Genius Loci: Poems by Alison Hawthorne DemingPenguin, 2005
ISBN 978-0143035206 (paper)

From a poet and essayist whose writing about nature has won her comparisons with Gary Snyder and Terry Tempest Williams comes a new collection that offers further evidence of her ability to trace the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds.  The central idea of Genius Loci is the meaning of place, and the need to make some balance between the beauty and the horror or history. The title poem is a lyrical excavation of the city of Prague, where layers of history, culture and nature have accumulated to form “a genius loci”—a guardian spirit.

Praise for Genius Loci

“Deming blends humanist and scientist, probing social constructions of Divinity and Nature. . . I admire Deming’s craft, erudition, and wisdom in these ambitious, fierce poems.”

— Robin Becker

“In mature art, there is a brilliance that comes, not from cleverness of technique . . . but art’s opening to the radiance at the heart of things.  Genius Loci is thoroughly mature art, ranging from the intimacy of human lover to the vast impersonality of the wild universe, finding scars and beauty on every scale.”

— Scott Russell Sanders


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