Leaning toward Light

Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them


By Tess Taylor

Foreword by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Formats and Prices




$28.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $22.00 $28.00 CAD
  2. ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around August 29, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

This beautiful poetry anthology offers a warm, inviting selection of poems from a wide range of voices that speak to the collective urge to grow, tend, and heal—an evocative celebration of our connection to the green world.

Much like reading a good poem, caring for plants brings comfort, solace, and joy to many. In this new poetry anthology, Leaning toward Light, acclaimed poet and avid gardener Tess Taylor brings together a diverse range of contemporary voices to offer poems that celebrate that joyful connection to the natural world. Several of the most well-known contemporary writers, as well as some of poetry’s exciting rising stars, contribute to this collection including Ross Gay, Jericho Brown, Mark Doty, Jane Hirshfield, Ada Limón, Danusha Laméris, Naomi Shihab Nye, Garrett Hongo, Ellen Bass, and James Crews. A foreword by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, reflective pauses and personal recipes from some of the contributing poets, along with original, whimsical illustrations by Melissa Castrillon, and a ribbon bookmark complete this stunning, hardcover gift format. 


  • Leaning toward the Light is an exceptionally pretty poetry collection.”
    The Washington Post
  • “A rich and varied collection.”
    The Boston Globe
  • “After a summer rife with extreme weather events … readers could use a reminder that a more caring relationship with Earth is possible. They will find it in Leaning toward Light.”
    Poets & Writers
  • “This collection brings together many of my favorite writers to celebrate the limitless offerings of nature; wandering through its pages feels like taking a long stroll through a beautiful garden.”
    Alice Waters, chef, author, food activist, and founder of Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard Project
  • “Among the many things to love about this beautiful anthology is that it reminds us that gardening  is a gathering practice, a practice of gathering, and the more we do it together—with collaborators human, critterly, fungal, floral, meteorological, cosmic, unborn, living, living now as soil, etc.—the better, by which I mean the more lovingly, the more belovingly, the more truly, we do it.”
    Ross Gay, author of Inciting Joy and The Book of Delights
  • “It’s thrilling to see in these pages a reflection of the world I want to live in.”
    Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of the New York Times bestseller World of Wonders, from the foreword
  • “As Aimee Nezhukamatathil reminds us in the delightful and informative foreword to this bountiful collection, the word anthology means a gathering of flowers. How perfect is this bouquet! Diverse and delightful. At turns, tender and tough. I'm sure I'll be reading the poems gathered in this anthology for years to come.”
    Camille T. Dungy, author of Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden
  • “Leaning toward Light” is both a loving tribute to the natural world and a recognition of the profound need for the human spirit to be connected to the gardens of the world if we are to thrive. The artwork and recipes makes this gathering of poems even more delicious.”
    Florencia Ramirez, author of Eat Less Water: The Solution to Worldwide Water Shortages is in our Kitchens
  • “I’m reminded that in 1629 John Parkinson wrote an herbal, or plant compendium, entitled  “In Sole, Paradisus Terrestris: “a sunny garden of earthly pleasures.” What an apt phrase for Taylor’s fruitful, rich, and earthy book.”
    Peter J. Hatch, Gardener, Historian, Emeritus Director of Gardens and Grounds, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
  • “A gorgeous book in both content and as an artful object, this collection of garden poems is a necessary addition to any cultivator’s library.” 
    Orion Magazine

On Sale
Aug 29, 2023
Page Count
200 pages

Tess Taylor Author Photo

Tess Taylor

About the Author

Tess Taylor, an avid gardener, is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry including Work & Days, which was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Tin House, The Times Literary Supplement, CNN, and the New York Times. Taylor has been Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Northern Ireland, and the Anne Spencer Poet-in-Residence at Randolph College. She has also served as on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. Taylor lives in El Cerrito, California, where she tends to fruit trees and backyard chickens. 

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