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I Say the Sky: Poetry, the Natural World, the Climate Crisis, and Connection: A Reading and Discussion with Poets Nadia Colburn & Hila Ratzabi at Seminary Co-op Bookstore

(Chicago, IL) On Sunday, February 4, 2024, at 3:00pm, The Seminary Co-op Bookstore will present I Say the Sky: Poetry, the Natural World, the Climate Crisis, and Connection with award-winning poets Nadia Colburn and Hila Ratzabi. Nadia and Hila (an Oak Park resident) will read from their collections and engage in a discussion about poetry and the climate crisis.

Poets have long understood the connection between, in the words of Robert Frost, “inner and outer weather.” Today, as human activity is changing the climate and our earth at an unprecedented rate, poetry helps us find our grounding and gives us tools for greater connection, voice, and vision.

Nadia and Hila will consider the following questions: How do we stay grounded in this time of climate crisis? How do we cultivate and nourish a vision of connection and belonging? And how can we find our own voice amidst both the clamoring noise of our public, busy world, and the many forces of silence around us?

Nadia will read from her new collection, I Say the Sky (University Press of Kentucky, 2024), and Hila will lead the discussion and offer some poems from her recent collection, There Are Still Woods (June Road Press, 2022). They will also engage in a dialogue on the ways to create bridges between poetry and environmental and social engagement.

The event is designed to be both restorative and energizing. Anyone interested in poetry, writing, activism, the environment, and more, will enjoy this program.


Take home resources to deepen your connection to poetry as well as new ways to get involved in environmental action.

A Q&A and Book Signing with the Authors will follow.

Admission is Free. RSVPs are recommended but not required. RSVP HERE.

Seminary Co-op Bookstore is located at 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. Learn more about this event on its webpage HERE.

For questions about the event, please contact The Seminary Co-Op Book Store at 773-752-4381 or send an email to


Nadia Colburn is the author of poetry booksI Say the Sky andThe High Shelf, and her poetry and prose have appeared in more than eighty publications, including the New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Spirituality & Health, Lion’s Roar, and the Yale Review. She holds a PhD in English from Columbia University and is the founder of Align Your Story Writing School, which brings traditional literary and creative writing studies together with mindfulness, embodied practices, and social and environmental engagement. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and two children. Find her at, where she offers meditations and free resources for writers.

Hila Ratzabi is the author of There Are Still Woods (June Road Press, 2022), which won a gold Nautilus Book Award and was a finalist for a National Indie Excellence Award. Her poems have been published widely in literary journals and have been anthologized in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Oak Park, Illinois. Learn more at


I Say the Sky by Nadia Colburn. In poems at once profound and accessible, Nadia Colburn finds splendor and astonishment in a natural world—and a human world—that is deeply troubled yet still majestically beautiful. Both elegy and celebration, I Say the Sky addresses some of the most challenging aspects of human existence, from childhood trauma to environmental devastation, and discovers, in unexpected and clear-sighted ways, wisdom, wonder, and peace.

Colburn’s brilliant second book charts a journey to meet the self. From girlhood to parenthood, loss to discovery, in poems that sing, the book explores how meaning is made. Claiming the female voice from silence, the poems find their grounding in the body and achieve rootedness and hope.

I Say the Sky is a meditative and ultimately inspiring book that will be savored by seasoned readers as well as those new to poetry.

Order I Say the Sky from Sem Co-op Bookstore here.

There Are Still Woods by Hila Ratzabi is a radiant appraisal of life at the precipice of climate crisis and a haunting elegy for all we stand to lose. Through alternating lenses, from the speculative to the spiritual, from motherhood to science to mythology, Hila Ratzabi looks out at our wounded but vibrant planet and the animal experience of living on it. These poems bear witness to the force and fragility of the natural world and grapple with the complexities of being a human in that landscape: being implicated, vulnerable, humbled, dazzled. These poems are ways of framing and enduring loss, personal and collective and cultural, real and potential and anticipated. They impart a heightened appreciation for the solid and fleeting beauty that surrounds us. Here is an ode to the earth, a vision of its end, a celebration of its endurance, an aching and eloquent plea for intercession on its behalf. Ratzabi’s first collection is a howl, a prayer, a premonition, a reawakening, and an urgent call to action.

Order There Are Still Woods from Sem Co-op Bookstore here.


Founded in 1961 and located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, the Seminary Co-op is renowned as an exemplary academic bookstore, attracting customers nationally and internationally. Its inventory reflects the literary and scholarly interests of its membership, many of them affiliated currently or previously with its neighbor, the University of Chicago.

The Seminary Co-op | 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave. | 773-752-4381

Widely regarded as one of the best academic bookstores in the world, the Co-op houses an extensive collection of scholarly titles with a focus on the humanities and social sciences.

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