Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name

Creative Writing (Poetry)

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Sean Hill

Commitee Members

Keetje Kuipers, Mark Sundeen


poetry, eco-poetry, Anthropocene, animals, nature, farming


University of Montana

Subject Categories



Other Orchards is comprised of poems each suspect in their own way of those boundaries that might separate humans from nature, rural from urban, worker from scholar, or human from beast. Using the figure of the orchard, a kind of “false forest,” this collection studies the ways we map ourselves onto our work and the way work might inform an understanding of the self. Ultimately, these are poems that emerge from the seams of things—the shoulder of highway strewn with dead antelope, the feral apple tree lost to the woods, the farmer lost in their work, slowing becoming less and less distinguishable from the soil and fruit and birds. These poems bear necessary and tender witness to animals living and animals dying. They situate the worker as curious philosopher, daydreamer, and a student of an already-changed ecology, extolling the virtues of endurance, patience, pressing-on, adaptability. Here, the old tractor is as vital and lovely as the first blossom, the abandoned lamb as worthy of consideration as the vast, green wild.

Included in

Poetry Commons



© Copyright 2022 Sam B. Robison