The impossible mission of the aquarist is to display the natural world in all its beauty and complexity within the confines of a glass box, without pretending that this box is the world itself. The poet’s mission is similar, and just as impossible. As both poet and aquarist, I spent this year seeking out fish breeders, evolutionary biologists and aquarium hobbyists, even fish fighters. By forming relationships with the people I met and using my poetry as a tool for observation and understanding, I immersed in human stories of movement, identity, belonging, and of course, fish, finding common ground in all these stories, as I built poems to house my own.
Sewanee: University of the South
California Institute of Technology
College of the Atlantic
University of Puget Sound