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Cascadia Field Guide

About the Book

2024 Pacific Northwest Book AwardsBanff Center for ARts and CreativityPacific Northwest Booksellers Association

Cascadia Field Guide brings together art, poetry, and stories holding scientific, sensory, and cultural knowledge to celebrate and illuminate Cascadia, the bioregion stretching from Alaska’s Prince William Sound to Northern California and from the Pacific Coast to the Continental Divide. Organized into 13 communities, this guide includes entries for beings such as Cryptobiotic Soil, Western Thatching Ant, Giant Pacific Octopus, Sitka Spruce, Common Raven, Hoary Marmot, Idaho Giant Salamander, Snowberry, and 120 more.

Both well-established and new writers are included, representing a diverse spectrum of voices, with poems that range from comic to serious, colloquial to scientific, urban to off-the-grid, narrative to postmodern. Likewise, the artists span styles and mediums, using classic natural history drawing, form line design, graffiti, sketch, and more.

Dubbed a “feel guide” by J. Drew Lanham, a “gift” by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a “romp” by Ray Troll, and a “wonder” by Ross Gay, this collection offers readers a powerful new way of connecting—with heart and mind and body—to place.

An Ecology of Story, Art, and Poem

Hoary Marmot

Selected Reviews

“…a love story masquerading as a field guide…..Whether you have a longstanding love affair with Cascadia or are new to its charms, this field guide is a fresh and intimate illumination of the extraordinary place we call home.”
Cascadia Daily News

“There is so much more about birds and bears, slugs and herbs, and fish, lizards and crabs; all bound together in this ecological masterpiece aiming to meld art and science.” Five-Star Review.
San Francisco Book Review

“The expansive region might seem too vast and diverse to easily summarize, yet authors Elizabeth Bradfield, CMarie Fuhrman, and Derek Sheffield have managed to seamlessly capture the wildness, wonder, and beauty of the bioregion in this book.”
425 Magazine, “A New Field Guide’s Enchanting Look at the Cascadia Region”

“Here is a literary field guide that merges fact with art and verse to impart a sense of the bioregion known as Cascadia. Here text flows around images of its inhabitants: Map Lichen, Sword Fern, Tufted Puffin—all capitalized to acknowledge the intrinsic merits of their respective namebearers. Space is made and held not only for contributors and readers, but also for the entities and the worlds they are bound to, live by. Cascadia thus resounds as an assemblage of voices, offering a rich and vital approach to contemplate the Pacific Northwest, varied, expansive, everchanging.”
– Issac Yuen, Orion Magazine

“…a new field guide that is probably unlike any such book you’ve held. Browsing the book is a bit like hiking with a naturalist, when you’re near enough to hear commentary on nature’s secrets studied into memory by someone who has really been paying attention, looking closely, and caring deeply.”
– Bill Thorness, Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin

“Every resident and fan of the Pacific Northwest should read this book.”
– Wendy Call, LitHub

“…a good field guide to camp with at the end of the day, savoring its literary passages more than once, perhaps by lantern light, perhaps accompanied by a snifter of brandy.”
– Sue Sampson, The Wild Phlox, The Journal of the North Central Washington Audubon Society

“Have you ever been so filled up with the wonder of a place that it wants to spill out as a song? Well, here is the songbook. I imagine walking through a forest and pausing to read Cascadia aloud to a listening cedar or a dipper. I think they’ll love it. There are field guides that help us to see, and to name and to know. Cascadia does all of that and more. This is a guide to relationship. These illuminating pages are a gift in reciprocity for the gifts of the land.”
– Robin Wall Kimmerer, 2022 MacArthur Fellow and author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

“This beautiful choral celebration of entanglement ongoing and evermore is amazing, a wonder, a gratitude.”
– Ross Gay, author of Inciting Joy and The Book of Delights

“The rich array of writers and artists in Cascadia Field Guide takes us by verse and image through one of the most diverse eco-regions in North America. The collection, inspired by ecological and cultural inclusion, catalogs beast by beast and habitat by habitat why so many look to the northwest corner of the nation for wild respite. More than a collection, it is an essential compendium to the Pacific Northwest; a “feel guide” to an extraordinary place.”
– J. Drew Lanham, 2022 MacArthur Fellow and author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature and Sparrow Envy – Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts

“This field guide is a deeply informative and wildly exuberant visual and literary romp through one of the most spectacular regions of the world—a varied chorus of voices and visual talents, all celebrating the animals and plants of the great Pacific Northwest.”
– Ray Troll, artist and co-author of Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline