With intimacy and humour award-winning poet Ariel Gordon walks us through the streets of Winnipeg and into the urban forest that is, to her, the city's heart. Along the way she shares with us the lives of these urban trees, from the grackles and cankerworms of the spring, to the flush of mushrooms on stumps in the summer and through to the red-stemmed dogwood of the winter. After grounding us in native elms and ashes, Gordon travels to BC's northern Rockies, to Banff National Park and a cattle farm in rural Manitoba, and helps us to consider what we expect of nature. Whether it is the effects of climate change on the urban forest or foraging in the city, Dutch elm disease in the trees or squirrels in the living room, Gordon delves into our relationships with the natural world with heart and style. In the end, the essays circle back to the forest, where the weather is always better and where the reader can see how to remake even the trees that are lost.
Ariel Gordon is the author of two collections of urban-nature poetry, both of which won the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Recent projects include the anthology GUSH: menstrual manifestos for our times, co-edited with Tanis MacDonald and Rosanna Deerchild, and the third installment of the National Poetry Month in the Winnipeg Free Press project. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.