“Love can be, and sure enough is, moving in all things, in all places, in all forms of life at the same snap of your finger.”—Woody Guthrie
Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie said it first and best. This new anthology of poems and prose, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals, is proof of what love can be, as thirty acclaimed authors join together to champion life in all its forms. This is their gift to the world, not just the artistry of their words, but their vision of an extended community that includes cats, birds, frogs, butterflies, bears, dogs, raccoons, horses—a full-out menagerie of being that enriches us all.
This broad-hearted vision comes with responsibility, and that responsibility speaks to the mission of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, publisher of the book. The Kirkpatrick Foundation will donate all net proceeds of sales of this volume to animal charities in Oklahoma as well as honoraria donated to the contributors’ selected animal charities.
Authors featured in the collection are Julia Alvarez, Blake Bailey, Rick Bass, P. C. Cast, Wayne Coyne, Kim Doner, Delia Ephron, Reyna Grande, Joy Harjo, Amy Hempel, Juan Felipe Herrera, S. E. Hinton, Brandon Hobson, Dean Koontz, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jill McCorkle, Teresa Miller, N. Scott Momaday, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Orlean, Ron Padgett, Elise Paschen, Diane Rehm, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Wade Rouse, Alexander McCall Smith, Lalita Tademy, Clifton Taulbert, Michael Wallis, and Mary Logan Wolf.
Special contributions include:
* “The Cat,” one of the final original poems by the legendary Ursula K. Le Guin.
* A memorial tribute to Sudan, the last male white rhino, by former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
* An essay by noted novelist Alexander McCall Smith, who celebrates the whimsical link between baboons and opera.
* An essay on love, grief, and resilience by Peabody Award–winning journalist Diane Rehm.
* A classic, “Jubilate,” by Joyce Carol Oates. (synopsis from Amazon)
My thoughts, 4 stars
Love Can Be: A Literary Collection about Our Animals is a limited edition that consists of poetry, stories, memorials, and reminiscences by a wide ranging group of authors about animals. All net proceeds go to various animal charities.
There's a lot to enjoy in this collection. Most are bite sized and one or more could be read during a lunch hour, or while waiting on/for whatever or whomever.
The stories that stood out for me, and yes-made me smile through tears (which isn't ideal at work) were:
Dogly Prayers and Wishes by Jill McCorkle. Yep, made me cry while remembering my own past special dogs who came at just the right time, like lil angels.
Dog Memory by Susan Orlean really made me cry as it reminded me of my most recent loss, Tommy.
And last, but certainly not least, The Emperor Maxie by Diane Rehm. Who hasn't loved an ornery cantakerous pet?
Whether you buy to help out the charities, because you love animal stories or know someone who does, or any combination thereof, one or more of the offerings is sure to touch your heart.