Earth’s Wild Music

Publication Date:

February 2021



Original language and publisher

English | Counterpoint Press

Territories Handled

World excl. English North America


Current Affairs, Essay

Earth’s Wild Music


Exceedingly knowledgeable, experienced, and expressive, this former philosophy professor shares tales of her adventures in the far north, prairies, woods, and beyond, all while emphasizing Earth’s gloriously varied soundscape: the songs of birds, frogs, and whales; the calls of bats and wolves . . . Moore details all that we’re losing to climate change, spiking gorgeously precise descriptions and dramatic tales of wildlife encounters with grim statistics about the escalating die-off of birds and other species, the ‘great starving’ underway in the oceans, and the ongoing destruction of forests and wetlands . . . We must prevent the looming silence, Moore asserts, by forming a chorus of voices raised in solidarity with all of Earth’s wondrous and essential life forms. — Booklist (starred review)

These pages contain an almost magical combination of superlatively fine-eyed observation, heartbreakingly deep-felt love, and joyous exaltation. Kathleen Dean Moore is a wild-hearted, clear-eyed poet, a voice of the living world, who urges us into caring, dares us to fall in love. — Carl Safina, author of ‘Becoming Wild’

A heartfelt plea to save nature’s cacophony. In a series of essays, many previously published, nature writer and environmentalist Moore offers an ardent warning against the perils of climate change and species endangerment . . . An enthusiastic argument that love, care, and defiance may still save the Earth. — Kirkus Reviews

Ms. Moore sees and hears much, and she writes about it beautifully . . . With each new book—and the passage of years—Ms. Moore’s view grows longer and wider, though it always brings the focus back to a vivid and vital sense of connection. — Danny Heitman, The Wall Street Journal

Taken together, the essays demonstrate the many ways in which a nature lover can celebrate and advocate for the beauty of Earth, even as it faces widespread, human-caused destruction. — Amy Brady, Literary Hub

Passionate, vivid and thoughtful, Moore’s essays transport readers to the particular places she loves and urge them to pay attention to the parts of their own world worth loving and saving. Hers is a thoughtful, insistent, necessary voice in the ongoing conversations about how to treat the natural world. — Katie Noah Gibson, Shelf Awareness

It is Moore’s recognition of the music that lives on around us that makes this collection special. It’s affirming to read someone who gives credence to the granular parts that compose the larger whole . . . This book’s urgency lies in how Moore does bear witness to a disappearing world . . . We have an obligation to lift up the songs and stories of the powerless, the less privileged, and the silenced. — Jonathan Dale, Chicago Review of Books

This book is a grounding and incisive read. — BuzzFeed

From histories of energy systems to the development of big science, this comprehensive book is an epic feat of storytelling. — BuzzFeed

While ‘Earth’s Wild Music’ explores the moral and psychological value of natural soundscapes, it is ultimately a book on what we lose in the face of climate change . . . Regardless of how we choose to engage, we all benefit from paying closer attention to the natural world. And in return, the world will sing just a bit more. — Aaron Mok, Sierra

Kathleen Dean Moore rings the bell ‘for every sacred emptiness,’ and the result is at once heartbreaking and uplifting. ‘Earth’s Wild Music’ is a love song to a vanishing world. — Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘The Sixth Extinction’

Kathleen Dean Moore is a celebrant of life, a philosopher in love with the world and enraged by destruction of its bounty. ‘Earth’s Wild Music’ is a paean and plea for awakening the moral imagination and getting real about facing up to and transforming human destructiveness. — Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of ‘Zoologies’

In this hugely intelligent and captivating collection of essays, Kathleen Dean Moore makes clear what is at stake in the world: ‘What we do now will change everything forever.’ Her pages dance to the rich cadences of humpback whales, meadowlarks, and canyon wrens, knowing how fragile their music is amidst the Sixth Extinction of wild species. Her words shimmer to the songs of the last old-growth forests, sensitively attuned not only to their ancient, living memories but also the complex wonders they hold on to. And through her clarity of voice and wise vision of co-existence, she reminds us that we still have a choice as to the path we choose into the future. ‘Earth’s Wild Music’ is both a poignant meditation on extinction and a stirring call to resistance; it brings the radiant songs of the wild world within hearing. — Julian Hoffman, author of ‘Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save our Wild Places’

An enchanting book, ‘Earth’s Wild Music’ draws the reader into the sounds of the natural world and provides inspiration to reverse their decline. Kathleen Dean Moore has a very special and authentic voice. A compelling and magical read. — Thomas E. Lovejoy, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

In this poetic tribute to the beauty of the earth and its inhabitants, Kathleen Dean Moore brings her readers in touch with the spiritual way that natural sounds demonstrate our need to preserve ecosystems. A lovely read.
 — Peter H. Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Passionate and poetic, Kathleen Dean Moore creates a splendid ode to the biophonies extant in a shape-shifting world. — Bernie Krause, author of ‘The Great Animal Orchestra’

Awakening our listening faculty may be the saving grace of our wayward and visually inebriated species. Kathleen Moore is an ambassador for listening, and ‘Earth’s Wild Music’ is a guidebook for how this untapped sense can lead us to falling in love with our true home: the world of nature. — Paul Winter, saxophonist, composer of ‘Wolf Eyes’

At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore’s distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change.

In this meditation on the music of the natural world, Moore celebrates the call of loons, howl of wolves, bellow of whales, laughter of children, and shriek of frogs, even as she warns of the threats against them. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment and finally to the determination to act in defense of wild songs and the creatures who sing them.

Music is the shivering urgency and exuberance of life ongoing. In a time of terrible silencing, Moore asks, who will forgive us if we do not save nature’s songs?

Marketing Information

  • Must-Read of the Month – A Chicago Review of Books 
  • A 50 Best New Nonfiction Book About the Natural World – BookMarks