An essay by Kathryn Savage
August 2, 2022 • 5 x 7.75 • 128 pages • 978-1-56689-640-5
“Could there be something humbling and revolutionary in understanding myself as a site of contamination?”
Groundglass takes shape atop a polluted aquifer in Minnesota, beside trains that haul fracked crude oil, as Kathryn Savage confronts the transgressions of US Superfund sites and brownfields against land, groundwater, neighborhoods, and people. Drawing on her own experiences growing up on the fence lines of industry and the parallel realities of raising a young son while grieving a father dying of a cancer with known environmental risk factors, Savage traces concentric rings of connection—between our bodies, one another, our communities, and our ecosystem. She explores the porous boundary between self and environment, and the ambiguous yet growing body of evidence linking toxins to disease. Equal parts mourning poem and manifesto for environmental justice, Groundglass reminds us that no living thing exists on its own.
About the Author
Kathryn Savage’s writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, BOMB Magazine, and the anthology Rewilding: Poems for the Environment. Recipient of the James Wright Prize from the Academy of American Poets, she has received support from fellowships and residencies including the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Minnesota State Arts Board, Ucross Foundation, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. She lives with her family in Minneapolis and teaches creative writing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.