Personal Encounters with Global Warming 

edited by Steven Pavlos Holmes




October 2013 | Nonfiction | 978-1-937226-27-5 | 173 pp | $14.95 




“Amidst the current deluge of statistics about global warming, this book provides a refreshing look at how individuals are affected. This is a beautiful book to keep near, open at random, and share the words of gifted writers as they prepare for the coming changes.”

“Steven Pavlos Holmes offers a rich, refreshing, and much-needed collection of personal responses to climate change. Though the volume is slender, its selections of poetry and prose—written over the past ten years by a variety of mostly lesser-known authors—provide a tonal and emotional diversity that makes the collection accessible. I used the book to great success in a first-year humanities seminar on climate change.”
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

“Who will speak out to stop climate change? Our ‘elected’ leaders are shamefully, cravenly silent. Scientists are trying to be heard, but half the population doesn’t listen to science.  The planet screams warnings in the language of tornadoes and firestorms and crashing ice, but we have no translators. It’s up to us—ordinary people who speak from their own experience of climate change and their own broken hearts. Thus, Facing the Change is a deeply important book. It gives us stories—unbearably sad or sly and funny or even seditious—from those who are called to witness.”
co-editor of Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

“Holmes has assembled a rich, varied collection of personal accounts and poems…An artistic and intimate approach to the problem that humanizes our concerns.”


"One puts down this book with a real sense of hope for the future. It is also a book worth dipping into from time to time, yielding enough variety to sustain a re–reading, enough urgency in its many voices to remind us why we need to act, and enough wisdom in its insights to persuade us that we can each make a difference."


“These eloquent stories, essays, and poems by scores of ‘emotional and cultural first responders’ to the effects of climate change are sure to deliver a powerful wake-up call to anyone who has supposed that nothing an individual person can say or do will affect this impending disaster.”
author of The Environmental Imagination

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Ph.D., is an independent scholar in the environmental humanities, with a special interest in people’s personal experiences of the natural world. His first book, The Young John Muir: An Environmental Biography, won the Modern Language Association’s Prize for Independent Scholars, and he has presented papers and workshops at numerous academic and literary conferences. He earned a doctorate in American cultural history from Harvard University, has taught both at Harvard and at the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education, and has worked on innovative literary and historical projects with The Wilderness Society, the Blue Ocean Institute, and Massachusetts Audubon’s Boston Nature Center. He currently lives, gardens, and watches birds in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, with his partner Carlene Pavlos and their cat, Millet.

Author Website



Facing the Change: Personal Encounters with Global Warming is a new kind of book about climate change. Instead of experts talking at us, this innovative literary collection shares the voices of fellow citizens struggling to make sense of the concrete changes taking place in our world today. Instead of scientific facts and predictions, this book offers personal essays, poems, and short stories expressing what’s going on in people’s lives, hearts, and dreams. Instead of leaving readers guilty and disempowered, this book will help us all to begin to work through the full range of emotions—confusion, fear, sorrow, anger, and realistic hope—that we must face in confronting the crisis. Showcasing the voices of a wide range of authors—from prize-winning writers and poets such as Roxana Robinson, Audrey Schulman, and Barbara Crooker, to regular citizens and young people—Facing the Change offers a new opportunity for moving past denial and despair to awareness and action.

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