Katherine Larson is the winner of the 2010 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. With Radial Symmetry, she has created a transcendent body of poems that flourish in the liminal spaces that separate scientific inquiry from empathic knowledge, astute observation from sublime witness. Larson's inventive lyrics lead the reader through vertiginous landscapes—geographical, phenomenological, psychological—while always remaining attendant to the speaker's own fragile, creaturely self. An experienced research scientist and field ecologist, Larson dazzles with these sensuous and sophisticated poems, grappling with the powers of poetic imagination as well as the frightful realization of the human capacity for ecological destruction. The result is a profoundly moving collection: eloquent in its lament and celebration.
We dredge the stream with soup strainers
and separate dragonfly and damselfly nymphs-
their eyes like inky bulbs, jaws snapping
at the light as if the world was full of
tiny traps, each hairpin mechanism
tripped for transformation. Such a ricochet
of appetites insisting life, life, life against
the watery dark, the tuberous reeds.
~Alison Hawthorne Deming, Orion"Bracingly artful . . . Radial Symmetry marks the arrival of a poet whose work merits many readings."—Alison Hawthorne Deming, Orion
Winner of the 2012 Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University~Levis Reading Prize, Virginia Commonwealth University
Finalists for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Award in the Poetry category (winners will be announced 23 June)~Book of the Year Gold Winner, ForeWord Magazine
Winner of the 2012 Kate Tufts Discovery Award given by Claremont Graduate University~Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Claremont Graduate University