Ruth Nolan, a former wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert District and U.S. Forest Service, is a widely published writer/scholar whose work focuses on California’s deserts. Her new book of ecopoetry, After the Dome Fire, uses the aftermath of the 2020 Cima Dome Fire in the East Mojave National Preserve as a closely examined and imagined focal point to provide an autobiographical pulse of her life in the Mojave Desert, where she fought wildfires and, as a single parent, raised her daughter. These poems also take a deep look at the impacts, along with wildfire, of increasing human interferences with intact desert ecologies – such a solar industrialization, urbanization and tourism – and both celebrate the beauty and mourn the loss of pristine wildlands. Poems with titles such as “Mopping Up,” “Friendly Fire, “Escape Route” and “Ghost Flower,” along with photos taken by the author, puts readers in her hiking boots and takes them along for a hike down a rugged desert trail carved across a powerfully storied and evolving landscape.
The book is out September 5th and is available for preorder here. Check out the trailer below.