What Rivers Know

Listening to the Voices of Global Waterways

By Basia Irland

Foreword by Lucy Lippard

Introduction by Sandra Postel

978-1-64843-256-9 Flexbound (with Flaps)
9 x 10 x 0 in
256 pp. 199 color photos. Map.
Pub Date: 11/22/2024
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  • Flexbound $38.00

What if rivers could talk and tell their stories? What would they tell us? In What Rivers Know, artist Basia Irland insinuates herself as the voice of major waterways as they struggle to navigate their changing relationships with humans and climate change. By hearing what the rivers have to say, Irland asserts we can attune ourselves to the “braided fusion of energies” in our natural world, better preparing us to meet the challenges posed by climate change and human interactions with the environment.

Through these “first-person accounts,” readers learn the rivers’ histories, current environmental health status, and evolving relationships with humanity. In addition, Irland discusses innovative practices for addressing pollution, recycling wastewater, and what steps—if any—are being taken to remedy their ailments.

What Rivers Know presents us with 25 intimate portraits of rivers from around the world, such as the Seine (France), the Yaqui (Mexico), the Colorado (US), the Singapore (Malaysia), and the Chaobai (China). These accounts are accentuated with a foreword by noted land artist and feminist Lucy Lippard and a preface by Sandra Postel, recipient of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, the “Nobel Prize” for water.

Irland’s unique writing style tells a nature story unlike any before, delivering within the writing the experience of being a river.

Published by Texas A&M University Press