A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars

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Product Details
$20.00  $18.60
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author
Erin Sharkey is a writer, arts and abolition organizer, cultural worker, and film producer based in Minneapolis. She is the cofounder, with Junauda Petrus, of an experimental arts collective called Free Black Dirt and is the producer of film projects including Sweetness of Wild, an episodic web film project, and Small Business Revolution (Hulu), which explored challenges and opportunities for Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities in the summer of 2021. Sharkey has received fellowships and residencies from the Loft Mentor Series, VONA/Voices, the Givens Foundation, Coffee House Press, the Bell Museum of Natural History, and the Jerome Foundation. In 2021, Sharkey was awarded the Black Seed Fellowship from Black Visions and the Headwaters Foundation. She has an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University and teaches with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.
"A response to the absence of Black literature about attachment to the American landscape, [A Darker Wilderness is] a multigenerational dwelling place that is both internal and external. An abundance of relevant themes emerge: home as refuge, seeking freedom amid social oppression, gardens as healers, and the complex history of Black landownership . . . A well-curated assemblage of Black voices that draws profound connections among family, nature, aspiration, and loss."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A Darker Wilderness is a remarkable collection of essays regarding generational experiences of the natural world....Some essays are tender and quiet; others are forceful calls to action; still others uncover natural magic in unsuspecting places. Each is creative and revelatory."--Foreword Reviews, starred review
"In A Darker Wilderness, Erin Sharkey has created and assembled the most important anthology of this decade. Here, we sit and sift through the unexpected explorations of Black folk and the wonders of our experiences with woods. This book feels like a beautifully layered black forest that must be experienced."--Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy"This beautiful collection of essays offers thoroughgoing contemplations of the vexing, heartbreaking, miraculous, and wonderful questions of Black people and the land, Black people and the earth, which, as far as I'm concerned, are among the most important questions there are. I'm so glad, so grateful, to have A Darker Wilderness as guide and friend; I'm so glad we get to ask those questions together."--Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights"Reading A Darker Wilderness feels like walking down a dim urban street that turns out to have always been a sacred wood full of magic. The poets and creative nonfiction writers gathered here offer imaginative, ranging, and incisor-sharp reflections on Black experience in and with the natural world. Their words are incandescent and irreverent, alarming and lovely, poignant and honest. Their call to remember the land, name it, share it, and tend it, will ring out long after the last page has been turned."--Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake"What does it feel like to be left out? Black folk know. Largely absent from the narrative of what nature means to the environmental movement, the story of America's nature-noticing legacy is incomplete without our voices. From 1619 on, ghosting Blackness from the book of wild has been systemic. Herein, Black writers converge to tell the stories of wildness bent through Black prisms. Essential reading, no matter your color."--J. Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature