[To] The Last [Be] Human

Jorie Graham

​​[To] The Last [Be] Human collects four extraordinary poetry books—Sea Change, Place, Fast, and Runaway—by Pulitzer Prize winner Jorie Graham, presenting a body of work that stands as a “lyric record” of the calamitous decades that began the twenty-first century.

From the introduction by Robert Macfarlane:

This glittering, teeming Anthropocene journal is…rife with hope and raw with loss, lush and sparse, hard to parse and hugely powerful to experience. As these poems face our planet’s deep-time future, their shadows are cast by the long light of the will-have-been. Made of more durable materials than granite and concrete, their tasks are of record as well as of warning: to preserve what it felt like to be a human in these accelerated years when “the future / takes shape / too quickly.”…To read these four books in a single volume is to experience vastly complex patterns forming and reforming in mind, eye, and ear. These poems sing within themselves, between one another, and across collections, and the song that joins them all is uttered simply in the first lines of the last poem of the last book:

          The earth said

         remember me.

         The earth said

         don’t let go,


         said it one day

         when I was




ISBN: 9781556596605

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Jorie Graham was born in New York City in 1950. She was raised in Rome, Italy and educated in French schools. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris before attending New York University as an undergraduate, where she studied filmmaking. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa. Graham is the author of 14 collections of poetry, most recently Runaway (Ecco 2020), Fast (Ecco 2017), PLACE (Ecco 2012), Sea Change (Ecco, 2008) and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won …

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“Collecting Graham’s four stellar eco-poetic volumes, this searing and sensitive portrait of environmental contingency is as formally ambitious as it is captivating and wise. As Robert Macfarlane aptly writes in his beautiful introduction, the task of these poems is one ‘of record as well as of warning: to preserve what it felt like to be a human in these accelerated years when “the future / takes shape / too quickly.”’. . . To hold these volumes together is to have proof of Graham’s unmatched powers and to reckon with the resilience the present age demands.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review 

“Four of Graham’s seminal works are collected and serve as a lyric testament to the poet’s writing on climate change and loss, while also celebrating the beauty and gifts of the world.”—Publishers Weekly Fall Announcements Top Ten