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"A book of marvels from the tropical zone of poetry."--Roo Borson. Jaguar Rain is a rare text: at once a book of stand-alone poems and a work of scholarship, with textual notes and bibliography. Written in the voice of Margaret Mee (naturalist, explorer, and painter of flowers in the Amazon between 1956 and 1988), the poems are infused with wonder at a discovered new world of extraordinary richness, which is also an old world still governed by myth, and the ecological interdependence of everything: plant, animal, human, god; the living and the dead. Sources for this collection include Mee's journals, sketchbooks, and paintings. Jan Conn is a scientist by education and occupation, but biologist meets poet in the deep dive into the soul of the rainforest. She creates the Amazonian world from inside, from her own ardent research travels there, as well as through the sharp eyes of Margaret Mee. Will the boat come back for me? Nights on this rocky island a possum steals my fish and the phosphorescent eyes of a coral shark slide back and forth across the sandy shallows, sleepless,ravenous. Days I watch wasps construct paper nests like miniature pots, the hinged lids ingenious. --from "Aripuana." Jan Conn is a Research Scientist at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, in Albany, NY, and Associate Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department at the School of Public Heath at SUNY-Albany. Her current research is focused on the populations of malarial mosquitoes in the Brazilian Amazon. She has published five previous books of poetry, most recently Beauties on Mad River: Selected and New Poems (2000). "Amazonia," a suite of poems, won second prize in the CBC Literary Awards, 2003.
- Brick Books, January 2006
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