An award-winning poet's nonfiction debut - essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support and inspire us.
"What the peacock can do is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life."
The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments.
In her nonfiction debut, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil explores the many places she has called home, from inhospitable plains to tall mountains in big sky country. No matter where she is transplanted, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship, even in the strange and the unlovely. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world's gifts.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poems, including Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Her writing appears in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece, and is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program. This is her first work of nonfiction.