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For Immediate Release
October 2, 2006
Contact: Jon-Mikel Gates, 802-295-6300, ext. 111, [email protected]
The Poetry of a Salt Marsh
Tim Traverís remarkable book Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh (October 2006) melds together the poetry of our best travel writing with moving memoir and the hard science that has been the authorís obsession since his New England childhood on the shores of Cape Cod. In Sippewissett we find an odd but seductive item: the biography of a salt marsh. Traver expertly interweaves science, history, and memoir creating a rich story grounded in the ebb and flow of the tides, the hatches, the spawning runs, and the challenges of a threatened ecology.
Akin to classics like Aldo Leopoldís A Sand County Almanac and Annie Dillardís Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Sippewissett eloquently binds ecology and memory, science and art and thus transforms a simple salt marsh into a single living, sentient organism whose past, present and future flow together in the shifting waters and building layers of mud and silt. Traverís engaging style puts you in the water with the eelgrass, the reader feels the cool mud on a clam hunt.
Traversís connection to Sippewissett runs deep. His children are the fourth generation to spend summers on this strip of Cape Cod marsh. He introduces us to the peopleóliving and long passedówho shape the marsh and call it home. There is the Oyster Lady who chases an oyster-poaching young Traver off her property, the captain of the Possessor who took his own life as the striped sea bass populations dwindled, the real estate agent who wants to make marsh roads private, and the scientist studying nitrate levels in the mud. Their stories, along with Traverís own family history, give Sippewissett richness beyond traditional nature writing.
Readers will delight as the story alternates between remembrances of the salt marsh and the history of Sippewissett, a place that has been studied by Americaís great biologists, from Louis Agassiz to Rachel Carson. Traver delves into the natural history and science of the place while keeping an eye on the present reality of life on the salt marshóthe struggle between conservation and the ecological fallout from industrial progress.
Tim Traver holds a masterís degree in environmental science from Yale University. He is a freelance travel and science writer and has had a column in the Providence Journal and Falmouth Enterprise. He works on issues of land use, wildlife management, open space protection, and environmental education and is past executive director of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Upper Valley Land Trust and past director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Traver lives in Taftsville, Vermont, with his wife and three children.
Available October 2006 | Hardcover | $22.50 | 1-933392-14-2 | 5 5/8 x 8 5/8, 264 pages