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The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass



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World Literature Today Editor’s Pick

“Enchanting. . . . The Poetic Species is a wonderful read in its entirety, short yet infinitely simulating.” —MARIA POPOVA, Brain Pickings

In this shimmering conversation (the outgrowth of an event co-sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and Poets House), Edward O. Wilson, renowned scientist and proponent of “consilience” or the unity of knowledge, finds an ardent interlocutor in Robert Hass, whose credo as United States poet laureate was “imagination makes communities.” As they explore the many ways that poetry and science enhance each other, they travel from anthills to ancient Egypt and to the heights and depths of human potential. A testament to how science and the arts can join forces to educate and inspire, this book is also a passionate plea for conservation of all the planet’s species.

Edward O. Wilson, a biologist, naturalist, and bestselling author, has received more than 100 awards from around the world, including the Pulitzer Prize. A professor emeritus at Harvard University, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Robert Hass’ poetry is rooted in the landscapes of his native northern California. He has been awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. He is a professor of English at University of California-Berkeley.

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