Camping in the Galaxy: Haibun and Other Writings about the Natural
by Helen Ruggieri
Wood Thrush Books, 2019
144 pages, paperback
Camping in the Galaxyis a collection of haibun – compact prose pieces accompanied by haiku – and well-crafted essays that celebrate the natural world without turning a blind eye to the ravages of human impact. Helen Ruggieri cultivates a sense of place as she recounts life in the Allegheny bioregion of Western New York, both past and present, as well as her childhood in Pennsylvania coal country. She writes about Native Americans, deer, groundhogs, wild grasses, Zen gardens, small town life, river walking, maple trees, sunsets, the seasons and much more, occasionally dipping into folklore and mythology. The result is a blending of contemporary American culture with the beauty and wonder of nature that reveals an unspoken truth about the way we live.