Winner of the 2013 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize
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Written in the tradition of American naturalists, FIELD STUDY chronicles a courtship and marriage through the vehicle of carnivore conservation efforts. The poems in Travis Mossotti’s second collection invite the reader to join in the observation of field work, and to glimpse the devotion required to sustain what is human and what is animal. In these pages, the ethics of nature and relationships are elegantly rendered, revealing who we are by what we see.
PRAISE FOR FIELD STUDY
"The poems in Field Study wind through different settings, characters, and species in an attempt to understand what makes us human. Whether in the field, a wildlife rescue center, or at home, staring at a reflection in the dishwater, Mossotti's poems balance the need for connection and necessary self-denial: 'Whenever I hold the sound / of those animals it opens like a dogwood blossom— / but then I squeeze too hard, and it dies." With narrative velocity and lyric grace, Field Study reveals a side of science rarely seen.
~Kerry James Evans, author of Bangalore
"Wolves need as many voices as they can get, and Travis Mossotti's Field Study is certainly a powerful and welcome addition."
~Douglas Smith, Project Leader for the Yellowstone Wolf Project
"In Field Study, Mossotti sponges wolf spoor from the rut of a sandy road and gives it to us, challenging us to go beyond merely appreciating nature—'I’ve learned that words like awe / are only part of it,' he says. Mossotti’s poems remind us that we need to collectively respond to the principle that the howl of the wolf must not be muted from the American landscape."
~William Waddell, Red Wolf Species Survival Plan Coordinator
About the Author:
Travis Mossotti has worked and volunteered over the last decade alongside his wife (a carnivore biologist) with U.S. government, university and nonprofit organizations on data collection, animal captures/releases and lab work for various endangered species recovery efforts all across North America. In 2011 he was awarded the May Swenson Poetry Award by contest judge Garrison Keillor for his first collection of poems About the Dead (USU Press, 2011), and his chapbook My Life as an Island was published by Moon City Press in 2013. Mossotti is the Poet-in-Residence at the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis where he lives with his wife Regina and their children Cora and James.
Cover design: Josh Mossotti