Slouching Toward Radiance: A Day in the Life of You, Me, & God
Available now! Order your copy today: Homebound Publications
Slouching Toward Radiance is a collection of nature poetry, meditations, gentle advice, and nudges toward reflection. It’s the sort of poetry that anyone can read, even people who don’t like poetry— a book that can be picked up and paged through to whatever sections fit for the day or season of life. Heidi Barr’s words are worthy companions on the way toward living a life steeped in integrity and compassion for one’s fellow beings—from the human down the street to a deer in the forest. It’s a walk through a metaphorical day, from dawn to dusk, noticing the holy ordinary even through storms, by way of solitude and community. It’s an invitation to start where you are, to find beauty and healing in the everyday stuff of life, and to make the choices that lead to fully living in the ways that work best.
Part invitation, part musing, part blessing, Slouching Toward Radiance is a call to show up to life in the way that works best. You get to decide what to do with the words on the pages. Wherever the words land, and however you decide to respond to them, you may just find it’s possible to find renewal in the ordinary dance of living.
Advance Praise for Slouching Toward Radiance
This is a collection of poems and thoughts that call to the Outliers; the ones who stoop low to see the wonder hidden beneath an autumn leaf. I have walked with a reverence through this collection, and I was not left untouched by a single poem. In a voice reminiscent of Mary Oliver, Heidi invites the reader to live their life open to the infinite possibility of beauty finding them everywhere. A book to treasure.
–Liezel Graham, author of Stripped and A Counting of Love
Heidi Barr’s Slouching Toward Radiance is a poetic exhortation. She nudges readers out of nostalgia and drops us into the present moment so we can exist “one choice, one breath, one [heart]beat / at a time.” Grounded in nature, Barr’s work exudes an elemental way of knowing and draws wisdom from observation. She eschews exotic flora and fauna found only in small pockets of our planet and turns, instead, to images accessed in the “holy ordinary”: rain, stars, seeds, birds. Didactic in purpose, Barr’s poems call readers to a “purposeful joy,” ask us to do what we “are made to do,” and invite us to join her by “walking through words into wonder.” Pay attention, Barr says, to shifts in seasons, to snowflakes, to “skin meeting air.” Read this lovely collection. We all need her blessing: “May You Always” / Listen to the story / in the cracked coffee mug.”
–Christine Stewart-Nuñez, Poet Laureate of South Dakota & author of The Poet & The Architect
Slouching Toward Radiance has the subtle and sacred power to change the rhythm and gaze of your day. These poems invite you to settle into deep time where you notice the light and the land with the delight they deserve. I will keep a copy by my bed so I can remember the grace that meets me with every sunrise, welcoming me back to the wonder of what’s possible.
–Meta Herrick Carlson, author of Ordinary Blessings and Speak It Plain
In Slouching Toward Radiance, Barr’s presence is felt as an attentive, compassionate mind at work to convey the essence of life. She’s taking on the big stuff—happiness, contentment, tension, joy—with poetry punctuated by novel ideas and unexpected, arresting phrases.
–Laurie Allmann, author of An Hour From Now
Heidi Barr writes love songs to Mother Earth. Her words of wisdom, wit, and her willingness to write from sacred places walks the reader outside to see what the wild world has to offer in the way of healing and turning the blues into the blue skies and teardrops into the rain showers that cleanse your soul. This collection of poems, powerful and poignant, may hold the answers to your questions. Slouching Toward Radiance shines a light on despair and brightens the cosmos with hope and tenacity to fight for the peace and joy we all deserve.
–Juliana Aragón Fatula, author of Red Canyon Falling on Churches
Now available! Order your copy today: Broadleaf Books
In a culture that says bigger is better, it is subversive work to take tiny, lasting steps toward learning and growth.
In 12 Tiny Things Ellie Roscher and Heidi Barr journey with us through twelve essential areas of life: space, work, spirituality, food, style, nature, communication, home, sensuality, creativity, learning, and community. In each of these areas, we are invited to take one tiny action that is sure to open up growth and renewal.
Praise for 12 Tiny Things:
“If you’ve been looking for the starting blocks for a more intentional life, you’ll find them within these pages. Here, Barr & Roscher offer an accessible invitation out of paralysis and into the micro-practices of awareness, proximity, and justice.”
— Jer Swigart, co-founder of The Global Immersion Project, co-author, Mending the Divides: Creative Love in a Conflicted World
“12 Tiny Things is a gentle nudge to embrace the small steps you most need to take to live an intentional life. An excellent companion for anyone who is looking to simplify and stay fully rooted in what truly matters.”
