Without a Field Guide, Nicole Robinson
Hardback; 84 pages; 5.25”x7.5”
Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Nicole Robinson’s debut collection, Without a Field Guide, combines lyric intensity with narrative sweep. This poet attends to the bare reality of trauma and its aftermath, the challenge of navigating life “without a field guide / to identify who I am or where I’m flying.” But if these poems focus on an individual healing process, they also surprise with their wide variety of subjects and tones, as with their depiction of a contemporary America marked by “reactionary blisters” as well as subtle beauties. At the center of the collection lies this poet’s unsentimental yet deeply joyful regard for the natural world that she portrays with vivid originality. Immersing herself and her reader in this ecology, Robinson ultimately returns to the human world with a new, hard-won tenderness.
Nicole Robinson’s poems have appeared in Columbia Journal, The Fourth River, Great River Review, The Louisville Review, Spillway, Tahoma Literary Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an Individual Excellence Award for poetry from the Ohio Arts Council and the Humanities Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Currently serving as the narrative medicine coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital, she resides in Ohio.
“… elegant, understated, finely wrought. Nicole Robinson explores trauma with a stunningly deft touch and enormous heart.”
Ellen Bass, Author of Indigo
“There is a spine of light which runs through this book …”
Dorianne Laux, Author of Only as the Day is Long
“In the tradition of Wordsworth and Rachel Carson, Whitman and Mary Oliver, these poems sing of the natural world …”
Joseph Millar, Author of Dark Harvest: New and Selected Poems
“… what leads the heart back is the singing of Robinson’s voice …”
Kate Northrop, Author of Homewrecker