Welcome to Love of Place. Most of my work celebrates our connection to the natural world.

Most recently, my Knocking on Heaven's Door is the winner in the category of science fiction in the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards and in the category of fiction in the 2016 Arizona Authors Association Awards. A number of reviewers have been enthusiastic, including the website Geeks of Doom, which makes me smile. Not many people know me as a geek of doom! But I am happy to embrace the complexity of my personality.

I'm also so pleased that Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World has been awarded the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing, as well as the 2014 WILLA Award for Creative Nonfiction from Women Writing the West.

My historical fantasy Teresa of the New World won the 2015 Arizona Authors Association Award for best Children's Literature and was a finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Children's Literature, the WILLA Award for Children's Literature, and the May Sarton Award for Children's Literature.

These are nice landmarks in a writer's life. I would be writing regardless--but, still, whew. It's good to have some encouragement.

Feel free to contact me at http://www.sharmanaptrussell.com or through my author Facebook page, Sharman Apt Russell.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Searching Out Teepee Circles

~ Ucross, Wyoming

It’s the second night we’ve come searching

and this time brought a map; found

psilocybin mushrooms, white tailed deer

and one jack rabbit. The alfalfa is all in bloom

and sagebrush deepens the air. The sky

a pink and gold fabric ~ when the stones

finally appear. Yep, the size of your average

teepee, Phillip brightly declares. But it’s Jason

who leads the way home; and one by one

we head to the depot ~ singing our souls off to bed.

Almost There, 5 AM

We wake early to watch the sunrise.

Walk route 195, with cups of coffee in hand.

Our bodies still tumbled by sleep.

In polka dots, pink plaids, and solids,

we are pajama beauty queens, delighted

by Erin’s delightful x-rated dream.

Golnar demands a picture, her smile

assures this babe anything. Whatthefuck?

she says; as Laura captures the cloudscape

with her consummate word: Amazing. What must

the cowboy see as he stumbles along

the highway ~ as a constellation of women

climb into the sky ~

each alive in her own vision ~

each a prophet ready to die ~

Ucross, Wyoming

After Watching A Sky of Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese

Today there’s nothing but this embrace

of world ~ winsome

and warm as a blank page,

a story’s sun-dried sheets.

Today I’m thrown into

a sky of snow, in narrative

circles, white psalms;

under fields emptied of crops

and knowing; what holds us

here, enraptured ~

klow wow, klow wow, klow wow?

May our desire rise like

notes from the crusts

of homemade pies.

May the tempo

hold like trumpeter swans

or snow geese ~ a forward

March formation, aural sash

of silk and grace.

In other words,

let my pleadings be

a pleasure to hear; a

Morse code of small requests.

Attentive lover, cash to spare, another Northwest year.


Susan Rich said...

Thank you for posting these Sharman. "Almost Home" and "Searching for Teepee Circles" were written while in residence at the Ucross Foundation. My first experience of seeing actual tumbleweed - although I don't think that made it to the poems.

Anonymous said...

Susan Rich, What a wonder to read your work. I can see why you've been to Ucross--you see in a way that opens my eyes. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Susan, for sharing these three poems. They added a measure of grace to my day, a deepening of this particular moment, moment of walking at 5 a.m. with a constellation of women, alive in my own vision, a prophet ready to die.
And such lovely images in After Watching a Sky! I felt my own desire rise, my own pleadings a pleasure, the freshness of this morning's summer rain at my house made fresher by your words.

Susan said...

It is the greatest pleasure of writing poems to know that my words have touched someone else so deeply. Thank you both ~ Susan