— Erica Layne, author of The Minimalist Way and founder of The Life on Purpose Movement
“There are plenty of instructions for the wellness-minded in our world — do this, eat that, quit this, start that! — but a dearth of gentleness. Thank goodness for Roscher and Barr, whose twelve invitations to ground, connect, share, and nourish are as generous as a hug or a phone call from a friend. A loving, lovely, illuminating book.”
— Sally Franson, author of A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out
“You could say we are all broken, but then again, you could say we are all part of a collective hallelujah, and that might be closer to the truth.” Cold Spring Hallelujah explores the experience of being human in a world that often seems broken. Woven together by threads of healing, coming to terms with limitation, and deep reflection on what truly matters, author Heidi Barr issues an invitation to notice the fractured radiance that has the potential to be uncovered in each human life—and to claim the story that finds a foundation in love, of both self and neighbor.
Often in dialogue with the reader, she writes, “Claiming your story takes patience and persistence. It takes the sort of self compassion that might, one day, paint the sky with a splendor that can only be found by falling into the fractured radiance that defines what it means to be alive on planet earth. Be brave enough to look through a different lens if you need to, and explore an unfamiliar path. Let the stumbles and the joys and everything in between lead you toward hallelujah. I’ll meet you there.”
Cold Spring Hallelujah is a book of poetry to keep close on the path into healing.
Praise for Cold Spring Hallelujah
“In Cold Spring Hallelujah, Heidi Barr puts words to moments that are full of awe and insight. Reading these poems feels like being grounded back into the wildness of the world, even while human-made devices and distractions try to pull us from it.”
–Alissa Wild, founder of We Are Wildness
“This book of poetry is full of lovingly captured moments and wisdom to ponder. Readers following the author’s healing journey might even be inspired to try their own poem-a-day process—pausing and noticing and marveling at our wondrous, natural world.”
–Kristin Bartley Lenz, author of The Art of Holding On and Letting Go
“In the plainspoken language of a trustworthy friend, Heidi Barr’s Cold Spring Hallelujah is an extended hand and invitation to walk out and into a place of careful thought and purpose. On this oft-wilded path, every verse is a warm and appreciative inquiry into considering and reconsidering the complexities of life’s pain and joy and a cultivation of patience for the liminal spaces in between. If compassionate empathy is the highest, most human state of consciousness, this collection will be a Springtime of it, quickening a hopeful sense of all that is waiting for you after all and in every season.”
–James Scott Smith, author of Water, Rocks and Trees
“Heidi Barr’s Cold Spring Hallelujah isn’t so much a series of poetic meditations as it is a love letter to slowing down and taking notice of the healing gifts in the world around us. In a culture that seems so focused on the epic, on the larger than life, of ‘go big or go home,’ Barr suggests a different path. ‘Let’s do something different,’ she urges, ‘and accept the mundane.’ The gorgeous poems she shares as gentle suggestions in how we might do so make me grateful for her company in the trying.”
–Chris La Tray, award winning author of One-Sentence Journal
“Cold Spring Hallelujah changed my pace and found the forest of my soul where all things are connected. As I read, I am pulled into the seasons and moments between them, where ordinary details are reclaimed as holy delight. I am glad for the reminder to consider God with reverent wonder and nature as a worthy neighbor.”
–Pastor Meta Herrick Carlson, author of Ordinary Blessings
“In this high velocity age of soul-blinding techno-digital distraction, material accumulation, and spiritual grasping, Heidi Barr’s Cold Spring Hallelujah is a breath of fresh air. This gentle, flowing collection is an antidote to the impoverished consciousness of these maddening times. Barr’s poems demonstrate how to slow down and come into holy union with the numinous that is ever-present in our everyday lives.”
–Frank LaRue Owen, poet, author of The School of Soft-Attention
Job loss. It’s not something that most people want to think about, whether it happens to them or not – but in modern society, it’s all too common for the words “lay off” and “company downsize” to grace a conversation about how life is going. Through an honest look at the emotions, feelings, and everyday challenges that can come with losing a job, author Heidi Barr illustrates what going through such an event is like. From disbelief to financial concerns to anxiety over the prospect of a two hour commute after ten years of working from home, this essay explores the uncertainty of not knowing what might be coming next, along with the potential for uncovering the beauty that might just be hidden under what feels like destruction. Available wherever books are sold.
