Book Passage Presents

Barbara Kingsolver

in conversation with Jane Hirshfield

How to Fly

Recorded: 10/05/2020

Book Passage Presents

Barbara Kingsolver

in conversation with Jane Hirshfield

How to Fly

Recorded: 10/05/2020

Join Barbara Kingsolver and Jane Hirshfield live on the occasion of the release of Barbara’s new book How to Fly.

“Purchase a ticket for this event and receive a complimentary copy of How to Fly delivered right to your door. “

HOW TO FLY is a luminous new collection of poems by Barbara Kingsolver. The second poetry book in the storied career of this beloved, prizewinning author, it was written quietly over several decades before finding its compelling, coherent shape during recent times that seem to call for the bracing insights of poetry. In more intimate terms than ever before, Kingsolver contemplates the everyday and the metaphysical, offering reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. Her “how-to” poems apply wisdom and disarming humor to ventures as wide-ranging as marriage and divorce, sheep-shearing, praying to unreliable gods,and of course, flying.They evoke clear-eyed contemplation of life and death, of art itself, and the transcendent wonders of the natural world in unexpected forms: birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, and thousand-year-old beech trees. In these poignant meditations, readers will recognize Kingsolver’s lyrical voice and also find new surprises.

“I’ve written poems for as long as I can remember, starting with rhyming ditties in childhood that cracked up my siblings, and bleak adolescent confessionals that I kept to myself,” Kingsolver recalls. “In school I studied science, for practical reasons, but I could never stop the poetry from bubbling out of my soul. I have proof of this: the organic chemistry textbook I used in college has poems scribbled in its margins. Eventually my secret writing life proved to be a profession as worthy as science, and I became what I happily am to this day, a writer. I take pleasure in every form, from journalism and narrative nonfiction to short stories, novels, even screenwriting. But I never stopped writing poems, and they’re special to me, like love children. Nobody asks them of me, I just make them for the thrill of it, little bursts of ecstasy popping open wherever they happen to fall.”

HOW TO FLY reveals a new side of Kingsolver’s remarkable talents to her legion of readers, while displaying all the grace, perception, and art we have come to love in her work.

Barbara Kingsolver

About Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership. Her novel, The Poisonwood Bible, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award. The Lacunawon the Orange Prize for Fiction, and Flight Behavior was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Jane Hirshfield

About Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield, one of our most celebrated contemporary poets, is the author of nine collections of poetry, including the newly released Ledger, which has been hailed as the most important and masterly work of her career. Her other works include The Beauty, long-listed for the National Book Award and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015; Come, ThiefAfter, named a Best Book of 2006 by The Washington PostThe San Francisco Chronicle, and the Financial Times, and a finalist for England’s prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize; Given Sugar, Given Salt finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award; The Lives of the HeartThe October PalaceOf Gravity & Angels, winner of the Poetry Center Book Award; and Alaya.

Please enter the email address with which you made your purchase.

Get a ticket now for admission to the live event, and a complementary copy of How to Fly.

Online Event Details

  • 90 minutes

Buy Ticket

Your single payment of $40 ensures your admission to the live event, and pick up of your complementary book at Book Passage’s store in Corte Madera CA. We’ll also ship the book to you for just an additional shipping and handling fee.

Purchase your ticket by entering your name, email, address, and credit card information below. (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards only.)

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’d like a refund, we can happily credit the card you used to register for the event. Please send a note to, and we’ll confirm receipt as soon as we see it (We don’t need your credit card info – just your email address and date of purchase.)

There are two things to know:

  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled event.
  • There is sure to be a lapse in time between the time we refund your order and the time a corresponding credit appears on your credit card statement. So that you’re not left waiting and wondering, we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve processed the credit in our system.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online event and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live event, we’ve got you covered:

We’ll make an archive of this event available within 48 hours of the live event, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it.

Ticket holders can view this full event archive any time they like – as often as they like.

We take data security and your privacy as seriously as you do.

That’s why we use Stripe to process your registration transaction. They take your credit card and secure your data – in fact we don’t even have access to your credit card number. Which is just the way we like it!

The information we do retain we protect carefully.

We’re committed to keeping personal information collected from those individuals who visit our website and make use of our online programming and services confidential, secure, and private. Our privacy policy ensures that we meet – and when we can – exceed most existing privacy standards.

Want to know more? Read the ExtendedSession Online Privacy Policy Agreement.

Still have a question? We’d be please to hear from you:

Still have a question? We’d be please to hear from you:


The receipt you receive via email immediately after you register is all you need to know you’re set for the upcoming event.

About 48 hours before the live event is scheduled to begin, we’ll send you a personalized email confirming everything’s on schedule and containing easy instructions for accessing the event.

We’ll send another reminder on the day of the event itself, and we’ll be available online just before the event begins to make sure you have no problems joining when the time is right.

If you’ve not received confirmation of your purchase, it’s not because we haven’t sent it. In fact, we send a confirmation right away to make sure that we can reach you with event details.

If you haven’t received a confirmation, check your “junk” or “promotions” email first — some people’s email programs group unfamiliar emails in these types of folders. The email date and time should match closely the time you purchased your ticket online.

If the confirmation email is not there, there’s a small possibility that your email address wasn’t entered as you intended when you registered (You’d be surprised, but this happens). If we don’t have your proper email address, we can’t contact you.

In any case, if you can’t find your confirmation email, please send us a note at We’ll get back to you right away!