You Are Here

Poetry in the Natural World

“Lush with lyricism and striking imagery, these poems by Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and others contemplate seascapes, backyards, national borders, and built environments where life sings beneath the surface.”—POETS & WRITERS
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Published in association with the Library of Congress and edited by the twenty-fourth Poet Laureate of the United States, a singular collection of fifty poems reflecting on our relationship to the natural world by our most celebrated contemporary writers.  

For many years, “nature poetry” has evoked images of Romantic poets standing on mountain tops. But our poetic landscape has changed dramatically, and so has our planet. Edited and introduced by the twenty-fourth Poet Laureate of the United States, Ada Limón, this book challenges what we think we know about “nature poetry,” illuminating the myriad ways our landscapes—both literal and literary—are changing.

You Are Here features fifty previously unpublished poems from some of the nation’s most accomplished poets, including Joy Harjo, Diane Seuss, Rigoberto González, Jericho Brown, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Paul Tran, and more. Each poem engages with its author’s local landscape—be it the breathtaking variety of flora in a national park, or a lone tree flowering persistently by a bus stop—offering an intimate model of how we relate to the world around us and a beautifully diverse range of voices from across the United States.

Joyful and provocative, wondrous and urgent, this singular collection of poems offers a lyrical reimagining of what “nature” and “poetry” are today, inviting readers to experience both anew.

Learn more about You Are Here and all of the contributors here. 

Publish Date
8.5 × 5.5 × 1 in
13.6 oz

Ada Limón

Ada Limón is the twenty-fourth U.S. Poet Laureate as well as the author of The Hurting Kind and five other collections of poems.

Praise and Prizes

  • “Whoever you are, you will find yourself and your own world in the expansiveness of this collection. Even in the specificity of each poet’s own inimitable experience, you will find your own voice and your own perceiving self, for the natural world includes us and enfolds us all.”

    Margaret Renkl, New York Times
  • “Lush with lyricism and striking imagery, these poems by Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and others contemplate seascapes, backyards, national borders, and built environments where life sings beneath the surface”

    Poets & Writers
  • “The expansive You Are Here surveys both the landscape of the natural world and the landscape of contemporary poetry. Pastoral witness neighbors environmental concern; established talents neighbor emerging voices; lakes and forests neighbor pools and cemeteries. Dear gardeners, bookworms, lumberjacks, cartographers, bird-watchers, scholars, students, poets, and general readers: You Are Here will leave you more attuned to the textures of countryside and country. Language and land become a capacious singularity in Ada Limón’s superb compilation.”

    Terrance Hayes
    author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
  • “The poets in this collection share the richness of their breathing. Rich with noticing, rich with longing, rich with grace, their breath—preserved in poems—become our breathing. The gift here is the true scale of our breath, an interspecies, planetary scale. The scale of gratitude. I am so glad you are here.”

    Alexis Pauline Gumbs
    author of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals
  • “A gorgeous collection that captures the bittersweetness of being alive on this planet today. Each poem is a prayer, an elegy, a celebration of the world and our place in it.”

    Laurel McCaull
    Green Apple Books & Music, San Francisco, California
  • “A beautiful cross between a Mary Oliver chapbook, and the kindness poetry anthologies edited by James Crews. There are famous names here but also new ones I was happy to discover, all beautifully evoking specific and unique spots in nature for reflection. The introduction by Limón is poetry itself. A perfect poetry collection to have at hand as we move into the growing season.”

    Deb Wayman
    Fair Isle Books & Gifts, Washington Island, WI
  • “Ada Limón has an accomplished ear, and in this collection of nature poetry, she gathers poets who know all the ways poetry is for everyone–a collection that is at once a conversation and a chorus and a call to stay in love with and care about the planet. The title comes from the phrase on maps that orient us to our surroundings, so we know where we are and where we can go, and which perfectly encapsulates Limón’s vision for this work. If you like poetry and just being outside, pick up this volume.”

    Jennifer Martin
    Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
  • “I loved this sparkling, invigorating curated collection edited by Ada Limón, our 24th Poet Laureate of the U.S. It is an homage to the natural world and all it can mean to we humans who have been graced to live within it. The poems selected for inclusion are appropriate for reading by experienced poetry lovers as well as by those who are just beginning to learn to appreciate the art of poetics. Surely you are one of these readers.”

    Linda Bond
    Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane WA
  • “Contemporary American poets were asked to reflect on their relationship to the natural world in this evocative anthology of poems edited by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón … The poems range from meditating on planting flowers in a garden to flora and fauna in parks and the wild, and express how each poet has their unique—frequently surprising—relationship to nature.”

    Seattle Times, “6 books to check out this spring”
  • “This beautifully curated anthology of 50 previously unpublished poems challenges preconceptions about ‘nature poetry’ as it meditates on humanity’s relationship to the planet … This collection stands apart for the strength of its entries and the breadth of its superb meditations on a pressing theme.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “Nature is the unifying theme of this poetry anthology edited by current U.S. poet laureate Ada Limón, who was born and raised in Sonoma County. Each featured poet, including Joy Harjo, Paul Tran, Rigoberto González and more, is invited to tangle with their local landscape to produce previously unpublished work.”

    San Francisco Chronicle, “22 new works to energize your spring reading”
  • “Whatever you think ‘nature poetry’ is, you might be surprised by this collection. Each poet writes about their local landscape in new and sometimes unexpected ways, showcasing a diversity of methods with which to interact with the natural world. It’s a slim but powerful volume of poetry that demands you slow down, stop, and immerse yourself in the natural world, if even just for a few minutes.”

    BookRiot, “8 New Science Books to Look For in Early 2024”
  • “Ada Limón commissioned some of the finest poets of our era to write to perhaps the most pressing issue of our time, in an anthology that is uniformly intimate, if diverse in subject matter…. This collection will speak to those who love contemporary poetry and those who don’t yet realize they do, as well as all who care about our natural world, and our place within it…. This collection is superbly designed for multiple audiences: nature lovers, poetry mavens, casual readers, or even as a generative teaching tool.”

    Mandana Chaffa, The Brooklyn Rail