Emergence Magazine Podcast

Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more. During this pandemic, we are publishing new content that explores the deeper themes and questions emerging at this time. These stories reveal new opportunities to deeply connect with each other and the living world—in the midst of this crisis and beyond. www.emergencemagazine.org

Society & Culture
Religion & Spirituality
Spirituality
1
The Forest of Orchids – Heather Swan
As Colombia continues to suffer violence and unrest, one family is cultivating resiliency and healing by planting thousands of native orchids across a restored mountainside.
34 min
2
The Nightingale's Song – a conversation with Sa...
Singer Sam Lee speaks about the transformative experience of creating songs in collaboration with nightingales and the space for communion that is opened with silence.
51 min
3
Where the Horses Sing – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Witnessing a growing wasteland, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee seeks the threshold that could bring us back to the place where the land sings—to a deep ecology of consciousness that returns our awareness to a fully animate world.
20 min
4
We’re Gonna Carry That Weight a Long Time – Dav...
David Farrier reflects on the immense burden of materials that mark our place on Earth.
25 min
5
Turn Towards the Dark – Hala Alyan
In reckoning with a precarious world, Hala Alyan reluctantly steps into the realm of fear.
41 min
6
Ravens and Doves – Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Jul...
In the face of present-day environmental catastrophe and social injustice, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Julian Yates examine the opposing narratives of survival in the story of Noah’s Ark.
39 min
7
Finding the Mother Tree – a conversation with S...
Suzanne Simard, the renowned scientist who discovered the “wood-wide web,” speaks about mother trees and how to heal our separation from the living world.
64 min
8
The Voices of Birds and the Language of Belongi...
David G. Haskell enters the intricate and generative soundscape of the world of birds, inviting us to join in a practice of cross-species listening as a bridge to kinship.
24 min
9
Sanctuaries of Silence
In celebration of Earth Day, we are resharing the podcast adaptation of our award-winning virtual reality experience, Sanctuaries of Silence, an immersive listening journey into the Hoh Rainforest, one of the quietest places left in North America.
14 min
10
QIKIQTAĠRUK: Almost an Island – Lauren Oakes
As she reflects on what will be needed to build resilience in the face of an uncertain future, Lauren Oakes considers the meeting place of scientific knowledge and Indigenous ways of knowing.
27 min
11
Be Earth Now – Rainer Maria Rilke recited by Jo...
Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy read a selection of poems from Rainer Maria Rilke’s "Book of Hours: Love Poems to God," reminding us of our role in loving the world.
21 min
12
River at the Heart of the World – Arati Kumar-Rao
Arati Kumar-Rao ventures into a forested river gorge in the hidden land of Pemakö, which exists deep within the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist belief system. Long considered impenetrable, the grind of industry now threatens this prophesied “promised land.”
27 min
13
On Time and Water – a conversation with Andri S...
In this interview, Icelandic writer and documentary filmmaker Andri Snær Magnason discusses our relationship to time in an age of ecological crisis.
60 min
14
The Stories I Haven’t Been Told – Jamie Figueroa
Jamie Figueroa navigates generational trauma and lost ancestral stories in order to reveal and reclaim her cultural and familial inheritance.
49 min
15
Once I Took a Weeklong Walk in the Sahara – Ann...
On a weeklong journey across the Sahara Desert, Anna Badkhen contemplates human movement across shifting landscapes and what remains eternal in the face of erasure.
43 min
16
Keeping the World in Being: Meditations on Long...
In pursuit of a contemplative inner life amid a world in upheaval, Fred Bahnson meditates on longing and maintaining an attentive heart.
29 min
17
Thirteen to One: New Stories for an Age of Disa...
Recalling the myth of the giant catfish Ōnamazu—said to reside beneath the Japanese archipelago and cause earthquakes—Marie Mutsuki Mockett considers stories that could change our relationship with what we call “nature.”
24 min
18
A Convergent Imagining – J. Drew Lanham
What if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rachel Carson had met? Imagining an exchange in the year 1964, J. Drew Lanham explores the power and necessity of convergence.
24 min
19
The Inward Migration in Apocalyptic Times – Ale...
Australian Aboriginal author Alexis Wright turns inward to the dwelling place of ancestral story.
