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David K. Leff


David Leff 2015

David K. Leff is an essayist and poet and former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. His work focuses on the surprisingly intimate relationship of people to their built and natural environments.  His nonfiction book, The Last Undiscovered Place (University of Virginia Press, 2004) was a Connecticut Book Award finalist.  He is the author of two other nonfiction books, Deep Travel, (University of Iowa Press, 2009) and Hidden in Plain Sight, (Wesleyan University Press, 2012).  His poetry collections are The Price of Water (Antrim House, 2008), Depth of Field (Antrim House, 2010), and Tinker’s Damn (Homebound Publications, 2013).  His latest book, Finding the Last Hungry Heart (Homebound Publications, 2014), is a novel in verse about the confluence of the present and the 1960s.  Maple Sugaring: Keeping it Real in New England, about the culture of producing this unique food, is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in October 2015.  Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash: Thoreau, Love, and Survival of the Wild, a memoir about a backcountry river trip, is due out from Homebound Publications in 2016.  His work has appeared in the Hartford Courant, The Wayfarer, Appalachia, Yankee, Connecticut Woodlands, Connecticut Coastal, Canoe & Kayak, and The Encyclopedia of New England and elsewhere.

David is a trustee of Great Mountain Forest in Norfolk, Connecticut and on the Collections Steering Committee of the Connecticut Historical Society.  He has served on the boards of the Riverwood Poetry Series, Connecticut Forest and Park Association, the Connecticut Maple Syrup Producers Association and Audubon Connecticut.   He has taught nature poetry at the famed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and elsewhere.  David has been a contest judge for the Connecticut Poetry Society and given poetry readings at venues throughout the state.  He has lectured on environmental and historical topics, the craft of writing, and other subjects on college campuses, at conferences, for annual meetings and at other events.  David is the town meeting moderator and town historian in his hometown of Canton, Connecticut where he also served 26 years as a volunteer firefighter and in other civic activities.

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