What’s Your Ecotone?: “Our eighty-mile stretch of river”

This week’s What’s Your Ecotone? comes from Jennifer Clark, who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

MI(1)I live near the Kalamazoo River. In 1848, before she became polluted—before she was deemed a superfund site, and we all fell into a stupor waiting for the giant, sleepy paws of the Environmental Protection Agency to save her—author James Fenimore Cooper noted this about our eighty-mile stretch of river: “The woods around them were the unpeopled forest of Michigan and the small winding reach of placid water that was just visible in the distance as an elbow of the Kalamazoo, a beautiful little river that flows westward, emptying its tribute into the vast expanse of Lake Michigan.”

headshotJennifer Clark is director of community relations for Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo and a founding board member of the Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition. Shabda Press published her first book of poems, Necessary Clearings, in 2014. Her work has been published in failbetter, Concho River Review, Nimrod, Fiction Fix, Midwest Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.