Toxic Flora: Poems (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

“Flora” doesn't quite cover it: within these pages Kimiko Hahn will introduce you to rare life forms across all kingdoms as well as solar phenomena. Hahn's lyrical scientific observations about these dangerous and holy organisms frame her greater themes of relationships and identity. She ties broad concepts of extinction and survival together with intimate anecdotes about family and self-discovery. The collection as a whole is an elegant and intellectual species soup that nourishes the reader.

— From Jessie


“[Kimiko] Hahn’s frankness . . . allows [these poems] to stand out as starkly fresh as the carnivorous plants she describes.”—American Poet

For Kimiko Hahn, the language and imagery of science open up magical possibilities for the poet. In her haunting eighth collection inspired by articles from the weekly “Science” section of the New York Times, Hahn explores identity, extinction, and survival using exotic tropes drawn from the realms of astrophysics, mycology, paleobotany, and other rarefied fields. With warmth and generosity, Hahn mines the world of science in these elegant, ardent poems.

from “On Deceit as Survival”

Yet another species resembles

a female bumble bee,

ending in frustrated trysts—

or appears to be two fractious males

which also attracts—no surprise—

a third curious enough to join the fray.

What to make of highly evolved Beauty

bent on deception as survival—

About the Author

Kimiko Hahn has published more than ten books and is the 2023 recipient of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement. She teaches in the MFA program for creative writing and literary translation at Queens College, City University of New York.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393341140
ISBN-10: 0393341143
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2011
Pages: 126
Language: English