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Listen to a new poem inspired by Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Poet Sean Prentiss has shared a new poem, “World Grow Wild”, written during his time in residency at Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve.  Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve protects vast, carbon-rich forests and wetlands in Vermont and more than 39 miles of headwater streams. At 6,098 acres, it is the largest non-governmental wilderness area in the state of Vermont. This area also falls within Vermont’s only ‘Important Bird Area’ of global significance, according to Audubon and BirdLife International. Preserving a large core wilderness within a largely-managed landscape ensures birds like Winter Wrens and Blackburnian Warblers, who thrive in large blocks of old forests, continue to find good homes in the Green Mountain State. Sean’s poem boldly highlights the depth and wisdom of Nature when given the freedom to be wild.

“World Grow Wild” appears in the anthology, Writing the Land: Channels (McLoughlin, L. 2023. Northfield, MA: NatureCulture) produced as part of a series by Writing the Land, a collaborative outreach and fundraising project for land protection organizations, published by NatureCulture, a member of Northeast Wilderness Trust’s Business Alliance.

Through Writing the Land, poets use their art to help raise awareness of the importance of land conservation, ecosystems, and biodiversity. “Writing the Land is an attempt to honor nature and our relationships within it in a way that is as equitable and transparent as it is deep and entangled,” Lis McLoughlin PhD, NatureCulture CEO, said. “As poets and advocates, we declare our intention that the scope of this project be as inclusive—to humans and places—as we hope the mantle of protection that land trusts offer can be. Our work in writing the land will never be complete but rather gains strength, depth, beauty, and energy from a multitude of voices.”

Learn more about Writing the Land, where to buy past anthologies, about related projects from NatureCulture, and consider participating in NatureCulture’s free online Authors and Artists Festival with the theme of ReWilding November 4th and 5th, 2023. 

Artwork: Martin Bridge |

Film by: The Nature Imaginarium |

Photos by: Jerry Monkman |

World Grow Wild

by Sean Prentiss

These maples, beech, ash,

white pines, hemlock,

and birches through

photosynthesis inhale

carbon dioxide from our

humid air, fix it to their sugars,

release oxygen,

converting carbon into

their living being,

into their growing biomass

till they die, rot,

fall to the slopes of

Woodbury Mountain.

There is no better

carbon capture technology

in the world

than these trees slowly sinking

roots into soil,

slowly reach toward

our sky, leaves blooming

out in greedy grabs

for all the carbon

we would love to rid

ourselves of.

All we need to do is step aside

and let this world grow wild.

A view of Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve by Jerry Monkman