Katie Holten

Katie Holten is an artist and activist. In 2003, she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Nevada Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Her drawings investigate the tangled relationships between humans and the natural world. She has created Tree Alphabets, a Stone Alphabet, and a Wildflower Alphabet to share the joy she finds in her love of the more-than-human world. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Artforum, and frieze. She is a visiting lecturer at the New School of the Anthropocene. If she could be a tree, she would be an Oak.


  • Over 50 writings from notable authors, philosophers, scientists and artists—including Plato, Ursula K. Le Guin and Ada Limón—are delicately translated into Holten’s visual “tree alphabet” in this ode to the world’s trees.

    —The New York Times Book Review

  • Striking.

    —The New Yorker

  • Inspiring. . . . insights that are scientific, intimate and surprising. . . . a call to action for those who still care.

    —The Washington Post

  • Stunning. . . . I’ve never seen anything remotely like this work of art.

    —Book Page, Starred Review

  • An unexpected mix of poems, essays, quotations, song lyrics, recipes, and other texts. . . . offering diverse perspectives on those towering woody plants and their relationship to human life.

    —Poets & Writers

  • An appealing, celebratory offering with an urgent message.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • Unmissable.


  • Celebratory. . . . delightful. . . . lovely as both exercise and artifact.

    —Orion Magazine

  • Incredibly refreshing. . . . A stunning celebration of trees through the ages, this book is sure to spark passion with every passing page.

    —Chicago Review of Books

  • An imaginative compilation of poems and stories translated into a stunning visual language based on trees. . . . Perfect for an evening meditative read, or for placing out on your coffee table to share with friends.

    —District Fray Magazine

  • An astonishing fusion of storytelling & art, and a deeply beautiful celebration of trees through the ages.

    —Write or Die Magazine

  • Revelatory. . . . Wondrous. . . . An exquisite ode to all things arboreal.

    —The Washington Independent Review of Books

  • Stunning. . . . a beautiful, artistic rendering of the many ways trees nourish and undergird our world.

    —Shelf Awareness

  • One of the most exquisite books inspired by trees in recent memory.


  • Touching. . . . An ode to literature, language, and nature that intertwines and loops like branches of a tree.


  • In The Language of Trees Katie Holten plants trees in our imagination, transferring them from objects of outdoor devotion to subjects of deep contemplation.

    —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • This literary anthology will give readers a new vocabulary when it comes to talking about nature.

    —District Fray Magazine

  • A masterpiece. Katie Holten’s tree alphabet is a gift to the printed world.

    —Max Porter, author of Grief Is a Thing with Feathers