Dear America Anthology
Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, edited by Terrain.org editors Simmons Buntin, Elizabeth Dodd, and Derek Sheffield and published by Trinity University Press on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020, is now available. All royalties from sale of the book will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Union of Concerned Scientists.
When you get a book like this, Dear America, you carry it with you into war, onto the battlefield, into classrooms, because it’s not just a book in the traditional sense, it’s a tool to sharpen the dull mind, to see injustice where before you let it pass. It’s a weapon to raise when others raise their rifles. You shake this book in their faces and tell them, This is who we are, this is what we’ve made, this is us and what we fight for and represent and will protect for our children’s children.
– Jimmy Santiago Baca
America is at a crossroads. Conflicting political and social perspectives reflect a need to collectively define our moral imperatives, clarify cultural values, and inspire meaningful change. In that patriotic spirit, more than 170 writers, artists, scientists, and political and community leaders have come together since the 2016 presidential election to offer their impassioned letters to America. Dear America collects more than 80 of those (revised) letters plus 50 new, not-previously-published letters.
In the inaugural piece in our Letter to America series and the first letter in this book, Alison Hawthorne Deming writes, “Think of the great spirit of inventiveness the Earth calls forth after each major disturbance it suffers. Be artful, inventive, and just, my friends, but do not be silent.” In Dear America, the diverse voices from across the country are anything but silent.
These letters come from a deep, real love of this place, and they imagine willing, receptive readers on the other end. We need a series of miracles looking forward, and this is one.
– Bill McKibben