What We Were Born For
WINNER OF THE 2021 BLUE LIGHT BOOK AWARD.
"THIS IS THE BOOK I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. For years. Emilie Lygren writes essential, elegant poems that help us live our lives and apprehend with deepest gratitude all the gifts surrounding us."
-Naomi Shihab Nye
"This voice is a wild spirit disguised as human, schooling in us advantages of feral thought, wilderness virtues, the intuitive aptitude that lives within us. Read these poems and feel it awaken in you, in a realm where bees "speak the names of next year's seeds," and "the place you shine is inside." Again and again, you will be taken to the peak, to see why you are here."
-Kim Stafford, author of Singer Come from Afar (Red Hen Press, 2021)
"In What You Were Born For, Emilie Lygren's poems ask us to look closely then shift our perception wider -- from termites flying out of a tree stump to one's own birth, from tools to our inevitable mortality, from sea glass to islands engulfed by sea level rise. As the poems bring us into communion with each other and with the natural world, they also interrogate the constructed world of patriarchal power, perfectionism, and profit. With wonder and play, the poems call us into the wildness of our bodies and call our bodies into the earth to be reborn as seeds. As we reckon with racial violence and global pandemic, these poems offer us a window into our own renewal."
-Tehmina Khan, poet and teacher, City College of San Francisco
Emilie Lygren is a writer, outdoor educator, and facilitator who believes that poetry can change the world. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Geology-Biology from Brown University and has over a decade of experience as a writer and as an outdoor science educator. Emilie has developed dozens of publications and curricula focused on outdoor science education and social-emotional learning through her work at the award-winning BEETLES Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She's also done stints as a kitchen manager, life coach, barista, mentor for teens, and event organizer. Emilie's poems have been published in Thimble Literary Magazine, The English Leadership Quarterly, and Solo Novo, among others. In writing and teaching, Emilie centers awareness and curiosity as tools to bring people into deeper relationship with themselves, their communities, and the places they inhabit.