Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place

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By: Daniel Coleman

May 2017
250 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-28-8
$20.00

Daniel Coleman is looking to find a home. After a childhood that left him feeling placeless, he ended up in Hamilton, Ontario, one of Canada’s most polluted cities at the time. Yardwork is his attempt to put down roots in a place he never expected to be. Coleman decided he wanted to truly know and belong to a small piece of land, his patch of garden on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, to deeply understand its ecology, landscape and history. Starting with the creation myths and geology, moving through the settler era and up to the present, Coleman pours his considerable talents into learning, and sharing, as much of the story of the land as possible. Most books on ecology focus either on protecting the wilderness or analyzing a toxic dump. Most books on gardens focus on plant health or landscape design. Most books on Indigenous-settler relations focus on politics or social inequities. Yardwork meditates on the sedimentary layers of ecological, cultural and political stories that make up Hamilton, the escarpment city at the Head of the Lake. Along the way Coleman strives to build a new awareness of the place where he lives as sacred land.

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