In the Mind's Eye


In the Mind's Eye

Essays across the Animate World

Elizabeth Dodd

360 pages


September 2008


$26.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In this collection of exquisite essays, Elizabeth Dodd explores the natural and human history of sites in the American Southwest, the caves of southern France, the Kansas grasslands, and the forests of the Pacific Northwest. In the Mind’s Eye considers the artistic and creative impulses of those who preceded us, making sense of the different ways in which they—and we—express our experiences of landscape in words and images.
Hiking to find ancient petroglyphs in the American Southwest, canoeing black-water rivers to reach ancient trees in the coastal Southeast, and considering artists as varied as Georgia O’Keeffe and the poet of Beowulf , Dodd discerns the nature of place as well as our place in nature. Combining lyrical narrative, reflection, history, and science, Dodd invites readers to consider their aesthetic ancestors and connect with the legacies of these landscapes.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Dodd is a professor of English at Kansas State University. She is the author of several books, including Archetypal Light and Prospect: Journeys and Landscapes.


"In these exquisitely rendered essays, Dodd (Archetypal Light) explores the intersections of the arts and the natural world, often coming up with unexpected and insightful conclusions. Dodd serves as an inviting guide to everything from the ancient mammoth cave paintings of Chauvet in France to the joys of owning a wood-stove."—Publishers Weekly

"Each chronicle of a foray out into the world and deep into thought is conceptually creative, finely rendered, utterly confident and spirited, and provocatively illuminating. The highest form of mindtravel."—Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)

"The joy is in the author's depth of thought, her poetic descriptions, the jumbling together of images, and the sense she makes out of all these elements. In spite of the meditative nature of the material, the writing is conversational and immediate, and each essay can stand alone, allowing readers to explore this book one essay at a time, taking visual and mental "bites." It's a good read anytime—summer on the patio or winter by the fire."—Aline Soules, ForeWord Magazine

"What animates all of these essays is the author's keen interest in actual places and in the images humans—our contemporaries, our early ancestors, and those in between—have used to convey their experiences of these places. Dodd's voice, assured and assuring, never wavers. She tells her stories and unfolds her elegant ideas in prose that is supple, learned, sometimes lyrical, sometimes witty, and always entirely apt."—Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) Award judges

"[Dodd's] personal experiences become part of us—even if she is more aware than we are—and her sense of awe is passed on to her readers."—Christine Birdwell, Ohioana Quarterly

"Much like O'Keefe, and the other writers and artists embedded in her work, Dodd serves as a guide between what she sees and feels and what many of us will never see. . . . Dodd not only paints a verbal picture of the art she finds, but also, like Terry Tempest Williams, she reminds the reader of the fragility of this world from which art emerges."—Barbara Tracy, ISLE

Table of Contents


Setting Forth in Their Footprints  

Memory's Hills   

Cold Meditations 

Walden, Woods    


In the Mind's Eye

Here the Animal  

La Descente

In Situ    


The Shannon Creek Eagles     

Bones of Fear    


In Such a Homecoming   

The Kingdom

The Scribe in the Woods

Selected Bibliography  



Finalist for the 2009 Ohioana Book Award - Nonfiction Category
Winner of the 2007-08 Creative Book Award, sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

Also of Interest