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Far from a doom and gloom autopsy of the contemporary environmental crisis, ‘Awakening’ indulges in fun. From the craziness of shipping bottled water 6,000 miles, to how bacteria evolves for a counterattack, this collection laughs at humanity’s war on nature. After reading Love’s poetry, you will never look at nature in the same way.
"Sam's musings on planetary survival emerged out of his pioneering work in the civil rights and environmental movements a half century ago, but have not stopped deepening. May the awakenings which have come to this big-hearted poet ripple out to transform our entire society, for Sam Love has become our modern-day Walt Whitman, a beam of light in this moment of darkness."
- Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, Author and Research Scientist on Southwestern Borderlands Food and Water Security at the University of Arizona.
“I generally find contemporary poetry overly pretentious, and intentionally opaque, but Sam’s poetry is lucid and provocative. Fifty years ago, as one of the first Earth Day regional organizers, Sam played a key role in Earth Day’s mobilizing millions of people. Now Sam writes beautifully of environmental shame and hope.”
- Denis Hayes, President of the Bullitt Foundation and National Coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970.
"Thankfully, despite the catastrophic subject matter there is room for levity too, most often when Love turns to sex. He weaves in pithy witticisms throughout the collection (Manure is ‘the Viagra of the soil world’) and on occasion allows the theme to dominate a poem. Nature’s Bacchanal is the tale of ‘X-rated cicada dreams’ giving a ‘new meaning to a quickie.’ Spermageddon tackles falling sperm counts with targeted waspish humour.
Though the focus remains on serious issues, these lighter moments are a necessity throughout the first three quarters of the collection. In segments covering ‘Awakening’, ‘Origins’ and ‘Impacts’ we gain an unsettling insight into the plight of the planet, and the role we all play in perpetuating it. The final instalment, ‘Recovering Hope’, offers respite."
- Mad Hatter Reviews