I’D RATHER BE LIGHTNING is a love song to the earth, celebrating what we stand to lose.
These poems are “throwing a tantrum” about the climate crisis, written by a “child / of imperialism whining about freedom / from the bondage of stuff.” What do you get when you combine capitalism, environmentalism, ecology, globalization, fascism, economic crisis, and global pandemic? Nancy Lynée Woo transmutes anxiety into dynamic and playful poems, writing into the absurdity of the global crises facing humanity with a soft wit, enduring hope, and deep love for the more-than-human world. Eco-feminism moving at lightspeed, I’D RATHER BE LIGHTNING captures a Millennial’s despair over environmental destruction with bolts of humor, compassion, and formal experimentation.
"Nancy Woo's I'D RATHER BE LIGHTNING is a necessary invocation. It's a handbook, spellbook, and remembered lucid dream to guide us in and through these times. Clear-eyed about the climate crisis while brimming with love for humans and more-than-humans, this debut collection is a powerful force of language and hope." —Tamiko Beyer
"I read the collection with care, afraid I’d miss a single gem about our planetary crisis, along with Woo’s wise and kind eye towards us flawed humans (‘Everyone you disagree with//is right in some way’), and the joie de vivre and optimism she offers us, alongside the great existential dread so beautifully depicted, in the playfulness of her poems."—Elizabeth J. Coleman
"Nancy Lynée Woo’s I’D RATHER BE LIGHTNING is a riotous and candid collection of ecopoems that traverse landscapes and species to tell the story of our changing world. She reports 'Earth’s problems are not getting/ any smaller.' While hope for humanity is ever-present in her work, Woo is in search of the 'eye of life' and isn't afraid to examine the irreparable damage to the Earth and its non-human inhabitants. Using bold language and body-level perceptions, Woo frankly reminds us, 'Just because you want to survive doesn’t mean you will.' —Jessica Gigot
Author WebsiteClaire Jussel @ West Trade Review
Nancy Lynée Woo is a poet, educator, and community organizer. Her first full-length poetry collection is I'D RATHER BE LIGHTNING (Gasher Press, 2023). She has received fellowships from Artists at Work, PEN America, Arts Council for Long Beach, and Idyllwild Writers Week. Nancy is the author of two chapbooks, Bearing the Juice of It All (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Rampant (Sadie Girl Press, 2014). She has published poems in numerous journals and anthologies, including Tupelo Quarterly, The Shore, Radar Poetry, and Stirring.