Firekeeper: Selected Poems


Selected Poems
“Poetry in service to humanity.” —BARRY LOPEZ
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Pattiann Rogers has built a reputation as one of America’s finest contemporary poets. Her writing—with its firm roots in science and the natural world—has been compared to Emerson’s and Whitman’s. She has written about motherhood, art, science, spirituality, and the tension between humanity and wildness.

Firekeeper presents the best work from Rogers’s career in one powerfully compact book, including such favorite poems as “Suppose Your Father Was a Redbird,” “The Hummingbird: A Seduction,” “Animals and People: ‘The Human Heart in Conflict with Itself,’” and “Rolling Naked in the Morning Dew.” This edition reflects the poet’s own selection from her work and was expanded to include poems from the five books published between the first release of Firekeeper in 1994 and this edition’s publication in 2006.

For both those well-acquainted with Rogers’s work and those only just encountering this poet for the first time, this is the book to have.

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.75 in
13.6 oz

Praise and Prizes

  • “A celebratory voice in American poetry; her descriptions of the physical world are at once rapturous and visionary; while other poets moan, she soars and sings.”

  • “If angels were to agree upon a language to describe creation, a tone of voice and a point of view that would adequately celebrate the divine, these would be the poems they would write. If this is not poetry in service to humanity, I do not know what is.”

    Barry Lopez
  • Firekeeper is poetry with a deep knowledge of the natural sciences, a profound spiritualism; it is poetry that seeks to commune with the reader, that is more concerned with being understood than with being formally innovative. But best of all, it is poetry that takes delight in exploring the natural world for its own intrinsic values. Simply put, after reading the poetry of Pattiann Rogers, the world is suddenly a much larger place.”

    Audubon Naturalist News
  • “An extraordinary reading experience … One can fault Pattiann Rogers’s poems only for being too constantly exuberant, fanciful and joyous… . While displaying her perpetually curious intelligence at play, Rogers shows her virtuosity—to marvelous effect—in exploring sensory perception.”

    Publishers Weekly
    *starred review*
  • “As one of the most delicate and spiritual of nature writers, Pattiann Rogers has observed how the earth changes and shapes the lives of individuals willing to learn from it. Her poems demand close reading as they unfold, layer upon layer, and embrace the reader into the natural cycles of life.”

    Bloomsbury Review
  • “While Pattiann Rogers’s vision is firmly rooted in nature, it would be reductive to call her a nature poet; her poems are gestures of a spirit that experiences the act of observation as religious, a ritual as vital as eating or drawing breath.”

  • “If you don’t read poetry, read Pattiann Rogers—and then you will. I love these sparkling, burrowing poems. They know no border between eroticism and death, sheer whimsy and utter gravity, the translucent spirit and the naked body, the sky and the everloving soil.”

    Robert Michael Pyle