope, habitat, defiance, and democracy

Simmons B. Buntin (Editor), Elizabeth Caroline Dodd (Editor), Derek Sheffield (Editor)
"America is at a crossroads. Conflicting political and social perspectives reflect a need to collectively define our moral imperatives, clarify cultural values, and inspire meaningful change. In that patriotic spirit, nearly two hundred writers, artists, scientists, and political and community leaders have come together since the 2016 presidential election to offer their impassioned letters to America, in a project envisioned by the online journal and collected, with 50 never-before-published letters, in 'Dear America : Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy'. In the inaugural piece in’s Letters to America series, Alison Hawthorne Deming writes, “Think of the great spirit of inventiveness the Earth calls forth after each major disturbance it suffers. Be artful, inventive, and just, my friends, but do not be silent.” Joining Deming are renowned artists and thinkers including Seth Abramson, Ellen Bass, Jericho Brown, Francisco Cantú, Kurt Caswell, Victoria Chang, Camille T. Dungy, Tarfia Faizullah, Blas Falconer, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, David Gessner, Katrina Goldsaito, Kimiko Hahn, Brenda Hillman, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Hogan, Pam Houston, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Karen An-hwei Lee, Christopher Merrill, Kathryn Miles, Kathleen Dean Moore, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Naomi Shihab Nye, Elena Passarello, Dean Rader, Scott Russell Sanders, Lauret Savoy, Gary Soto, Pete Souza, Kim Stafford, Sandra Steingraber, Arthur Sze, Scott Warren, Debbie Weingarten, Christian Wiman, Robert Wrigley, and others. 'Dear America' reflects the evolution of a moral panic that has emerged in the nation. More importantly, it is a timely congress of the personal and the political, a clarion call to find common ground and conflict resolution, all with a particular focus on the environment, social justice, and climate change. The diverse collection features personal essays, narrative journalism, poetry, and visual art from nearly 130 contributors - many pieces never before published - all literary reactions to the times we live in, with a focus on civic action and social change as we approach future elections. As Scott Minar writes, we must remain steadfast and look to the future : “Despair can bring us very low, or it can make us smarter and stronger than we have ever been before.”"--taken from publisher web site
Print Book, English, 2020
Trinity University Press/Terrain Publishing, San Antonio, Texas, 2020
408 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
9781595349125, 159534912X
Introduction / by Simmons Buntin
Calls to Action. Letter to America / Alison Hawthorne Deming
This land is (still) our land / Ana Maria Spagna
From the end of the road / Erin Coughlin Hollowell
Americas / Seth Abramson
Of truth, post-truth, alternative facts, and lies / Gregory McNamee
I don't know how to write a letter to America / Martha Silano
An American song / Ever Jones
November, third trimester / Jennifer Case
It's time to teach my daughter how / Suzanne Frischkorn
My mother's vote / Fenton Johnson
The Windigo / Robin Wall Kimmerer
Extractions, Extinctions, and Depletions. Notes to America / Taylor Brorby
Refinery / Georgia Pearle
After the election / Amanda Hawkins
I had heard / Brian Laidlaw
Latte capitalism / Deborah Thompson
Let sleeping wolves lie / Dana Sonnenschein
Lamentations / Barbara Hurd
Swallows : Common yet declining / Catherine Staples
What will keep us / Derek Sheffield
In the garden / Todd Davis
A world departs / Sherwin Bitsui
Stone age / Andrea Cohen
She's going to be beautiful / Todd Boss
Geographies of Exclusion. Assembly-line justice / Francisco Cantú
History kids / David Hernandez
A president, a travel ban, and a playdate / Bob Ferguson
Red sky / Peggy Shumaker
The Earth was once water / Linda Hogan
20,000 pallets of bottled water / Juan J. Morales
"Virtually uninhabited" / Scott Warren
Club / Christian Wiman
Invitation to the NSA / Naomi Shihab Nye
Song for long America / Allison Hedge Coke
