The late W. S. Merwin said Akers’s nature poems are a “joy to discover” because they embody a “lost sense of the living world.” In Swerve, Akers celebrates the wild while facing climate change, extinction, and loss. These poems confront us with the many threats to our world, eventually guiding us through stages of grief towards hope and action.
The poems in Swerve give voice to the shock, fear, and desperation many feel about the Trump administration’s life-threatening policies. They meditate on the beauty of the non-human world. They champion women in the #MeToo movement who are empowering themselves and making vital changes.
Powerful and compassionate, Swerve is ultimately a call to activism, inspiring readers to “swerve” and demand a better world.
Ellery Akers ’s most recent collection of poetry is Swerve: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Resistance (Blue Light Press, 2020). She is also the author of Practicing the Truth (Autumn House, 2015), winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize, the San Francisco Book Festival Poetry Award, and an Independent Publisher Book Award for Poetry; Knocking on the Earth (Wesleyan University Press, 1988), named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News; and Sarah’s Waterfall (Safer Society Press, 2009), a children’s novel.