40 min
20
Unraveling the Stitches – Kalyanee Mam
Tracing her father’s struggle for acceptance in the US after her family fled the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, Kalyanee Mam reflects on the false promise of the American Dream and the deep belonging she finds in the wisdom of her ancestors.
47 min
21
The Druid Renaissance – Lucy Jones
Seeking a way to honor the earth amid a culture of ecological destruction, British author Lucy Jones arrives at Druidry, a mysterious and ancient tradition that speaks clearly to the essential problems of our time.
45 min
22
Illuminating Kirinyaga – Tristan McConnell
Meaning and Knowing in Mount Kenya’s Forests
34 min
23
The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Invisibility o...
As urbanization increasingly severs humanity from the living world, naturalist Michael McCarthy explores the ways in which the “anthropause” ushered in by the coronavirus has made nature visible again.
29 min
24
The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance – Rob...
As Robin Wall Kimmerer harvests serviceberries alongside the birds, she considers the ethic of reciprocity that lies at the heart of the gift economy.
47 min
25
Radical Dharma – a conversation with angel Kyod...
In this interview, Rev. angel Kyodo williams reflects on our crisis of story, the failure of institutional religion, and Radical Dharma.
39 min
26
The Meaning of Air – Boyce Upholt
Boyce Upholt forges into a deep inquiry of air, searching for meaning in the delicate balance of elements that allows life on Earth to flourish.
26 min
27
The Memory Field – Jake Skeets
Musing on the Diné perspective of time, memory, and land.
30 min
28
Reseeding the Food System – an Interview with R...
Rowen White discusses how seeds hold the link between cultural revitalization and the restoration of traditional foodways.
48 min
29
Coyote Story – CMarie Fuhrman
CMarie Fuhrman encounters a coyote whose leg is caught in a trap in the Montana prairie. As she decides what to do, she considers what it means to be trapped and what it means to be free.
22 min
30
Reindeer at the End of the World – Bathsheba De...
Bathsheba Demuth observes the rise and ruin of the Soviet ideology that sought to impose its utopian vision on the Native Chukchi people, their herds of reindeer, and the natural cycles of the Russian tundra.
30 min
31
Fermentation as Metaphor – a conversation with ...
In this interview, Sandor Katz, an expert in fermented foods, considers the liberating and connective experience that engagement with microbial communities offers.
45 min
32
East to Eden – Roger Deakin with Robert Macfarlane
Robert Macfarlane narrates a chapter from Roger Deakin’s book Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees.
57 min
33
My Mother’s Hands – Gina Rae La Cerva
As she collects wild foods during the pandemic, Gina Rae La Cerva considers the widespread loss of traditional feminine knowledge and how an ancient understanding of wild medicine could serve today’s fragmented world.
14 min
34
Desire Paths – David Farrier
As the coronavirus sets us on an uncertain and increasingly narrow path, David Farrier finds inspiration in the meandering imprints left by the tracks of animals.
18 min
35
Language Keepers, Episode 6: The Power of Revit...
Hear from speakers of endangered languages who are increasingly resisting predictions of extinction.
34 min
36
Language Keepers, Episode 5: Kawaiisu
For nearly two decades, Julie Girado Turner has been documenting and recording her father and aunt, the last remaining fluent speakers of the Kawaiisu language.
28 min
37
Language Keepers, Episode 4: Wukchumni
Episode Four brings us to the home of Marie Wilcox—the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language and the creator of the only Wukchumni dictionary.
26 min
38
Language Keepers, Episode 3: Karuk
Along the Klamath River, a small group of dedicated speakers are working to fill generational gaps in the transmission of the Karuk language.
33 min
39
Language Keepers, Episode 2: Tolowa Dee-ni’
In this episode we meet the sole remaining fluent speaker of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ language and his family who are grappling with what is at stake if they lose their language.
57 min
40
Language Keepers, Episode 1: Colonizing California
The Tolowa Dee-ni’, Karuk, Wukchumni, and Kawaiisu Indigenous communities of California share the colonizing histories that attempted to erase their cultures and the importance of keeping their languages alive.
59 min
41
The Creatures of the World Have Not Been Chaste...
As she bears witness to the decomposing body of a deer, Lia Purpura considers the forces of restoration at play: the processes which transform bodies from one state to another and the beginnings that emerge from endings.
