Leaning toward Light

Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them


Edited by Tess Taylor

Formats and Prices




$15.99 CAD



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

Caring for plants (much like reading a good poem) brings comfort, solace, and joy to many—offering an outlet in difficult times to slow down and steward growth. In 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, Garret Hongo, Ellen Bass, and James Crews. Select poems are paired with reflective pauses and personal recipes from the authors, and colorful illustrations are featured throughout. Plus, the gorgeous hardcover package with ribbon bookmark makes this anthology a distinctive gift.

Gardening offers a rich and expansive subject, with poems moving thematically through the year from planting and weeding to harvesting and eating. Poets find purpose in browsing a seed catalog and comfort in picking green tomatoes despite California’s wildfire season raging on—reminding us how gardening is a healing practice, both for ourselves and the spaces we tend. The range of experience reflected, from caring for a few houseplants to an expansive garden or farm, offers wide appeal and illuminating insights for gardeners, plant lovers, or anyone interested in connecting more deeply with the earth.

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  • 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
208 pages