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Sisters of the Earth: Women's Prose and Poetry About Nature

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Sisters of the Earth is a stirring collection of women’s writing on nature: Nature as healer. Nature as delight. Nature as mother and sister. Nature as victim. Nature as companion and reminder of what is wild in us all. Here, among more than a hundred poets and prose writers, are Diane Ackerman on the opium of sunsets; Ursula K. Le Guin envisioning an alternative world in ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published December 9th 2003 by Vintage (first published 1991)
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Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful collection that introduced me to many to authors!
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easily a top contender for best book read in 2017. This anthology truly opened up a new world of writing to me. I absolutely loved this book, which is a collection of nature writing by American women, mostly from the 20th century. It includes many unique pieces of writing from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, all with the overarching theme of the intersection of feminism and ecology - or, women seeking and finding communion with the natural world. In a moment of serendipity, I chos ...more
Tanya Sousa
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lorraine Anderson did a wonderful job collecting nature-related writings by talented women authors. I savored each page and loved the diversity of choices as I enjoy the diversity in life itself. I loved it so much I looked her up and sent her a message - she said she's coming out with other collections soon. When she does, I'll be sure to read them!
Beth Britnell
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my all-time favorite non-fiction book ... I absolutely love it. "Christmas in Driftwood Valley" especially ... I think I've read it probably 2 dozen times.
Rebecca Garcia
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
the back cover reads in part, "A stirring collection of women's writing on nature: Nature as healer. Nature as delight. Nature as mother & sister. Nature as victim. Nature as companion & reminder of what is wild in us all." this book is all that and more. it's a collection of pieces from more than 100 women poets, prose writers and authors who provide poems, essays, stories, & journal entries which span centuries. A wonderful addition to anyone's library with writers such as Emily Dickenson, Ali ...more
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Every author in this anthology has experienced a closeness to the natural world. The entries that speak most profoundly to me offer an experience of wildness in the midst of the ordinary, everyday world. Mary Donahue follows "a V of honkers" to the northland. I have often tried to imagine the world as it looks to flying geese. I wonder where they are going, what it would be like to fly with them. Judith Minty writes of "those cats of mine"; the enigma of living with a creature who is one moment ...more
Jan 22, 2009 marked it as to-read
So far, I am LOVING this book! A lovely collection of essays and poetry...perfect for when I can only read for 15-20 minutes. I will be exploring Helen Hoover's writing after finding her in these pages!
A lovely book with a mix of women's personal poetry and stories regarding earth and how women perceive her. Deep and moving, and without the aggressive writing like men tend to view the relationship with earth.
Deb Weina
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book of women's prose & poetry about the earth and wilderness. A woman's love for earth and her bookshelf should have this book!!! I refer to this jewel often. ...more
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book I highly recommend
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a quite different book from the kinds I usually read. Given to me by a good friend, it consists of short stories and poems about nature. The entries are written exclusively by women and give intimate reflections on everything from the smallest insects to large trees, small intimate spaces to vast vistas. It was not the kind of book I could sit down and be so absorbed in that I couldn't put it down, but it was a book of images of beauty and sometimes overwhelming power. I would recommend ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Favorites include:
-Valerie Andrews "Beginning with a place" (p4) from A PASSION FOR THIS EARTH
-Opal Whiteley "The joy song of nature" (p7) from THE SINGING CREEK WHERE THE WILLOWS GROW
-Zora Neale Hurston "Blossoming pear tree" excerpt from THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (p12)
-May Swenson "I will lie down" (p52)
-Celia Laighton Thaxter "Childhood on White Island" from AMONG THE ISLES OF SHOALS (p84)
-Barbara Meyn "Changing" (p294)
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am certainly adding this to my favorites list. I was delighted to see so many works from times long gone. I for some reason was under the assumption this was modern work only (I never read the description prior to picking it up). What a wonderful collection of writings. And Starhawk! I love her so.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I had to read this for a class I was taking in college. I enjoyed a lot of the different poems and authors yet this seemed like such an abridged greatest hits of what could be so much better. I did find a ton of fantastic poems though.
Penney Peirce
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An amazing compendium; to be treasured.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful collection.
Mary Banken
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A nice bedside compendium... tidbits to read as one settles in for the night. Interesting intro to authors. Perhaps a little overwhelming though with 100+ pieces in the book.
Aug 28, 2019 added it
I loved reading how women write about their relationship with nature.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
[read for school]
Sisters of the Earth: Women's Prose and Poetry About Nature is a veritable treasure trove of women's writing on nature. Lorraine Anderson did an outstanding job collecting a diverse group of writers who contributed poetry, prose, short stories and essays to the book. Her thoughtful and illuminating biographies that precede each work demonstrates her palpable attentiveness to each woman's voice. Sisters of the Earth contains this chorus of voices that include well-known writers to lesser known; I ...more
Tom Mueller
For a beautiful review, see:

