Swerve: Poems on Environmentalism, Feminism, and Resistance

Ellery Akers (Author)
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The late W. S. Merwin said Akers's nature poems are a "joy to discover" because they embody a "lost sense of the living world." In Swerve, Akers celebrates the wild while facing climate change, extinction, and loss. These poems confront us with the many threats to our world, eventually guiding us through stages of grief towards hope and action.

The poems in Swerve give voice to the shock, fear, and desperation many feel about the current administration's anti-environmental policies. They meditate on the beauty of the non-human world. They champion women in the #MeToo movement who are empowering themselves and making vital changes.

Powerful and compassionate, Swerve is ultimately a call to activism, inspiring readers to "swerve" and demand a better world.

Ellery Akers is the author of three books of poetry. Her most recent collection is Swerve: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Resistance (Blue Light Press, 2020). She is also the author of Practicing the Truth (Autumn House, 2015), winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize, the San Francisco Book Festival Poetry Award, and an Independent Publisher Book Award for Poetry; Knocking on the Earth (Wesleyan University Press, 1988), named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News; and Sarah's Waterfall (Safer Society Press, 2009), a children's novel.

Product Details

Blue Light Press
Publish Date
January 24, 2020
5.98 X 0.18 X 9.02 inches | 0.27 pounds
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Praise for Swerve

"In the world we are in now, and the harrowing world to come, we need poems as guides, and as resistance to the forces that would corrupt and diminish us. For some time now, Ellery Akers has been crafting these necessary poems. Swerve is a book that confronts the primary issues of the 21st century with insight and candor, along with hope and courage."

--Joseph Stroud, author of Everything That Rises and Of This World: New and Selected Poems

"True and brave... I have just discovered a remarkable book."

--Kathleen Dean Moore, environmental activist and author of Piano Tide and Wild Comfort

Previous Praise for Ellery Akers

"Ellery Akers has the golden gift, with good profit to literature."

--The Washington Independent Review of Books

"Akers finds moments of utter mystery and terrifying beauty in the least expected and commonplace."


"With the passion and determination of an abuse survivor, the exploring mind of a naturalist, and the soul energy of a language-loving poet, Akers gives us not one truth, but layer on layer of overlapping truths...."

--Alicia Ostriker

"There is a kind of radiance in this book--earthy radiance--body light."

--Women's Review of Books

"Practicing the Truth is one of those rare books one can't stop reading. It's that good, that compelling."

--Dorianne Laux, about Practicing the Truth

" ...An intelligent and deeply political set of poems." --KIrkus Reviews