Best Selling Books by Alison Swan

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release date: Jun 29, 2009
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The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape
The Saugatuck Dunes, on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan, are a refuge for wildlife and for people. In the early twenty-first century, the endurance of their grassy hills, forested ridges, and the cool river that winds among them is something of a miracle. This ever-changing land and seascape with its white beaches and shifting patterns of light has captured the imaginations of thousands of artists. The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape presents 85 artworks, including works by 31 contemporary artists, all of whom are dedicated to preserving the land that inspires their art, and by 10 of the late painters who walked the dunes before them. As you meander through the pages, you ll find yourself cultivating your own connection with the sand and sky, the wind and water, and the interconnected community of living things the Saugatuck Dunes have long been. All proceeds from sales of this book will support the work of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance, dedicated to protecting and preserving the character of this rare landscape.
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release date: Jul 19, 2006
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Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes

Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes is a collection of nonfiction works by women writers. These works focus on the Midwest: living with the five interconnected freshwater seas that we know as the Great Lakes. Contributing to this collection are renowned poets, essayists, and fiction writers, all of whom write about their own creative streams of consciousness, the fresh waters of the Great Lakes, and the region's many rivers: Loraine Anderson, Judith Arcana, Rachel Azima, Mary Blocksma, Gayle Boss, Sharon Dilworth, Beth Ann Fennelly, Linda Nemec Foster, Gail Griffin, Rasma Haidri, Aleta Karstad, Laura Kasischke, Janet Kauffman, Jacqueline Kolosov, Susan Laidlaw, Lisa Lenzo, Linda Loomis, Anna Mills, Stephanie Mills, Judith Minty, Anne-Marie Oomen, Rachael Perry, Susan Power, Donna Seaman, Heather Sellers, Gail Louise Siegel, Sue William Silverman,Claudia Skutar, Annick Smith, Leslie Stainton, Kathleen Stocking, Judith Strasser, Alison Swan, Elizabeth A.Trembley, Jane Urquhart, Diane Wakoski, and Leigh Allison Wilson.

release date: Nov 05, 2018
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Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction (Made in Michigan Writers Series)

Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction comes to us from twenty-three of Michigan's most well-known essayists. A celebration of the elements, this collection is both the storm and the shelter. In her introduction, editor Anne-Marie Oomen recalls the "ritual dousing" of her storytelling group's bonfire: "wind, earth, fire, water-all of it simultaneous in that one gesture. . . . In that moment we are bound together with these elements and with this place, the circle around the fire on the shores of a Great Lake closes, complete."

The essays approach Michigan at the atomic level. This is a place where weather patterns and ecology matter. Farmers, miners, shippers, and loggers have built (or lost) their livelihood on Michigan's nature-what could and could not be made out of our elements. From freshwater lakes that have shaped the ground beneath our feet to the industrial ebb and flow of iron ore and wind power-ours is a state of survival and transformation. In the first section of the book, "Earth," Jerry Dennis remembers working construction in northern Michigan. "Water" includes a piece from Jessica Mesman, who writes of the appearance of snow in different iterations throughout her life. The section "Wind" houses essays about the ungraspable nature of death from Toi Dericotte and Keith Taylor. "Fire" includes a piece by Mardi Jo Link, who recollects the unfortunate series of circumstances surrounding one of her family members.

Elemental's strength lies in its ability to learn from the past in the hope of defining a wiser future. A lot of literature can make this claim, but not all of it comes together so organically. Fans of nonfiction that reads as beautifully as fiction will love this collection.

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release date: May 01, 2015
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Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula
How does place impact prose? Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula explores that very question, drawing on the work of Upper Peninsula authors past and present to create a vibrant kaleidoscope of voices and experiences. Bame-wa-wa-ge-zhik-aquay, Janet Loxley Lewis, Lorine Niedecker, Catie Rosemurgy, and thirty-one other authors important to the region appear in this exceptional and diverse volume. In poetry (“Spring” by Beverly Matherne, “For Those Who Dream of Cranes” by Elinor Benedict, and “Skin on Skin” by Sally Brunk), short fiction (“North Country” by Roxane Gay, “For the Healing of All Women” by April Lindala, and “Winter Mines” by Sharon Dilworth), and novel excerpts (from Once on This Island by Gloria Whelan, South of Superior by Ellen Airgood, and Dandelion Cottage by Carroll Watson Rankin), the unique character of the U.P. materializes on the page. The book also shines a spotlight on powerful emerging voices such as Lisa Fay Coutley, Charmi Keranen, and Saara Myrene Raappana. The first of its kind, this is an anthology for all seasons, an homage to the rich literary heritage of the region.
release date: Jun 18, 2021
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Dog Heart
Dog Heart is the first poetry collection by award-winning writer Alison Swan. This lovely chapbook of ten linked poems immerses the reader in Swan's finely drawn images of the Great Lakes and their rugged shores where dunes disappear into woodlands.
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release date: Jun 18, 2021
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Before the Snow Moon
Before the Snow Moon is the second poetry collection by award-winning writer Alison Swan. In this collection, Swan explores an essential contemporary question: How can humans reconcile their unavoidable capacity for consumption and destruction with their admiration of nature? In these poems, Swan answers this question by exploring her evolving relationship with the natural world, examining what it means for her as a young girl to be "green and traveling" to the present day, where she calmly asserts, "I've been stepping as lightly as I can." This evolution of consciousness reveals one of the foundations of Swan's poetry: it is in constant conversation with the environment and human interaction with the environment.
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