In the book's acknowledgments, I read of a course offered by Stanford; "Women and Ecology", which gives me yet another inducement to pursue some 'non-degree seeking' course work.
Some of my favorite classical authors such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Rachael Carson and Willa Cather are among the more than 100 authors represented in Lorraine Anderson's compilation. Contempory authors include such stand-bys as Terry Tempest Willia
Tina Cipolla
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent! I picked up this book in the Yosemite bookstore. One could not ask for a better read on a weeklong journey through Yosemite. I found so many writers in here that I want to read more of, some I'm familiar with, some not, but I cannot think of a better trove of new material to read. Be prepared for the full gamut of emotions from joy, and sighs of delight straight on down to despair and rage and everything in between. This book is an emotional roller coaster but well worth th ...more
Gary Brooks
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First and foremost I love poetry and I even write a little myself. What i really enjoyed about this work was that it covers almost the complete diaspora of nature writing. From historical perspectives, animal welfare, activism to even the space age and our stewardship of our planet.
The description almost to microscopic detail of almost all natural biomes eg the Pacific northwest, Prairie and the Canadian wilderness.
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a treasure of deep ecology from the perspective of women writes from the early 1900's to today. This book is more pose than poetry but well worth exploring the authors that have observed nature, protested against its destruction and found nature as a means to heal.
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Reading for my Ecofeminist Literature class. Some good stuff, but a lot of it is just pulled from wherever, and there are many incomplete pieces. I prefer anthologies with complete essays/short stories, personally, so this didn't quite do it for me.
Alexandra Mergen
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book influenced me so much that years after reading it I interviewed the author, and women poets writing about the natural world, for this essay in Her Circle. ...more
Jul 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have to credit my sister-in-law Jennifer for finding this book for me.
It is a very centering book.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Worth the money just for Linda Hogan's additions. I've carried this book with me for years. One of those well-worn books that you always seem to go back to...
Kathy Kayser-konig
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of stories!!
Robin Ferguson
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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Lorraine Anderson is a freelance writer, editor, and teacher whose work focuses on encouraging a way of life in tune with nature.

She is the editor of Sisters of the Earth: Women’s Prose and Poetry About Nature and other works on nature.

She lives in Corvallis, OR.


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Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
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“Nature offers us a thousand simple pleasers- Plays of light and color, fragrance in the air, the sun's warmth on skin and muscle, the audible rhythm of life's stir and push- for the price of merely paying attention. What joy! But how unwilling or unable many of us are to pay this price in an age when manufactured sources of stimulation and pleasure are everywhere at hand. For me, enjoying nature's pleasures takes conscious choice, a choice to slow down to seed time or rock time, to still the clamoring ego, to set aside plans and busyness, and to simply to be present in my body, to offer myself up.

Respond to the above quote. Pay special attention to each of your five senses as you describe your surroundings. Also, you need to incorporate at least one metaphor and smile in your descriptions.”
More quotes…