Worth More Standing

Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees

Edited by Christine Lowther

Categories: Anthology, Poetry, Environment
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781773860824, 240 pages, April 2022

Poets, both settler and Indigenous, pay tribute to trees through reflections on the past, connections to the present, and calls for the protection of our future.


In Worth More Standing: An Anthology of Tree Poems, celebrated poets and activists pay homage to the ghosts of lost forests and issue a rallying cry to protect our remaining ancient giants and restore wild spaces.
Themes of connection, ecology, grief, and protection are explored through poems about trees and forests written by an impressive number of influential poets, several of whom have attended the recent Fairy Creek blockades and still others who defended BC's old growth trees in Clayoquot Sound nearly 30 years ago.
Contributors include ninth Parliamentary Poet Laureate Louise Bernice Halfe-Sky Dancer, GG winner Arleen Paré, Canadian icon bill bissett, Griffin Poetry Prize winner Eve Joseph, her husband ReLit Award winner Patrick Friesen, decorated cultural redress giant Joy Kogawa, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Harold Rhenisch, Jay Ruzesky, John Barton, Kate Braid, Kim Trainor, Kim Goldberg, Pamela Porter, Patricia and Terence Young, Russell Thornton, Sonnet L'Abbé, Susan McCaslin, Susan Musgrave, Tom Wayman, Trevor Carolan, Yvonne Blomer, Zoe Dickinson and the late Pat Lowther.


“A masterpiece in cultural diversity unified with a call to action, Worth More Standing is a celebratory awakening to all Earth Citizens to see trees as far more valuable than in board feet of lumber. Our unified purpose must be to honour the old growth as we would our ancestors. Such forests and trees have been with us as long as we have been human. Their destruction means the loss of an essential component of our humanity.”

—Paul Stamets, award-winning mycologist, author, and bee protector


“This anthology grounds us in the earth’s daily miracles, also known as trees, reminding us not to take them for granted. These poems acknowledge how we rely on and are part of a life force much bigger and wiser than us, giving us glimpses into the sacredness that trees make as they unconditionally transform sunlight into ‘nourishing air.’ From love to grief to gratitude to awe, this collection gives us lessons in the language of trees, crucial lexicons with which to navigate climate emergency.”

—Rita Wong, activist-poet, author of Current, Climate: The Poetry of Rita Wong

“In this eclectic grove of poems written and gathered on the body of trees, poets inflect, root, bend towards the mythopoetic, listening with love to arboreality, walking the path towards tree immersion. ‘Make no mistake, I saw them relax their limbs and droop. Settling into their dreams.’ A language that will always mystify and sustain us. Enjoy this collection and touch wood. ‘tree, tell me what have you done with death.’ ‘today i ate chainsaws for breakfast.’”

—Mona Fertig, editor of Love of the Salish Sea Islands and 111 West Coast Literary Portraits

“The tree is in the midst of an intellectual renaissance, judging by all the books on the lifeways, politics and communicative tendencies of networked forests. But poets have always been a People of the Tree, and the arboreal fund gathered in Worth More Standing covers the roots and branches of the entwined process of ‘becoming both human and tree.’ Our fate and the fate of forests have never been more entangled. This is a gorgeous and necessary collection, to be returned to again and again.”

—Governor General’s Award-nominated poet Stephen Collis

“Within moments of opening this exceptional book of poetry I was transported to the old growth forest. I could hear the wind rustling the fir needles. I could smell the cedar. Each poem in Worth More Standing is a gift of connection, spirit and beauty. At a critical moment in our history when we battle to protect the last of the planet’s ancient forests, this book is a clarion call from the heart.”

—Tzeporah Berman, Adjunct Professor, award-winning environmental activist and International Program Director of Stand.earth

“A chorus of poetic witness to the irreplaceable value of natural and old-growth forests to the vitality of our ecosystem and our own souls and bodies, Worth More Standing invites the reader to open its pages anywhere and find language that redeems, in myriad forms and voices, our true relationship to nature.”

—Sharon Thesen, acclaimed poet and editor; writer, critic, and Professor of Creative Writing