Praise for What Comes Next
“With wit and honesty, Heidi Barr relates what she calls “lessons from a layoff,” when her “what if” became “what now?” Navigating the tension between having the work we do define us and finding what truly matters, Barr questions her own work ethic and ability to see beyond the job. Her capacity to transcend a personal moment of destruction reminds us that we all can dig deep, see beauty, and trust in its ability to heal us, inside and out.” ~Amy Nawrocki, author of The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory
“The gentle skill, precision, care and simplicity with which the author slides through the meaty layers of the ordinary, cutting right to the throbbing heart of our collective fragility, our collective exposure to the elemental winds that defeat us over and over again, leaves nothing to be desired. A story about what happens next after an unexpected turn of events in a relatively stable life, this book sits with you, attends with you, holds you, and with-nesses you where it might be quicker and more convenient to offer advise, fix you and find an easy ideology or guarantee against uncertainty. Read it, not because Heidi Barr has figured out what comes next, but because whatever comes next in a messy, unpredictable world is never quite as urgent as the penetrating warmth and assurance of being with another. Read it, and feel like I felt: embraced. ” -Bayo Akomolafe, author of These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home
“For anyone afraid of losing a secure job, or secretly wishing they would, this little book is a template of what to expect beyond the expected. For as its author processes her own job loss, she puts the experience into the perspective of our culture in which financial worth is equated with self worth. But beware: Heidi Barr is fiercely honest with herself, and invites readers to be likewise! I just wish I’d had copies to hand out to congregants struggling with jobs that had turned them into the walking dead. This book may have tipped them into saying no to what diminished body, mind and spirit, and given them courage to say YES to more authentic life/work.” ~Rev. Gail Collins-Ranadive, author of A Fistful of Stars and Dinosaur Dreaming
(Homebound Publications, 2017)
Woodland Manitou: To Be On Earth is a collection of essays rooted in the rhythm of the natural world. Through the turn of the seasons, Heidi Barr illustrates how the cycles of the earth have informed her everyday life from community to vocation to the food that finds its way to the dinner table. Through gardening, simple living, and prioritizing sustainability, Barr paints a picture of how remaining close to the earth provides a solid foundation even as the climate changes and the story of the world shifts. Part stories, part wonderings, and part call to act, this collection of meditations invites reflection, encourages awareness, and inspires action.
Finalist in the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Indie Awards Woodland Manitou is available wherever books are sold. Note: the word “Manitou” is of Algonquin origin, and, as such, a percentage of the proceeds are donated to Native-run organizations. I’m currently giving to the Oglala Lakota Cultural & Economic Revitalization Initiative (based in Slim Butte, SD).
Praise for Woodland Manitou:
“A thoughtful, lyrical collection to savor and revisit, no matter the season. Barr’s essays hum with wildness and love. Be astonished.” ~Kristin Bartley Lenz, author of The Art of Holding On and Letting Go
“Woodland Manitou is a treasure for those times when we can’t go off to the woods or prairie or ocean for our own renewal. While this collection of essays doesn’t shy away from pondering some deeply disturbing questions about the place of humans on the planet, in its gentle wisdom we may hear the heartbeat of Gaia echoing in our own veins, and perhaps find some answers.” ~ Gail Collins-Ranadive, author of Light Year; A Seasonal Primer for Spiritual Focus, Chewing Sand; An Eco-Spiritual Taste of the Mojave Desert, and Nature’s Calling; the Grace of Place.