17 min
42
Negative Love — Daisy Hildyard
Daisy Hildyard examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn our attention to the space between things and how these “negative spaces” reveal points of connection.
31 min
43
And Peace Shall Return — Ben Okri
Twenty thousand years into the future, an exploration of the Earth uncovers the final notes and unfinished stories left behind by the last sentient human beings in the twilight of their history.
58 min
44
The Basilisk — Paul Kingsnorth
In an exchange of letters between an uncle and a niece—a demonologist and a mother—two members of a family respond to our addiction to technology as they divulge their thoughts about the otherworld, possession, and fatal temptation.
42 min
45
The Ecology of Perception – David Abram
David Abram discusses our current moment of ecological and societal instability and calls on us to remember the animacy of our bodily senses and our participation in the collective, embodied flesh of the Earth.
49 min
46
Ink — Sjón
Born with the gift of second sight, Valur Sveinsson encounters supernatural beings called the Inkborn and witnesses their telling of an apocalyptic vision of the future.
39 min
47
Thylacine — Lydia Millet
In this short story, Lydia Millet explores the loss of extinction as a man seeks the company and friendship of the last Tasmanian tiger, housed in a failing zoo.
24 min
48
The Lord God Bird: Apocalyptic Prophecy & the V...
As the existence of the famed ivory-billed woodpecker is increasingly left to the realm of myth, Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder explores the widespread disappearance of birds in the narratives of apocalyptic prophecy that run through our collective consciousness.
63 min
49
Sweet Breath from Another – Crystal Wilkinson
Crystal Wilkinson offers this contemplation on the intimacy of breathing and breath as she considers how we live, die, and love.
24 min
50
Courting the Wild Twin – Martin Shaw
Mythologist and storyteller Martin Shaw on initiation, agency, and the move into the mythical.
55 min
51
The Other House: Musings on the Diné Perspectiv...
Poet Jake Skeets explores apocalypse, time, and futurity from a Diné perspective.
26 min
52
Beginning with the End – Roy Scranton
Roy Scranton on what we mean when we say "the world is ending."
44 min
53
And God Laughs – Amaud Jamaul Johnson
Amaud Jamaul Johnson explores the loneliness and fear that arise in the wake of inexplicable tragedy where personal losses highlight histories of suffering and the deep uncertainties of our time.
26 min
54
Pickled Limes – Kalyanee Mam
As Kalyanee Mam cooks for her family members who have fallen ill during the pandemic, she reflects on food as a conduit for healing.
30 min
55
Life in the Time of Cholera: Lessons on a Pande...
George Prochnik reminds us of Heinrich Heine’s account of Paris’s 1832 cholera pandemic and asks: What is necessary passion and courage?
56 min
56
Sanctuaries of Silence
Join acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton on an immersive listening journey to the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park.
14 min
57
Robin Wall Kimmerer in Conversation with Robert...
Responding to questions asked by readers from around the globe, Robin Wall Kimmerer and Robert Macfarlane discuss dandelions as global citizens, the role of the writer as a conduit for story, and the spirit of reciprocity that lies at the heart of our relationship to place.
62 min
58
This Is Not a Rehearsal – Hala Alyan
Self-quarantined and isolated in her apartment in Brooklyn, Hala Alyan asks how we can make room for grief, empathy, and hope as we move through this pandemic together.
20 min
59
I Am Not Your Peril – Lisa Lee Herrick
In the wake of COVID-19, Lisa Lee Herrick challenges the resurgence of dangerous historical frames of race and belonging.
42 min
60
In the Ground of Our Unknowing – David Abram
During this time of uncertainty and isolation, David Abram prompts us to turn to the more-than-human planet to empower our empathy for each other.
27 min
61
What Difference Does a Day Make? Earth Day at F...
For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Paul Elie traces the literary history of the environmental movement—from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment—and asks: what difference does a day make?
56 min
62
Among the Trees – Carl Phillips
In this extended meditation on the relationship between place and intimacy, the body and the word, Carl Phillips walks among trees to explore what can and cannot be known.
20 min
63
The Poet and the Palm Tree – Chelsea Steinauer-...
