how lonely, to be a marsh (pre-sale)


how lonely, to be a marsh (pre-sale)


how lonely, to be a marsh 

published July 2019


100 pages

edition of 125


A mostly forgotten and misunderstood place, this inland salt marsh is moistened by groundwater seeps, with water nearly as salty as the ocean, where endemic and endangered species call home. Frank Shoemaker Marsh and the surrounding protected wetlands are what remains of Nebraska’s saline wetlands, one of the rarest ecosystems on the Great Plains. how lonely, to be a marsh is an attempt to engender an elusive place not readily known – at once both heartfelt & heartbroken.  

Cass combines her poetry and photography, images of botanical and zoological specimens, and early 1900s glass plate negatives and journal excerpts by pioneering prairie ecologist Frank Shoemaker. 

“touching a place,/you ask it to enter your DNA//stroke the grasses, the flowers, the birds, the beetles,/the salt, the water,/in an act of becoming.”

Photographer and poet Madeline Cass makes her new work in order to merge with a Salt Marsh and speak. That her project is convincing, erotic, exquisite, and memorable is no surprise. As passionate in her conviction as she is masterful in her art, this latest piece is a gift to readers. Enjoy it, consume it! And act to save these rare and precious environments.

Hilda Raz, author of All Odd and Splendid

Commissioned by Platte Basin Timelapse with support from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the Nebraska State Museum, and the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Add To Cart