Throughout the better part of a decade, award-winning author, lecturer, and lepidopterist Robert Michael Pyle worked on a spoken-word album in which poetry about the natural world meets acoustic instruments played mostly by grunge icon Krist Novoselić (BA, Social Sciences ’16), founding member of and bassist for Nirvana.
Butterfly Launches from Spar Pole, released last fall, began with one “guitar-poem” written and arranged for a meeting at a southwest Washington Grange. The album was rounded out over the following decade while Pyle, winner of two National Outdoor Book Awards as well as a John Burroughs Medal and Guggenheim Fellowship, worked on other projects. He has two books—The Tidewater Reach and Nature Matrix: New & Selected Essays—slated for publication in 2020. Another, Where Bigfoot Walks, is being made into a movie.
Here, Pyle talks about how he and Novoselić met, what it was like to work together, whether they might work together again, and more.