The poet W.S. Merwin spent the last four decades of his life in Maui, restoring an abandoned plot of land. His poems are living witness to the care he offered to this land.
35 min
64
Shaking the Viral Tree – a conversation with Da...
Science writer David Quammen speaks about the root causes underlying the current pandemic and explores the ways in which viruses are embedded in the same systems of ecology and evolutionary biology that we are.
38 min
65
Woods Work – William Bryant Logan
After visiting a two-thousand-year-old Linden tree in England, William Bryant Logan explores the nearly forgotten practice of coppicing.
38 min
66
One Hundred and Eleven Trees – Chelsea Steinaue...
When a marble mine began to strip a village of its forests, the people of Piplantri, India, developed a tree-planting project that reclaims a vital and ancient relationship between trees and women.
59 min
67
On Survival: the Dead, the Sapling, and the Anc...
Ecologist Lauren Oakes looks beyond the scientific lens of subject-object while studying the effects of climate change on yellow-cedars in the Alaskan archipelago
35 min
68
The Church Forests of Ethiopia – Fred Bahnson
Fred Bahnson encounters the old traditions that preserve the small pockets of old-growth forest that still surround Ethiopia’s churches.
72 min
69
Dead Wood – Nick Hunt
Nick Hunt visits Białowieża, Europe’s largest surviving primeval forest where life and death transform into one another with vigorous entanglement.
30 min
70
Felling Light – Amaud Jamaul Johnson
In this essay, Amaud Jamaul Johnson returns to his poem “The Maple Remains” for the centennial anniversary of the Red Summer of 1919.
32 min
71
Eleven Ways of Smelling a Tree – David G. Haskell
David Haskell invites us into the unique, and sometimes surprising, aromas of eleven different species of trees.
60 min
72
Kinship, Community, and Consciousness – a conve...
In this extensive interview, Richard Powers discusses his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Overstory and his intention to tell a story in which humans are not separate from the living world around them.
64 min
73
On Time and Water – a conversation with Andri S...
In this interview, Icelandic writer and documentary filmmaker Andri Snær Magnason discusses our relationship to time in an age of ecological crisis.
59 min
74
A Radical Reimagining of the Novel with Richard...
In this vibrant conversation, poet and author Forrest Gander interviews Richard Powers about his acclaimed new novel The Overstory.
54 min
75
Reseeding the Food System – Rowen White
In this in-depth interview, Rowen White discusses how seeds—her greatest teachers—hold the link between cultural revitalization and the restoration of traditional foodways.
48 min
76
The Pull of the Sky — Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
For thousands of years, humans have imagined what it would mean to view the Earth from celestial heights. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen questions how we might reconcile our bounded lives with our longing for the cosmos.
19 min
77
Tending Soil — Emma Marris
Emma Marris explores the deep and fertile history of our ancient relationship with soil.
34 min
78
The Seeds of Ancestors: A Day at Soul Fire Farm...
This profile of Black Kreyol farmer Leah Penniman explores her work to create spaces for people of color to heal and reconnect to the land—an effort to end America’s food apartheid system.
35 min
79
Praise Song for the Kitchen Ghosts — Crystal Wi...
Raised on her grandmother’s jam cake, biscuits, and sweet black tea, Crystal Wilkinson evokes a legacy of joy, love, and plenty in the culinary traditions of Black Appalachia.
32 min
80
Dwelling on Earth — Jay Griffiths
Marveling at worms, fungi, and the pioneering water bear, Jay Griffiths invites us to remember that soil is what turns the Earth’s barren rock into the riotous life we know.
36 min
81
We Learned to Fear Tiger and to Love Squirrel –...
Lisa Lee Herrick recalls her grandfather—a master squirrel hunter—bringing home a squirrel for spicy hunter’s stew, and how this dish helped unravel a hidden past.
44 min
82
Fermenting Culture – David Zilber
Chef David Zilber, director of the fermentation lab at Noma, discusses how food is culture, but fermentation is culture on a deeper level.
46 min
83
Speaking the Anthropocene – Robert Macfarlane
In this in-depth interview, writer Robert Macfarlane takes listeners on a journey through language and landscape, exploring how a precision of utterance and a grammar of reciprocity can summon wonder in our encounters with place. Robert is the author...
