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A Hearth is a Kind of Home, Pleiades: Literature in Context

Happy to have another nature essay published, this time in the spring 2022 issue of Pleiades, “a literary biannual featuring poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews by authors from around the world.” This issue features a special folio of Latinx LGBTQIA+ Poets, so be sure to check it out!

Titled “A Hearth is a Kind of Home,” my latest piece is a romp around the notion of shelters grown/crafted/scavenged across the world, spanning everything from singing scallops and extinct ammonites to the longhouses of deposed despots and the communal nests of social weaver birds. Here’s an excerpt:

“…In the end, a home is forged through its inhabitation. Gravitas, Apollo & Associates may have accreted stardust into rocky orbs, but tenant quality is a chief reason why Earth remains magnetic while Mars rests rusty and derelict. Diligent renters like asparagus ferns and phytoplankton can infuse a space with literal feng shui regardless of placement, while members of the mycelial network are the most cleanliness-obsessed caretakers you will ever find, being matter-breaker-downers by trade. To be sure there are loud and noisy ones like howler monkeys and greengrocer cicadas, but no one minds, really, and they tend to throw the best block parties (the latter’s coming out celebration is always worth the seven years’ wait.) Besides, who can stay mad at flamingos and boreal chorus frogs and screaming hairy armadillos for being a bit raucous after lucking out in securing leases on a planet so lush, so oxygenated, so amenable to rewroughting?

This was a fun one to research and write, and a piece I hope to include in my upcoming essay collection titled Utter, Earth, which will be published by West Virginia University Press in Fall of 2023. Until next time!

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