“Woodland Manitou is for seekers, dreamers, keepers of the old ways, and stewards of the land. Heidi’s tone asks us to slow down, to experience our changing landscapes, and to commit fully to our inner wildness. A gentle and heartfelt read celebrating the beauty and complexity of being alive.” ~Sean Guinan, L.Ac., MTCM | Environmental Pediatrics Institute
“The search for life meaning is never simple but, in adopting a seasonal theme, Barr provides a context that will enliven your search. Her heartfelt perspective about the challenges of the human story bridges moments, days, and years in a beautiful and compelling way. With nature as her touchstone, the author sheds a timely light on issues and dilemmas we are destined to encounter. A dynamic and inspiring book for today’s world!” ~ D.A. Hickman, author of Always Returning: The Wisdom of Place
“A lovely combination of poetry and prose, Woodland Manitou spans the human experience addressing everything from climate change to childbirth, home repair to the fragility of life. Barr reminds us to walk gently on the earth, gazing at the moon and noticing the purple flowers. Saturated with fantastic quotes and vivid imagery, these essays capture the beauty of dying leaves and grey winter mornings, naming the light and shadow sides of life. Barr’s style is refreshingly mindful and invites the reader into her own sense of astonishment and gratitude.” ~ Ellie Roscher, author of Play Like a Girl and How Coffee Saved My Life
“Barr guides along a trail worn with her intimate understanding of the elements of the primal domain while still facing down the challenges of modern life. She is relentless in turning the gaze of the reader away and into the wild, wherever it can be found. Her cathexis with creation is manifest. This is practice wisdom come in the form of invitation to “go out” into a deep belonging to the earth.” ~ James Scott Smith, author of Water, Rocks and Trees
“These deeply personal, earnestly-relatable essays, are unique and precious in their ability to help us see the healing, transformative power of a daily connection with wilderness. Barr reminds those of us looking for sustainable options to remain committed, to continue asking the difficult questions, and to make choices that will ultimately guide society to a new way of everyday living.” ~Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together
“Heidi Barr’s Woodland Manitou is a quiet, thoughtful series of meditations on what it means to be human, what it means to live in a sustainable way as an individual, as a family, and as a community in-sync with the natural rhythms of the earth. Beautifully written, these essays ponder the dilemma we find ourselves in as the climate changes around us – How can we lead an authentic life, in-tune with the earth and our values in the midst of the break-neck pace of modern life? Woodland Manitou offers one perspective which offers much to consider wherever you call home. I highly recommend it.” – Gregory Ripley, author of Tao of Sustainability: Cultivate Yourself to Heal the Earth
“Woodland Manitou is a portal to the earth connection. It takes you on a journey through the seasons, a journey so real that when you turn the last page, your heart is filled with wildflowers, and your soul is ready to embrace each season with a smile on your face. This is a book about coming full circle, about truth, authenticity, vulnerability and connection. This is a book about what it means to be on Earth.” ~Iris Suurland, Founder of The Nabalo Company
“Woodland Manitou is a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose that draw on all of our senses. Through story, Barr weaves seasonal observations of the world around her as she ponders some of life’s most difficult questions about daily life, survival, spirituality, phenology and memories. A truly enjoyable journey of words.” ~ Deb Nikula, creator of Nature’s Calendar
Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside
(Avenida Books, 2016)
Prairie Grown is two parts recipe and one part story. It’s a glimpse into how life unfolds on a small organic vegetable farm in eastern South Dakota over the course of a calendar year. As the winter melts into spring, and spring blossoms into summer, and summer fades into autumn, and autumn falls asleep under winter’s blanket, it is a walk through the history, cultivation, growth, community, and preservation that comes about when we live close to the earth.
Praise for Prairie Grown:
“Like a lovingly prepared meal, Prairie Grown delights the senses on several levels. Barr’s calm and serene prose invites the reader to slow down and savor a progression through one year, beginning in January, when a garden is asleep under a snowy blanket. The recipes interspersing this progression reinforce an awareness of the here and how: the snow, the buds, the fruit, the harvest. The illustrations at the same time please the eye and emphasize the profound beauty that lies all around in a simple garden year.” ~Sue Leaf, finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards & author of The Bullhead Queen: A Year on Pioneer Lake and Portage: A Family, A Canoe and the Search for the Good Life.
“Heidi Barr’s Prairie Grown is a feast for the senses. This beautiful book offers us a bounty of flavorful recipes as well as some of the flavor of life on a South Dakota farm. The beautiful photographs which accompany the recipes guide us on a stroll through the seasons. Anyone who loves gardening or local, seasonal cooking is sure to enjoy this book.” ~Gregory Ripley, author of Tao Of Sustainability: Cultivate Yourself to Heal the Earth.
“A pure literary and artistic delight, Prairie Grown tugs readers’ heart strings gently, inviting them into the landscape of the Midwest, into a story that quickly feels like home. Inspired by the author’s connection to her family’s land and a deep-felt sense of stewardship, it inspires a deepening of relationship to food, to nature and its cycles, and the sense of well-being that arises from nurturing these connections. So much more than a compilation of recipes, this book offers readers moments of self-reflection, a re-birth of creativity in the garden and home, and an abundance of practical tips and inspirations to bridge these.” ~ Lindsey Ruder, Organic Farmer, Herbalist and Cafe Manager
“As the producer of a food podcast for public radio, new cookbooks and guides to eating and living cross my desk daily. Prairie Grown stands out for its originality, simplicity, and clarity. On a personal note, I grew up in South Dakota and remember admiring Ms. Barr and her family for their quiet self-sufficiency, refusal to buy into material culture, and independence of spirit. After living in New York City for the last decade, I admire that ethos — evident in this book — all the more.” ~Anne Noyes Saini, WNYC’s “The Sporkful”