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Central Valley native Kathryn Aalto explores the ethereal bond between woman and nature in Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World, a creative environmental anthology hitting shelves late June.
Aalto grew up in Escalon, a farm town flocked with almond orchards and berry bushes, where she and her imagination ran wild. Developing a lofty reverence for the great outdoors, she gravitated to nature in literature, particularly by American Renaissance authors. However, after realizing paragon writers who dominated the genre were all “dead, white guys,” as she described in a phone interview—Aalto decided to venerate diverse female voices in her own environmental literature.
Writing Wild features Aalto’s 25 essays on female visionaries who revolutionized society’s understandings of environment and gender. She highlights women who wrote in a time when walking alone was considered unseemly, insisting that “if you don’t give voices representation, then it’s like they didn’t exist.”
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Beginning with a striking exploration of the historically downplayed writings of Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of poet William Wordsworth, and ending with a contemporary analysis of climate scientist Elizabeth Rush, Writing Wild is a compilation of cutting cultural critiques alongside sensory imagery.
“I am like a field guide for readers,” Aalto explained. Committed to authenticity, Aalto visits the sites where these women would write, sharing her firsthand experiences with figurative finesse. “Above me, a sharp ping, ping, ping of a buzzard against the fingernail moon,” she vividly describes her climb at Scafell Pike, a muse for poets of the English Lake District, in the beginning of chapter one.
Writing Wild will be available at bookstores June 23, and it is available for preorder now at your preferred retailer. To learn more about Kathryn Aalto and her expertise, see kathrynaalto.com.