American WildflowersAn Earth Day Celebration Hosted by WAMC’s Joe Donahue, with Author and Editor Susan Barba and illustrator Leanne Shapton

Saturday, April 22 @ 5pm 

Saratoga Springs, NY (March 17, 2023) – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces “American Wildflowers,the next event in its WAMC@SPAC series, to be held on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd at 5pm in the Nancy DiCresce Room at The Pines@SPAC facility. The event will be hosted by WAMC’s Joe Donahue and will feature a conversation with Susan Barba and Leanne Shapton about their new book American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide. A book signing will follow the conversation.

“As SPAC embraces Earth as a running theme throughout the season, it is fitting that this event celebrating wildflowers and the natural world takes place on Earth Day. This book exemplifies the importance of beauty in creating a just world. The astonishing prose and poems between its covers speak to the fragility and ephemerality of the human and the botanical and, more importantly, to the interdependence between them,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of SPAC

American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide is a curated collection of poems, essays and letters from the 1700’s through today that features a diverse array of authors and focuses on wildflowers and their place in our culture and natural world. Edited by Susan Barba, the “rich compendium of classic and contemporary writings inspired by wildflowers” (Publishers Weekly) also includes exquisite watercolors by Leanne Shapton which complement the texts. Published by Abrams in the fall of 2022, the volume has been praised by Booklist as “a significant addition to the tradition of writing about plants,” adding “this anthology urges us to notice the lessons offered by the tiniest bluet.”

Susan Barba is the author of the poetry collections Fair Sun (2017) and geode (2020), a finalist for the New England Book Awards and the Massachusetts Book Award. Her poems have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Poetry, the New Republic, and elsewhere, and they have been translated into Swedish, German, Romanian, and Armenian. She works as an editor at New York Review of Books and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Leanne Shapton is an artist, writer, and publisher. Her illustrations appear on many book covers, including Women in Clothes, a collaborative project with Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits, and her own Swimming Studies, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is the art editor at the New York Review of Books and lives in New York City.

WAMC@SPAC: “American Wildflowers” is part of SPAC’s growing LiteraryArts@SPAC initiative, which includes WAMC@SPAC events and conversations with renowned authors and poets such as Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, journalist Chris Cox, New York Times columnist Pamela Paul, authors Will Schwalbe, Geraldine Brooks and Sarah Maslin Nir, and food writers Matt Hranek, Naomi Duguid and Sylvie Bigar. 

WAMC@SPAC is free to attend, however seating is limited. Visit or click HERE to register in advance.


Saratoga Performing Arts Center

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), located in the historic resort town of Saratoga Springs in upstate New York, is one of America’s most prestigious summer festivals. Its tranquil setting in a 2,400-acre park preserve surrounded by hiking trails, geysers, and natural mineral springs draws vacation crowds and arts connoisseurs each year for immersive experiences of performances by resident companies New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, Opera Saratoga, and concerts by Live Nation. SPAC also hosts CulinaryArts@SPAC events in addition to imaginative programming such as the popular “SPAC on Stage” series and Caffè Lena @ SPAC.

SPAC is a 501c3 charitable organization. Donations and proceeds from fundraising events benefit the Center’s children’s education programs and support the vibrancy of its classical season. For more information visit


Press Contact:

Rebecca Davis