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“Against a backdrop rich with purples, blues, and shades of black, a blaze of stars glittering across a vast empty sky spurs our curiosity about the past, driving us inevitably to ponder the future. For millennia, the night sky has been a collective canvas for our stories, maps, traditions, beliefs, and discoveries. Over the course of time, continents have formed and eroded, sea levels have risen and fallen, the chemistry of our atmosphere has changed, and yet the daily cycle of light to dark has remained pretty much the same . . . until the last 100 years.”
—Karen Trevino, from the foreword
No matter where we live, what language we speak, or what culture shapes our worldview, there is always the night. The darkness is a reminder of the ebb and flow, of an opportunity to recharge, of the movement of time. But how many of us have taken the time to truly know a starry night? To really know it.
Combining the lyrical writing of Paul Bogard with the stunning night-sky photography of Beau Rogers, To Know a Starry Night explores the powerful experience of being outside under a natural starry sky\--how important it is to human life, and how so many people don’t know this experience. As the night sky increasingly becomes flooded with artificial-light pollution, this poignant work helps us reconnect with the natural darkness of night, an experience that now, in our time, is fading from our lives.
About the Author
Paul Bogard is the author of several books, including The End of Night and The Ground Beneath Us. He is also the author/editor of Let There Be Night. A native Minnesotan, Bogard is now an associate professor of English at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he teaches writing and environmental literature. For more information, visit paul-bogard.com.
Beau Rogers leads photography workshops across the American West and teaches English at Mohave Community College’s Bullhead City, Arizona, campus. For more information, visit GoWest.photography.com.
“Paul Bogard is the unofficial poet laureate of dark skies. This is a terrific work.”
—Christopher Cokinos, author of Hope Is the Thing with Feathers and The Fallen Sky
“Paul Bogard is a friend to International Dark-Sky Association and to the cause of protecting dark skies around the world. . . . While there are many vital reasons to reduce and control the use of artificial light at night--the waste of money and energy, the needless carbon emissions, the impacts on human and environmental health--it's this loss of the night sky experience that, in the end, inspires us to our work. To Know a Starry Night is a beautiful testament to the night and will inspire readers around the world with a new—or renewed—desire to have this experience as their own.”
—Ruskin Hartley, International Dark-Sky Association
“Paul Bogard brings attention to what we have lost, how our night skies are fading and growing dimmer over time, and how we can strive to protect our starry nights.”
—Roberta Moore, co-editor of Wild Nevada
"As an astronomer, I think I know the night sky. But Paul and Beau's book reminds me I mostly know it in small pieces on camera monitors and telescope displays. Through their prose and photographs I am reminded that in reality the night is a multisensory experience, one that includes mind as well as emotion, feeling as well as seeing. Their book is a beautiful testament to how much of ourselves we lose as our city lights obscure the stars."
—Dr. Tyler Nordgren, astronomer and artist
“An ode to joy of contemplating the starry sky. . . . The wonderful photographs by Beau Rogers will urge you to search for a dark place to see a star-filled night sky, and Paul will show how to reconcile yourself with the real night, or discover it for the first time. To savor it, to sip it in its complete essence, with your dark-adapted sight, with its sounds, its scents, its temperature, all different from their day counterparts.”
—Fabio Falchi, author of The World Atlas of Light Pollution, ISTIL - Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute