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Poet Sophia Naz grieves after a wildfire took her home » Yale Climate Connections

Poet Sophia Naz’s new book, “Open Zero,” is imbued with loss and longing. In 2017, the writer’s home in Glen Ellen, California, burned to the ground in a wildfire.

“It is through writing that one can recreate, as if conjuring out of thin air, a landscape that no longer exists,” she says.

On the fateful night, Naz was working late when she smelled smoke. She checked her phone for an alert, and finding nothing, assumed she was safe.

But a few hours later, a fire truck pulled up, and a voice on a megaphone told everyone to evacuate. She woke up her son, and the family hurried out the door.

“We left, and that was the last time I saw my home,” she says.

In time, her family bought a trailer and moved back to the charred property. And grief began working its way into her poetry — like in this stanza from ‘After, Math’:

Shining where it once stood
where you stand, on scarred earth
scabbed into scrub as if
after many blows a giant
had fallen and through
his maws you saw
the valley yawn wide, felt
something give
as the waters rushed in.

Also see: A conversation with a poet whose home burned to the ground

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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