Dear America, sanctuary of a posthuman exile / Karen An-Hwei Lee
Aperture : A photoless photo essay / Traci Brimhall
Still birding while Black / J. Drew Lanham
The red-bellied woodpecker's tongue / Ellen Bass
Climate Change and Science Denial. Come November / Debra Marquart
The river between us / Kurt Caswell
Please do not spit everywhere / Christopher Merrill
Our climate future / Diana Liverman
Science under fire / Anita Desikan
Letter from a concerned scientist / Jacob Carter
To think like a mountain / Sarah Inskeep
Whirling disease / R. T. Smith
Memories (Imaginings) and Other Americas. An American question / Lauret Savoy
Duplex / Jericho Brown
Left to themselves they tell lies / Amanda Gailey
Look at the ways we work upon them / Anne P. Beatty
First picture day in America / Diana Babineau
Dear America / Dear Motherland : An essay in fractures / Lee Ann Roripaugh
Not a good German / Sandra Steingraber
As American as turning your back on the flag / Yelizaveta P. Renfro
Each one a bright light / Lee Herrick
What you'd want to remember / Miriam Marty Clark
The end of the pier / Allen Gee
Receiver, achiever, reliever, believer / Elena Passarello
Drowned and reborn / Jasmine Elizabeth Smith
To the first of getting longer days / Chris Dombrowski
Crayons / Rhina P. Espaillat
Ambient Violences and Misogynies. American studies / José Angel Araguz
Somewhere I have never traveled / Robert Wrigley
The woods and the weeds / Debbie Weingarten
Something like tenderness / Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Fatherland / Blas Falconer
No one expects an answer / Erin Malone
The South / Lesley Wheeler
To Occupant / Colleen J. McElroy
Obit / Victoria Chang
Titration / Brenda Hillman
Sentinel / Tod Marshall
In case of active shooter / Heather Ryan
"My country, 'tis of thee" / Alexandra Teague
Reply all / Sholeh Wolpé
Abracadabra / Sandra Meek
The Power of Panic / The Power of Art. Mortar shells, lunch, and poetry / Scott Minar
I am the witness : Accidents in a time of Trump / Jen Hirt
Poetic justice / Rob Carney
Spell to be said against hatred / Jane Hirshfield
Hasten to understand / Kathryn Miles
That corpse you planted in your garden / Elizabeth Dodd
Reach / Rose McLarney
In the wake / Anne Haven McDonnell
A great dawn chorus / Kathleen Dean Moore
Storm season / Laura-Gray Street
Closing time / Michael P. Branch
Shoes / Nicole Walker
The little painter / Joy Castro
Images from the Front. In which Twombly and Rader consider the letter / Dean Rader
The Lacunose / Ellen Welti
You are not the only America / Patri Hadad
Jeffersonian 2016 / John Gallaher
To tell the past from the future / Sarah Skeen
Of the highest character / Pete Souza
Not of the highest character / Pete Souza
The Power of Satire. Presidential alert / Kim Stafford
We need to talk / John T. Price
#donaldcommanderintweet / Richard Kenney
America : In theory and practice / Andrew S. Yang
Fourteen Donalds / Vince Gotera
Why I am not president : A campaign speech / Dennis Held
I go in / Tarfia Faizullah
Geographies of Inclusion and Renewal. After his election, I make a zen garden / Gary Soto
The world is large and other things you thought you knew / Sean Hill
A still hopeful geography / David Gessner
New names / Joe Wilkins
Dear Milo / Lawrence Lenhart
Geography lessons / B. J. Hollars
Begin again / Sandra Alcosser
Driftless / Cherene Sherrard
Bridge / Arthur Sze
The Elwha : A river and a vision restored / Tim McNulty
Dear Dulce / Jeremy Voigt
January 8, 2017, Antarctica / Elizabeth Bradfield
Diversity : A garden allegory / Camille T. Dungy
Hell bent on / Pam Houston
Togethering. November 2016, a view from the National Zoo / Deborah Fries
High-dollar papayas / John Lane
Unfold your love / Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Thoughts from an empty courtroom following the hung jury of a man tried for harboring migrants / Amy P. Knight
Letter to the future president / Steven and Sophie Church
Defying hatred / Scott Russell Sanders
Dear Soon-to-be-Sprout / Elizabeth Rush
The augury / Kimiko Hahn
July fourth / Catherine Venable Moore
Dear Katrina / Katrina Goldsaito
Dinner with America / Rick Bass
Acknowledgments and credits