At once joyous and sombre, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore's distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change. In her newest collection, Moore selects essays that celebrate the music of the natural world as a reminder of what can be taken from the yowl of wolves, tick of barnacles, laughter of children, shriek of falling mountains. Alongside these selections are brand new essays born from the sorrow and iniquity of this new age of extinction, all bearing witness to the glories of this world and the sins against it. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment to the determination to act. In Earths Wild Music, Moore reminds us that whatever is left of the planet after its pillaging is the world in which those who remain must live. Whatever genetic songlines, whatever fragments of whale-squeal and shattered harmonies are left, that's what evolution will have to work with. Music is the shivering urgency and exuberance of life on-going. In a time of terrible silencing, Moore asks, who will forgive us if we do not save the songs?
Kathleen Dean Moore is the author or co-editor of many books about our moral and emotional bonds to the wild, reeling world, including Wild Comfort, Moral Ground, and Great Tide Rising. She is the recipient of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Association Award and the Oregon Book Award, along with the WILLA Literary Award for her novel Piano Tide. A philosopher and activist, Moore writes from Corvallis, Oregon and Chichagof Island, Alaska.
– Finalist for the 2022 Oregon Book Awards
– A Chicago Review of Books Must-Read of the Month
"Ms. Moore sees and hears much, and she writes about it beautifully [...] With each new book – and the passage of years – Ms. Moore's view grows longer and wider, though it always brings the focus back to a vivid and vital sense of connection."
– Danny Heitman, The Wall Street Journal
"This book is a grounding and incisive read."
"While Earth's Wild Music explores the moral and psychological value of natural soundscapes, it is ultimately a book on what we lose in the face of climate change [...] Regardless of how we choose to engage, we all benefit from paying closer attention to the natural world. And in return, the world will sing just a bit more."
– Aaron Mok, Sierra
"A book for our times [...] The immediacy of Moore's writing is a joy. From her descriptions, you will think your ears are still ringing from that crack of thunder over the marsh – or that you were the one to experience the unnerving eyeshine of spiders. Every essay is a sortie into deep engagement with the natural world [...] Earth's Wild Music is a lamentation, an exaltation, an impassioned indictment and most definitely a call to action."
– Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Our Coast Weekend
"It is Moore's recognition of the music that lives on around us that makes this collection special. It's affirming to read someone who gives credence to the granular parts that compose the larger whole [...] This book's urgency lies in how Moore does bear witness to a disappearing world [...] We have an obligation to lift up the songs and stories of the powerless, the less privileged, and the silenced."
– Jonathan Dale, Chicago Review of Books
"Steeped in nature, brewing alternately with love and rage [...] Moore writes at the intersection of ode and alarm inhabited by the spirits of Mary Oliver and Rachel Carson."
– Lenora Todaro, Catapult
"Exceedingly knowledgeable, experienced, and expressive, this former philosophy professor shares tales of her adventures in the far north, prairies, woods, and beyond, all while emphasizing Earth's gloriously varied soundscape: the songs of birds, frogs, and whales; the calls of bats and wolves [...] Moore details all that we're losing to climate change, spiking gorgeously precise descriptions and dramatic tales of wildlife encounters with grim statistics about the escalating die-off of birds and other species, the 'great starving' underway in the oceans, and the ongoing destruction of forests and wetlands [...] We must prevent the looming silence, Moore asserts, by forming a chorus of voices raised in solidarity with all of Earth's wondrous and essential life forms."
– Booklist (starred review)
"A heartfelt plea to save nature's cacophony. In a series of essays, many previously published, nature writer and environmentalist Moore offers an ardent warning against the perils of climate change and species endangerment [...] An enthusiastic argument that love, care, and defiance may still save the Earth."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Taken together, the essays demonstrate the many ways in which a nature lover can celebrate and advocate for the beauty of Earth, even as it faces widespread, human-caused destruction."
– Amy Brady, Literary Hub
"Passionate, vivid and thoughtful, Moore's essays transport readers to the particular places she loves and urge them to pay attention to the parts of their own world worth loving and saving. Hers is a thoughtful, insistent, necessary voice in the ongoing conversations about how to treat the natural world."
– Katie Noah Gibson, Shelf Awareness
"An enchanting book, Earth's Wild Music draws the reader into the sounds of the natural world and provides inspiration to reverse their decline. Kathleen Dean Moore has a very special and authentic voice. A compelling and magical read."
– Thomas E. Lovejoy, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
"Kathleen Dean Moore rings the bell 'for every sacred emptiness, ' and the result is at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Earth's Wild Music is a love song to a vanishing world."
– Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sixth Extinction