This collection of poems, steeped in field biology and the environmental sciences, offers intimate glimpses of a natural world that has its own integrity and value apart from our comprehension of it. The author describes everything from the behavior of birds to the flight of butterflies, from astronomical phenomena to weather patterns and the movements of salamanders. Using an approach reminiscent of the Imagist poets of the early twentieth century, she asks questions while avoiding the rhapsodizing that nature can so easily elicit. Yet the rapport between observer and observed is unmistakable, not only in the empathetic cross-species portrayals but also in the music of the words themselves. Unmistakable, and also welcome.
Laurie Allmann is a St. Croix Valley-based environmental writer, essayist, and poet. She received a Minnesota Book Award for her creative nonfiction book, Far From Tame: Reflections from the Heart of a Continent, a collection of essays based on ecoregions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Her essays have been featured in public radio commentaries on MPR and KFAI, and published in numerous anthologies. She has been a course instructor for The Loft Literary Center, and is a founding coeditor of Agate magazine. Her poems have found expression in spoken-word performances and in publications such as The Floating Fish Review and photographer Craig Blacklock’s book, St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.