Heather Durham grew up in New England, wandered widely, and now finds herself rooting firmly in the land of ravens and salmon, amidst the towering cedars and moody mists of the Pacific Northwest. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Virginia, a master of science in environmental biology from Antioch New England University, and a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Her essays have been published in a variety of literary journals and her first book, Going Feral: Field Notes on Wonder and Wanderlust, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in Nature writing.
After holding a variety of environmental jobs around the country from park ranger to restoration ecologist, field biologist to naturalist, Heather currently works behind the scenes at Wilderness Awareness School in the foothills of the Washington Cascades. When not working or writing, you are likely to find Heather reading other nature writers or wandering in a riverside cedar grove with a journal, field guide, and binoculars, hunting birdsong.
Visit Heather at www.heatherdurhamauthor.com
978-1953340429 | Trade paperback | List: $18.95
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In this memoir-in-essays, Durham melds her backgrounds in psychology and ecology to examine her relationships with resonant landscapes, animals, and human animals, and the myriad environmental, physiological, and cultural factors that inform those relationships. In lyric or more traditional personal essays, linear narratives or meandering musings, each exploration builds on the one before, quilting together a patchwork terrain of ruminations, insights, and ever more questions that comprise the examined life of an earthling.
Free-ranging with a pack of feral children on a suburban Connecticut farm; communing with water in the churning seas of the Atlantic, then Pacific, in New England lakes and Pacific Northwest rivers; stalking fire in sunshine, flames, and blood; learning the language of the birds; digging for roots and carving spoons; feeding raccoons, ravens, and ultimately herself; tracking bears, wolves and a gang of wild humans; Durham follows threads of consciousness, solitude vs. escapism, ecophysiology, spirituality, mental health, and the difficulties and rewards of connecting with all those outside our own skins. Wolf Tree invites readers on an intimate journey deep into the quiet heart of an interior landscape on a path that ultimately leads back to the vibrant richness of external communities.
“Wow. That is the word I spoke aloud over and over while reading Wolf Tree. Heather Durham’s new book is nine kinds of beautiful. Fearless, authentic, raw, glistening, intense, wondering, wandering, untethered, highly original. In Durham’s experiences we are called to know our own authentic selves through wild connection, and to bring our most meaningful presence to the earth-community. Wolf Tree is nothing short of stunning.”
–Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit
Wolf Tree is a richly textured mosaic that feels, as in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, like everything belongs despite the many distinctnesses. Through a striking, openly vulnerable, and deeply personal examination of many kinds of relationships runs a tension between solitude and community. As she travels between the unpredictable, often fraught company of other people and the balm of wilderness, Durham wonders, Where, and how, might I belong? In these pages, we are able to live those questions and their accompanying aches and pleasures. Like the sea glass Durham ponders, this book is a true gift. It has over many years been stirred and scratched, scoured and smoothed into a rare and beautiful thing glimmering with so much life.
–Derek Sheffield, Poetry Editor of Terrain.org and author of Not for Luck
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