In Vicki Graham’s poetry, close attention becomes gratitude, becomes beauty, becomes healing.
“In Vicki Graham’s poetry, close attention becomes gratitude, becomes beauty, becomes healing. Listen, I tell my friend, to what Vicki says about the cedar that splits its own heart. Remember, I tell myself, what she says about the thrush’s gentle question. The poems are more than beautiful. Like earthy aphorisms, they are wonderfully wise. I would follow her compass into the darkest forest, through the deepest grief.” —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Earth’s Wild Music
“Working in the tradition of Mary Oliver, W. S. Merwin, and Pattiann Rogers, Vicki Graham offers poems that reconnect us to the earth in the most immediate ways imaginable. She is not only a rapt observer of the natural world but also a poet whose lyrical alchemy transforms her experiences of nature into profoundly inspirational moments for us. Walking Barefoot is a redemptive walk from celebration to grief and back again, taken along an unmarked path whose beauty is simply breathtaking.”
—Michael P. Branch, author, Rants from the Hill and How to Cuss in Western
“In being present to the forest in its cycles of growth, destruction, and renewal, Vicki Graham finds an antidote to grief. Her careful perceptions and documentation in these poems celebrate nature’s boundless capacity to teach us how to love.” —Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Stairway to Heaven and A Woven World
“‘Begin with love, a composite / of science, art, imagination, / and the pure world of the senses.’ To this complex and difficult task, Graham brings a precise and evocative language. I am so moved by the courage and curiosity of these poems as they delve into the nature of scientific inquiry, the texture of grief, and the desire for fidelity with nature and place. Spending hours with these eloquent poems is akin to taking a long walk, barefoot and open-hearted, through a beloved but still mysterious landscape, encountering beauty, wonder, and insight at every turn.” —Charles Goodrich, author of A Scripture of Crows
Poetry. Environmental Studies.
Vicki Graham is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Alembic (finalist for the Minnesota Book Award), THE TENDERNESS OF BEES, and THE HUMMINGBIRD'S TONGUE. She has been writer in residence at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest and writer/witness of clear cutting at Shotpouch Creek, both through Oregon State University's Spring Creek Project. Professor of English and Environmental Studies at the University of Minnesota for many years, she now lives on a wild and scenic river on the southern coast of Oregon.