76 min
84
The Language of the Master – Paul Kingsnorth
Paul Kingsnorth faces his suspicion that modern written language is in fact a tool of ecocide. Paul is the author of the novels “The Wake” and “Beast,” the essay collection “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist,” and the poetry...
27 min
85
Atlas with Shifting Edges – Elizabeth Rush
Elizabeth Rush reflects on climate change as a transformational force on our landscapes and the words we might use to grasp this shifting reality. Her book “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore” was recently nominated for a Pulitzer...
23 min
86
The Voices of Birds and the Language of Belongi...
David Haskell enters the intricate and generative soundscape of the world of birds, inviting us to join in a practice of cross-species listening as a bridge to kinship. David is the author of “The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great...
24 min
87
On the Language of the Deep Blue – Charles Foster
In an effort to seek out a language beyond the human, Charles Foster travels to the Isle of Skye to listen to the intricate vocalizations of the eight remaining Scottish killer whales. Charles is the author of more than twenty books, including...
26 min
88
Losing Language – Camille T. Dungy
Rejecting the refrain “there are no words,” author and poet Camille T. Dungy reaches for a language that can encompass the experience of loneliness, erasure, and loss. Camille is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently “Trophic...
30 min
89
A Forest Walk – Practice Guided by Kimberly Ruffin
Kimberly Ruffin is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide and author of Black on Earth: African American Ecoliterary Traditions. As a companion to Kimberly’s essay “Bodies of Evidence” from our Faith issue, she created a guided practice...
46 min
90
Ancient Root – Linda Hogan
For Chickasaw novelist and poet, Linda Hogan, hope lives where faith has fallen away. During an encounter with caged elephants, she experiences a wave of profound and startling love in the presence of beings so very different from—and so very...
40 min
91
Wave Patterns – Aylie Baker
In this narrated essay, Aylie Baker reflects on her experiences sailing by canoe under Micronesian Master Navigator Sesario Sewralur and shows how we can draw on an innate ability to orient ourselves in a shifting world. Born in Maine, Aylie is...
34 min
92
The Religious Value of the Unknown – George Pro...
In an age when the fate of the world is frightfully unknown, George Prochnik, author of “In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise,” makes a case for uncertainty as a form of faith and hope. If we unravel our desire for the...
46 min
93
Radical Dharma – angel Kyodo williams
In this in-depth interview, Reverend angel Kyodo williams reflects on our widespread crisis of story, the failure of institutional religions to offer a new way forward, and her philosophy of Radical Dharma—a path to individual and collective...
38 min
94
Bodies of Evidence – Kimberly Ruffin
As Kimberly Ruffin revisits her upbringing and spiritual heritage, she compiles the bodies of evidence that have invigorated her spirit. A certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide and a new member of a church, Kimberly explores where “spirit...
15 min
95
Lone Moon Lights Cold Spring – Bill Porter (Red...
In this in-depth interview, Bill Porter, famously known as the translator Red Pine, reflects on his encounters with Chinese hermits and his long history with the great Taoist and Buddhist poets of China.
39 min
96
A Letter to my Husband – Hala Alyan
Struggling to explain her belief in God to her atheist husband, award-winning Palestinian American poet Hala Alyan reflects on her Muslim faith as inextricably linked to her family, to Palestine, and to histories of erasure.  
20 min
97
Ecological Conversion – Paul Elie
Struck by the thought that the Catholic Church and the natural world have traded places as sources of transcendence, Paul Elie wonders how religion and the natural world might come together for shared renewal. Paul is the author of the award-winning...
25 min
98
Imagining Burial – Lia Purpura
In this narrated essay, writer and poet Lia Purpura delves into the horrified wonder and holiness of death, exploring burial practices that are intended to nourish the earth, as it has nourished us.
30 min
99
Hallowed Ground – Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder
The roots of religious belief and the sacredness of nature were once closely entwined: the ancient yew grows in the churchyard; the forest monks of Thailand follow the Buddha’s example of meditating beneath trees. Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder profiles...
32 min
100
Myrtle's Medicine – Kinitra Brooks
In a world where the cosmologies of black women are continually erased and excluded from knowledge traditions, Kinitra Brooks seeks connection with her late great-grandmother, Mama Myrt, who first introduced her to rootworking traditions and inspired...
24 min