Skip to content

Fire Watcher and Jungian Archetypes Explored in Review by Anna Banks

Anna Banks, Associate Professor of English at the University of Idaho, first read Fire Watcher from her home on the southwest slope of an Idaho mountain in a summer when over a quarter-million acres of the state forests burned down and hundreds of people had to be evacuated from their homes. She read Demuth’s poems with views of smoke clouds in the distance and with the acrid smell of them hanging in the air.

Banks’ visceral introduction to Demuth’s award-winning poetry collection lead to her review of Fire Watcher in The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

firewatcherIn her review, Banks calls the collection “experiential, personal, visceral.” She links Demuth, a poet who has worked as a park ranger and fire lookout for years, with what  “Jungian analyst and cantadora Clarissa Pinkola-Estes calls a ‘wild woman,’ one in touch with her instinctive feminine nature, who lives a natural life, the essence of our natural psyche.”

Banks’ careful examination of Demuth’s poems, and her intricate relationship with both the human and natural worlds sheds light on the duality present in Fire Watcher. “Recently,” she writes, “Greta Gaard has called for scholars and writers to revisit ecofeminism and to remember that it has always been rooted in activism, ‘bringing animal, feminist, and environmental justice perspectives” to the forefront of our consciousness. Vivian Demuth” she asserts, “answers that call with a passionate shout from her mountain fire tower.”

To read the full review, you can visit The Goose at:

To get your copy of Fire Watcher, you can visit the Guernica website at:

Posted in News, Poetry, Reviews.

Tagged with , , , , , .