Over 25 years in the making, Headwaters: Poems & Field Notes shares a seasoned naturalist’s perspective on wilderness and imagination from time spent around the mountains and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. Weisberg’s poetry grows out of specific images and distinct moments gathered from the natural world. It celebrates green and misty landscapes and the wilderness they hold. The poems are an invitation to walk alongside a perceptive observer on rambles in the mountains, runs down the river and ruminations in desert canyons, investigating the ties that bind people and place.
Saul Weisberg is a poet, naturalist, educator and executive director of North Cascades Institute a conservation organization that connects people, nature and community by teaching at the convergence of natural and cultural history, science, humanities and the arts. Saul worked throughout the Northwest as a wilderness climbing ranger, field biologist, commercial fisherman and fire lookout before starting the Institute in 1986. Saul is adjunct faculty at Huxley College of the Environment and has served on the board of directors of the Natural History Network, the Environmental Education Association of Washington, and the Association of Nature Center Administrators. He is author of North Cascades: The Story Behind the Scenery and From the Mountains to the Sea: A Guide to the Skagit River Watershed. He lives with his wife Shelley in Bellingham, Washington.
Praise from the back of the original cover (quotes that were lost were retyped in making the book cover over for Print on Demand) –
Headwaters is a peaceful, joyous book. Its poems open my heart. Yes, every moment is a gift. Every bird, a blessing. —Kathleen Dean Moore
Headwaters drips with the waters of the wild, sings with the voices of thrush, wren and owl, dances with the butterflies. How wonderful to have Saul Weisberg’s long-awaited poems together in this handsome book — poems that are worshipful and wry, funny and askance, often sexy, and always perceptive. I am thrilled to have Headwaters at loose in the world at last. —Robert Michael Pyle
Make room in your backpack for the marvelously condensed wisdom of Headwaters: poems that are intricate as a snowflake, as simple as stone, and the very soul of an educational visionary who has spent his life in the high Cascades. Each of these mountain morsels smiles with gentle truth, and lingers on the mind with honest beauty. —William Dietrich
From the “ecstacy of conifers” and the “infinite ache of wood becoming wood” to rivers that “tremble in their sleep,” Saul Weisberg sees into the heart of the world, revealing all the ways we’re connected to this landscape and to each other. In spare, lyric poems and haiku-like field notes—each one a shining gem—he reminds us how to pay attention, giving us, in poem after poem, “directions to a place called home.” We would do well to listen to this seasoned wise voice. —Holly J. Hughes
Tony Angell –
The sensual poems of Saul Weisberg are powerful connections to the essential elements in nature that enrich and fashion our lives. With economy he fashions an invitation for us to join in the moment and become appreciative witnesses and his companion in nature. Lines such as “The river gathers friends on its way to the sea” and questions likes “What does it mean to become extinct?” challenge us to expand how we embrace and steward our natural heritage. —Tony Angell