Before There Was Before Cover.inddIn her title poem in Before There Was Before, Wendy Drexler says, “Let’s take a stab at the dark,”  a meditation on the beginning of the universe from its terrifyingly vast empty spaces to its first life-sparks. Ignited by the intensity of her gaze, those sparks flare into visions of our world—civilizations past and present, flora and fauna both rare and common, and moments of sorrow alongside moments of grateful plenitude. With a remarkable sureness of touch that comes from knowing the contours of words, she renders what being is.

—Jennifer Barber, editor of Salamander;  Works on Paper

This is all good stuff. Serious, playful, reverential, staccato, elegiac, timely, historical— and deeply personal—and all of it written in dark, light, and color.

—John Hanson Mitchell, An Eden of Sorts: A Natural History of My Feral Garden

Wendy Drexler’s Before There Was Before is that rare book that both ranges far, into the worlds of science, nature and art, and moves in close, examining her own particular human experience. Drexler takes us back in time to the Big Bang and projects us 7.5 billion years into the future. She thinks about birds and elephants, flies, beetles, crickets, chameleons. She imagines Monet and Cézanne, she listens to Schubert, looks closely at film, sculpture, paintings and photographs. The pressure of time and the consolations of intimacy, which animate these poems, carry over into the more personal poems, threading the wider vision to the tighter one. Relying always on carefully observed and imagined particulars, she parries the pressure of time with an insistence on living attentively, and we are all the better for it.

—Wendy Mnookin, Dinner with Emerson

For more information about this book, or to order a copy from the publisher, click here.

To purchase from Amazon, click here.

To purchase from Barnes & Noble, click here.


BuzzRubyAndTheirCityChicks-full-updatedFinalFrontCoverOnly (1)

Buzz, Ruby, and Their City Chicks is an illustrated and compelling nonfiction nature story for children ages 5 through 11. It recounts the saga of a widely watched pair of red-tailed hawks who raised and fledged three chicks from the fourth-floor ledge of an office building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2010.

Enhanced by vibrant color illustrations derived from actual photos of the birds taken on site by four acclaimed wildlife photographers, this story captures a hawk family’s daily perils, while illustrating Buzz and Ruby’s impressive parenting skills. The pair’s hard work echoes the patience and cooperative behavior of human parenting as Buzz and Ruby feed their hungry chicks, shelter them from sun and storm, and entice them to leave the nest.

Buzz, Ruby, and Their City Chicks also features an update on Buzz and Ruby—and the challenges urban hawks face—written by Paul M. Roberts, hawk expert and the director of the Hawk Migration Association of North America. A final section, two pages of discussion questions entitled What’s the Buzz? encourages young readers to think more deeply about hawks and to compare hawk behaviors with those of humans and other inhabitants of the natural world.

With enormous appeal and educational value for elementary-school children, this story can be read aloud to children as young as 4 or 5. Older children will enjoy reading on their own, studying the vibrant illustrations, and delving into the discussion questions.

Read it. You, too, will soar with these majestic birds.

To order Buzz, Ruby, and Their City Chicks from Amazon, click here.

To order from Barnes & Noble, click here.


drexlerIn Western Motel, Wendy looks at American life in the 20th century, from coast to coast, connecting what is disconnected, from the man on the wire who crossed the space between the World Trade Center towers to Janis Joplin in Monterey; and from the iconic destinations where ordinary life is conducted—gas stations, bowling alleys, diners—to the institutions of marriage and family, shaped and shaken by World War II.

For more information about this book, or to order a copy from the publisher, click here.

To purchase from Amazon, click here.

To purchase from Barnes & Noble, click here. 


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