Church of the Robin's Ha-Ha! John Burroughs’ “Natural Religion,” and Other Poems is a collection of poems set in the Catskills. The title poem captures the essence of Burroughs' "nature gospel" -- namely, that earth is heaven enough. Anne conveys how Burroughs negotiated the tensions between his spirit-bond with nature and his discomfort with institutionalized religion, especially the Old School Baptist faith of his childhood and its preoccupation with salvation in a heaven to come. He couldn’t fathom the appeal of a “perfect” place populated with “saints” only – i.e. the elect. He preferred the fraught beauty and virility of this world.
Among the other poems in the book is a series based on photographs in Through a Woman’s Eye, Diane Galusha’s wonderful book devoted to pioneering female photographers living in the Catskills around the turn of the 20th century. And finally, the last two sections are comprised of poems that arose out of Anne’s Catskill experiences and surroundings.
Daniel G. Payne, Ph.D., Author of Writing the Land: John Burroughs and His Legacy
“Anne Richey’s Church of the Robin’s Ha-Ha! is a wonderfully perceptive poetry collection that combines a deep knowledge of the nature essays of John Burroughs and the Catskill landscape with the sensibility of a gifted poet . . . A beautiful book that can be read and re-read many times with pleasure.”