Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food (Paperback)
"Radical, before it meant a person who advocates strong political reform, meant getting to the root of things, the origin. It comes from the Latin radix, radicis, meaning radish, a root vegetable."--BK Loren Winner of the Colorado Book Award, these meditative essays range in subjects from a transcendental encounter with a pack of coyotes ironically juxtaposed with her neighbor's claim that nature "has gone out of vogue," to Loren's mother's slow yet all-encompassing deterioration from Parkinson's, and the unexpected way the Loma Prieta earthquake eroded her depression by offering the author a sense of her small place in a wild and worthwhile world. Loren has an empathetic and gentle approach to the world. In detailing the intricacies of human relationships and consciousness--fear of death and time, cooperation born of clashing viewpoints, tradition's beauty even when destructive, a love of language, a sense of loss amid the fast-paced materialistic world--she peels back the film of popular thinking in order to expose herself to the secrets so few of us ever see.
About the Author
BK Loren has worked as a naturalist, assistant chef, ranch hand, furniture maker, UPS driver, college professor and many other things. She attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop and currently teaches writing at Chatham University's low residency program, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and other venues throughout North America. She is a winner of the Mary Roberts-Rinehart National Fellowship and also the author of the novel, Theft. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes three times. Loren lives with her partner, two dogs, and two cats in Colorado.
Praise for Animal, Mineral, Radical
"These essays are nurtured by a wisdom that shifts effortlessly from the evolutionary long view to the tragicomic flotsam of everyday life. Loren's prose style is measured, lyrical, carefully wrought, yet also open to sudden swift martial arts kicks. A beguiling collection." Phillip Lopate
Wise, intuitive, often witty, at times shocking . . . Animal, Mineral, Radical is a lyrical exploration of the timeless themes of nature, mortality, love and familybut most importantly, it is the frank, forthright voice of a writer who sees the world clearly and brings fresh insight to what it means to be human in a sometimes dark and challenging world.” Kristen Iversen, author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats
"BK Loren has burst onto the Western literary scene like some Rocky Mountain angel of sense-making in these terribly upside down times. These essays are not only compassionate, clear-seeing, beautifully made and tender towards the world and all of the creatures (including humans) who inhabit it, they are essential in that they remind us, on a gut level, what we are a part of. This landscape, this planet, this collective (un)consciousness. Read it to get mad/find hope/maybe change your life." -Pam Houston, author, Contents May Have Shifted