Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California is an anthology containing more than 250 poems about California ecosystems. The book is divided into eight sections corresponding to habitats: (1) Coast and Ocean, (2) Coastal Redwoods, (3) Hills and Canyons, (4) Fields and Meadows, (5) Desert, (6) Rivers, Lakes, and Lagoons, (7) Sierra Nevada and Cascades, and (8) Cities, Towns, and Roads.

The anthology includes Foreword by California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Introduction by poet and scholar Jack Foley, and poetry by 149 contributors including Ellen Bass, Christopher Buckley, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Camille T. Dungy, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Rebecca Foust, Dana Gioia, Rafael Jesús González, Emily Grosholz, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Jane Hirshfield, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gary Snyder, and David St. John.


  • California is the most biologically diverse state in the country and one of the most diverse areas in the world, with a unique variety of landscapes and climates comprising 8 major ecological zones.
  • Why are California ecosystems important to and celebrated by so many people from the U.S. and around the world?
  • The 2017 and 2018 wildfires caused historic levels of destruction to CA’s ecosystems; what is being done to help save and prevent future damage there?
  • What are things the public can do now to help save California’s many ecosystems?
  • California tourism grew for a 7th consecutive year in 2017; what qualities of ecologic wonderment and vitality found uniquely there help motivate people to visit California?
  • In Fire and Rain, California ecopoets contribute a valuable and sustainable body of poetry that is simultaneously environmental and environmentalist; how does this anthology demonstrate this and why is this collection of poetic eco-voices so crucial to our times?


Lucille Lang Day, coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, has published 10 poetry collections and chapbooks, including Becoming an Ancestor and Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems. She is also a coeditor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California and the author of two children’s books, Chain Letter and The Rainbow Zoo, as well as a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and her many honors include the Blue Light Poetry Prize, the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, two PEN Oakland Awards, and nine Pushcart Prize nominations. The founder and director of Scarlet Tanager Books, she received her BA in biological sciences, MA in zoology, and PhD in science/mathematics education at the University of California, Berkeley, and her MA in English and MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University.

Ruth Nolan, coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and a widely published writer/scholar whose work focuses on California’s deserts, is a former wildland firefighter for the federal Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert District. A professor of creative writing at College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California, she has received a Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Fellowship and a California Writers Residency Award. She is the author of the poetry book Ruby Mountain and essay collections California Drive and Notes from the Gateway to Death Valley, and editor of No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of California’s Deserts. Her short story “Palimpsest,” published in LA Fiction: Southland Stories by Southland Writers, received a 2016 Editor’s Reprint Award from Sequestrum Magazine and was nominated for a 2016 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She holds her MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside.

PRAISE FOR: Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California

Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, edited by Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan, is not only a beautiful and thorough anthology but an homage to California, its variety of landscapes, and the amazing poetry it has evoked. Like no other collection in its focus, it presents for the reader experiences of life and personal perspectives on the region while also providing an invaluable resource for teachers of creative writing and literature and the ecology, habitats, and species of the state.” — Pattiann Rogers, recipient of the John Burroughs Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Nature Poetry

“The battles environmentalists fight on land, in the legislatures, or in the courts are won or lost first in the human imagination, and the range, depth, and vitality of this selection of poems will take the imagination by storm. As Steve Kowit says in his poem ‘Raven’: ‘Forgive me, / sweet earth, for not being shaken more often / out of the heavy sleep of the self. Wake up! / Wake up! scolds the raven, sailing off / over the canyon. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!’ These poems will indeed wake us up.” — Malcolm Margolin, founder of Heyday and author of The Ohlone Way

“I went back to soulful, pristine, early James Taylor to make sure I was feeling the wet, cleansing urgency of Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan’s burning anthology. Anthology, ecology, mythology, and all the ‘ologies’ boil down to four-letter words—sacred kissing cousins—love and life. When I pull out Day and Nolan’s tarnished gold drawers of poetry and stories, I bask and bathe. My heart thumps. All over our world, we shiver and melt. ‘I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.’” — Al Young, California Poet Laureate, 2005-2008

“Day and Nolan have done a considerable service to select and gather these poems. Their ample anthology provides a generous record of California poets’ love and concern for their common world. What more important theme can we in this golden land share?”  — from the Foreword by Dana Gioia, California Poet Laureate

“A captivating and visceral portrait of the California landscape by a talented cast of poets.”  — Kirkus Reviews