With the loving eye of an amateur botanist, poet Julie Poole has distilled nature to its finest, tender points. Through poems spread delicately across the page, interspersed with images of the pressed flowers themselves, Poole’s poetry gives voice to a meditative expression of flora. Each poem creates an individual cataloged world through which to explore the body, sexuality, strength, and a devout refusal to admit the separation between humans and nature. Inspired by the Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the largest herbaria in the Southwestern United States, Bright Specimen weaves together a written index through the harmony of botanical wonder.
“I loved being held by Bright Specimen's gentle intimacy and delight, its organic shapes and speech. Reading this book feels like entering a sunlit room of clear-voiced women, where ‘suddenly it seems possible / no harm will come to anyone.’What could be so fragile and unafraid as an herbarium flower? Only a poet as attuned as Julie Poole could filter the world through such bright souls.”——Taisia Kitaiskaia, author ofThe Nightgown and Other Poems