Fireproofing the WoodsCover-McKinney, Fireproofing the Woods
poems by Katy McKinney
74 pages: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Paperback: 978-1-937493-49-3
Price $15 + $4 Media Mail; $6 Priority

Katy McKinney grew up in Oregon and Alaska. After majoring in Elementary Education at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, she worked as a teacher for over 30 years, first in the Outdoor School programs of Oregon’s Washington and Multnomah Counties and then in the classroom, teaching 5th and 6th graders everything from long division to plate tectonics to dodge ball to poetry. She received her M.F.A. in Poetry from Pacific University in 2006, one of the members of their inaugural class. Since 1981, she has lived with her family in Trout Lake, Washington, at the base of Mt. Adams.

“It’s hard to know where to stop once you’ve started / keeping things alive,” McKinney writes in this wise and exacting collection of poems that resemble individual trees in memory’s own old-growth forest. Fireproofing the Woods chronicles a lifetime spent in the company of and in communion with nature. This lends it a patient, generative energy that mimics the reach of redwoods. Enter its canopy and find in its language refuge.”
–Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men

“There is an immense universe in this book, yet Katy McKinney has an ability to focus our attention on the most minute aspects of the natural world, like the worms in her worm bin, and then to take us flying across icy mountains in Alaska. The sadness of a sister’s death from cancer, conveyed partly by offering the sister’s own words, contrasts with a quiet joy that permeates the poems of daily life—gardening, singing, quilting, even clearing duckweed from a pond. There is a consistency of tending—not only to the seedlings in her care, but to the words she lays out on the page, sometimes in innovative shapes, sometimes formally in sestinas, and once in the stunning pantoum, “Learning Spanish Like Crazy,” where the good humor underlying all these poems perfectly matches the form.”
–Judith Barrington, author of Horses and the Human Soul

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