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The Wilder Heart of Florida: Conservation Conversations with the Authors – Webinar

November 18 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

great blue heron up close

As part of Alachua Conservation Trust’s Keep Florida Wild Virtual Series, you are invited to join an engaging presentation on conservation and literature. During this webinar, hear from the authors and editors of The Wilder Heart of Florida. Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer session with the speakers.


Gianna Russo is the inaugural Wordsmith of The City of Tampa. She is the author of the poetry collections, One House Down (Madville Publishing, 2019) and Moonflower, winner of a Florida Book Award, and the forthcoming All I See is Your Glinting: 90 Days in the Pandemic, with photographer Jenny Carey (Madville Publishing 2022). She has published poems in Green Mountains Review, Gulf Stream, Negative Capability, Crab Orchard Review, Apalachee Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, saw palm, The MacGuffin, Florida Review, Tampa Review, Ekphrasis, Florida Humanities Council Forum, Karamu, The Bloomsbury Review, and Calyx, among others. She is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Leo University and serving as Saint Leo’s inaugural Poet-in-Residence for the College of Arts and Sciences and scholarly journal Rebus. A third-generation Tampa native, a mother and grandmother, Gianna lives in an almost 100-year old bungalow with her husband Jeff Karon and their cat Gingko.

Margaret Ross Tolbert is an artist based in Gainesville, Florida. She earned her BFA and MFA in painting at the University of Florida, and soon after had her first underwater explorations in the springs heartland of the Floridan aquifer. She discovered that in certain ideal circumstances, the lens of water is not only a metaphorical construct but an actual physical space we can enter. When we enter this space, we are transformed. Her work has since been about communicating the experience and energy of immersion through painting and installation, writing and film.

Leslie Poole is associate professor of environmental studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. A 4th-generation Floridian, Poole’s work focuses on the important role of the state’s female activists as well as environmental history and justice issues in the state. She is author of “Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century” and co-editor with Jack Davis of “The Wilder Heart of Florida.”

Jack E. Davis, who grew up in Pinellas County, is a professor of history and the Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities at the University of Florida. In 2018, his book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in history and the Kirkus Prize in nonfiction. Described in the New York Times Book Review as a “beautiful homage to a neglected sea,” The Gulf was a New York Times Notable Book for 2017 and made several “best of” lists for the year, including those of the Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, and the Tampa Bay Times. The author or editor of ten books, including the award-winning An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century, Davis has written for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Tampa Bay Times, Orion, and other publications. His most recent book, coedited with his former doctoral student Leslie Poole, is The Wilder Heart of Florida, a collection of personal essays and poems about natural Florida. In 2019, he was one of thirty-two recipients nationwide of an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, awarded to support the writing of his forthcoming book, The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird, to be published by Liveright/W. W. Norton in March 2022. Davis lives in Florida and New Hampshire.

Register for the webinar here:


November 18
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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