Green Islands

by Ian Thomas

Green Islands, Poems from the Great Bear Rainforest by Ian Thomas
Cover Art: Dale Hitchcox

Green Islands, Poems from the Great Bear Rainforest

Ian Thomas

Green Islands presents a thrilling fusion of the finely observed and the visionary poetic. The poems here are precise in their location, exuberant in their images, and compelling in their strength. Thomas’s language, sinuous and surprising, is not imposed on the landscape but rather seems to rise from it like a blessing. In a voice reminiscent of Ted Hughes in River, Thomas immerses us in a world of presence, flow, and transcendence, where “A flower drifts from word to image and back again//for centuries.” Presumed distinctions dissolve in wonder: “Otters work part-time as rivers,” and we witness “the seething rivers of salmon that flow up mountains.” Green Islands is abundant with lines that keep ringing, in the mind and the body, long after they are read. Thomas invites us into wilderness, to know the sentience and wisdom of species not our own. He leads us to see our place in the world with humility and wonder, and to step toward some reconciliation with the natural world. He shares his joy in encounters with a nature that is flexuous, metamorphic, twisting itself into new forms. We discover with the poet “that song and life are no divided thing.”

Brian Day and Daniela Elza, from 2023 Raven judges’ citation

That one soul, a poet, celebrating non-human life forms of the West Coast wilderness, can bring such a depth of beauty to our human existence, is a rare and hopeful accomplishment. Ian Thomas writes us into a landscape of the wild, and, through some magic, we emerge changed. Our battered and bartered planet needs this book, to remind us of what is holy. 

Susan Musgrave, author of Exculpatory Lilies

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ISBN: 978-1-7781603-1-8 | POETRY | $22.95

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Ian Thomas
Author Photo: TJ Watt